7 Things to watch for in 2013:1. Personalization and Customization2. Advanced, Integrated Products3. More Mobility Than Ever4. Social Grows Up5. Advertising Gets Smart6. Intelligent Objects7. Better Use of Data
Everything will be PersonalizedYou name it – clothingskateboards, candy – willhave customization optionsso consumers can put theirown stamp on theirproducts.
Better Offers and Ads The combination of more measurable consumer data and more sophisticated analysis of this data will allow brands to predict what a customer needs or wants – and tailor relevant offers to match.
The Right Offer for theRight PersonDigital ads will read auser’s location and offerlocalized businesses anddeals.Think Google Ads, onlyinstead of theadvertisements beingrelated to search words,they’ll be related to auser’s location.
Hyper Targeted AdsFacebook’s Custom Audiences moves far beyond basic demographic andinterest-level targeting, and Google Shopping allows marketers to advertiseat a very granular (even SKU) level and feature such specific productattributes as color and condition.
TouchHighly flexible touch sensorsare entering the smartphoneand tablet markets. They areextending touch capabilities intoa range of new products, withdesigns that are lighter, thinnerand sleeker, including excellentoptical clarity, low powerconsumption and at lower cost.
Holographic Display and Infrared Keyboards Apple has unveiled plans to integrate mini projectors into future devices, which would enable the user to project video on any surface, including a fully usable infrared keyboard.
Integrated Devices: The PhabletAn amalgamation ofsmartphone and tablet, aphablet is cheaper than atablet with a bigger screenthan a smartphone.Examples include the AmazonKindle Fire, Asus GoogleNexus 7 and the iPad Mini.
Integrated Experiences: ReadingUsers are expecting a highly integrated experience as they move from the Web tomobile devices and back.Kindle’s Whispersync allows readers to pick up from where they left off, no matter ifthey are reading online, on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle app on an iPad. The result isa seamless experience which closely mimics reading an actual book.Publishers in turn can now profile their audiences, build user histories, offer relevantreading suggestions.
Integrated Experiences: TVRather than visiting websites completelyunrelated to the programs they’rewatching, activity on thetablet/laptop/phone and on TV isbecoming increasingly integrated.Even the traditional functions of both setsof devices is blurring, with usersperforming ‘internet-like’ tasks on the TV(Photos, email, social networking, Skype)and ‘TV-like’ activities on mobile devices orlaptops (watching TV, Netflix, Hulu, etc).
Proliferation in Mobile Devices By 2013: More people will access the web through a mobile device than through a computer 90% of all mobile phones will be smartphones
Mobile Shopping There was a 28% increase in mobile e-commerce on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year compared to last year. In addition to purchases, consumers are using their phones to locate product information, to communicate with family and friends regarding product selection and to take product photos.
Mobile Payments The new version of the Google Wallet app supports all your credit and debit cards.Smartphones are evolving to become wallets, keys,health consultants and more. Soon they’ll become defacto fingerprints, our identity all in one place.
Mobile-Centric ServicesA number of services are emerging to batter cater to our increasingly ‘on-the-’go’ lifestyle.Pogoseat is an app that enables audience members at live events to identifyand purchase upgrades to better seats via their phone. The app identifiesempty seats with the best views, and once users have selected their new seatsthey are able to enter payment details, purchase and move.
Facebook dominant but Niche NetworksRisingFor general networking, Facebook still rules. But niche networks that providemore of a community feel and that are centered around common interests –sports, music, design, location – are growing in usage.
Branded Communities Amex Open Forum ASOS Marketplace Community More companies are creating branded communities to interact with customers and prospects, developing environments that are social, casual and fun.
Social Goes GlobalWhile social media growth in NorthAmerica has slowed, growth is taking off inother parts of the world.Asia: 21% increaseMiddle East and Africa: 23% increaseLatin America: 12% increaseFacebook is the global leader, but in placesof the world like China where Facebook isblocked, localized networks dominate,including Weibo, which doubled its base to400 million users in one year.
Social Data Building on the success of Dell’s and Gatorade’s Social Media Command Centers, more brands are establishing regional centers for listening and responding to communities.Social listening and data analysis are aiding numerous departments, includingmarketing, communications, customer service and product development, allof which are benefitting from deeper user insights.
New ways to reach consumersMobile technology is allowingbrands to turn anything – from busshelters to print magazines – intoretail channels.Shopping is shifting from an activitythat takes place in physical stores oronline to a value exchange that canplay out in multiple ways. Mattel and Walmart Canada created a virtual pop-up toy store, featuring two walls of 3-D toy images with QR codes that consumers can scan with their phones to purchase.
Branded EntertainmentDisruptive content is being eclipsed by integrated, entertaining ads.Brands have finally learned that interrupting a user’s experience is not nearlyas effective as seamlessly embedding ads in the content they want to see andwere actually searching for.
Native AdvertisingNative advertising underpins Google search ads,and it’s also why billions of dollars of ad revenuehave shifted to closed platforms like Facebook(Sponsored Stories), Twitter (Promoted Tweets),and YouTube (TrueView Promoted Videos).Ads that are native to a site don’t live in thecorners and don’t interrupt the user; they existin the stream of content, and bring value to theuser in the form of brand content — promoted Publishers like Forbes, The Atlantic, Gannet, AOL and WordPress havevideos, sponsored stories, relevant coupons, introduced their own native ad models.promoted posts, etc.
Content is KingBrands are following thelead of Nike, Coke, Old Spice,Apple, Adobe, and GE andare creating qualitycontent to distributethrough native ad formatson Facebook, Twitter,WordPress and beyond. Even Google is getting into the content game, having purchased both Zagats and Frommers.
Everyone is a Content Creator• Virgin: Virgin Mobile Live, a social newsroom that publishes content several times daily, featuring new music, apps and web memes.• American Express: American Express Unstaged, a program that live streams concerts by some of the biggest names in music through the lens of a well-known director.• Marriott: Live Life to Discover helps guests navigate the city outside their hotel and RLife LIVE program helps them discover new music, films, arts, food and drinks inside the hotel
Common “Content Factory” Elements:• Story planning that relates to brand and sales goals• Multimedia content including videos, images and infographics• Using brand journalists to mine for stories within the organization• Utilizing a data-driven approach• Thoughtful publishing of content to increase engagement on social networks like Facebook and Twitter
Your Coffee Mug is Smarter than a 5thGraderEveryday items are evolvinginto interactive, intelligentobjects, making ourexperiences with them moreinteresting, enjoyable andhelpful. Google Glasses are essentially “smart glasses” – aka a wearable computer.
The Internet of ThingsFirst developed in 1999, The Internetof Things is a concept that is juststarting to be put into practice.The premise is simple: If all objectswere equipped with radio tags,barcodes or sensors, they could beidentified and inventoried bycomputers. This would take the taskentirely out of the hands of people andtransform daily life – we could trackand count everything, and greatlyreduce waste, loss and cost. We wouldknow when things needed replacing,repairing or recalling, and businesseswould never run out of stock.
Sensors Farming equipment with wireless links to data collected from ground sensors takes into account crop conditions and adjusts the way each individual part of a field is farmed —for instance, by spreading extra fertilizer on areas that need more nutrients. On a consumer level, companies like Switch2health, Nest, Twine and Jawbone are creating products that use sensors to do everything from send you a tweet when your laundrys done, an e-mail when the basement floods or a text message when you leave the garage door open
NFCNFC technology allowscommercial transactions to bedone wirelessly through mobiledevices, without the need fordata cards. NFC-enabled phonescan be used to transfer files,read product information andmake purchases.BY 2013, sales of NFC-equippedphones will exceed $75 billion, Google Wallet is a prime example ofand 1 in 5 phones worldwide will an NFC-enabled phone.use NFC technology.
Big DataThe ability to take sales, customer, or even social data and turn it into patterns andsegments is at the crux of what Big Data is and does. While SEO specialists andmarketing analysts have been using internal and external data for years, it’s finallybecoming a formalized processes for many brands.
Multiple Data SourcesThe concept of a single data source isessentially obsolete. Multiple systemsare being brought together to create acomprehensive user profile.The five richest big data sources on theWeb include the social graph, intentgraph, consumption graph, interestgraph and mobile graph.
Actionable Analytics Remember Moneyball, the 2011 film in which the Oakland A’s won almost two-thirds of their games with a payroll one-fourth the size of the Yankees? The key to their success was making strategic decisions based on data analysis. They ignored conventional metrics like batting averages, runs batted in and stolen bases in favor of a more rigorous statistical analysis about player performance. Brands are beginning to implement the same tactics, turning raw consumer data into actionable, real-time insights. The result is a mutually beneficial relationship that benefits the company by giving them an advantage over their competition, and the consumer by having their preferences, goals and needs understood and met.
Turning Data into a Game The Opower energy app is the result of a collaboration between Facebook, the Natural Resources Defense Council, energy information software maker Opower and 16 U.S.-based utility companies. Users can connect their energy account to the app, see visualizations of their energy use and compare their usage to that of friends and other U.S. households. There are also competitions to reduce household energy waste.