OPINION: 13 digital trends for 2013

OPINION: 13 digital trends for 2013
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VML Australia's digital and social planner Tiphereth Gloria shares her 13 techie predictions for 2013:

1. Endorsement. Have you been in LinkedIn lately? From September, it’s all about others endorsing you for your skill sets. Twitter uses endorsement of the crowd, by recommending who to follow. The more people following a particular Twitter account, the more likely you will see them in the “who to follow” lists. Facebook have built a revenue model on endorsements – Facebook ads, particularly Sponsored Stories are all about serving you ads based on your friends endorsing/liking a particular page.

2. Personal data, aka The Quantified Self. Since 2005, Nicholas Feltron has been inspiring data nerds including the creators of Foursquare with his published personal data annual reports, and Daytum a platform to do the same. Fast forward to 2013, and its all about the apps and interactive personal gadgets – to measure the quality of your sleep, the steps you take in a day, how many calories you consume your surroundings and your possessions, to give you a bigger, ‘quantifiable’ picture of your actions. See Jawbone UP, Nike Fuelband, LarkLife and a stack of others including FitBit.

3. The Internet of Things, aka “smart” objects. CES 2013 was all about household devices that connect to the internet and share and receive information. Expect big things from the whitegoods and light switches in the connected home.

4. Crowd funding goes mainstream. Witness the impact that Kickstarter is having on creativity and product development. See also Indiegogo and  Pozible doing the same for film, music and other creative projects. Dodge takes it to the product level, consumers can get their friends and family to fund their very own car.

5. Smart clothing. You know that when Apple files a patent on shoes that have embedded sensors to track your activity and tell you when you need a new pair, the days of dumb clothes are numbered.

6. Data expectations. Consumers want more personalised customisation in their communications from companies. When customers sign up to your database, they are expecting you to know more about their tastes and habits – and they want recommendations. Amazon has shown the way. So chances are you need to up the ante on your CRM system in 2013.

7. Social search. Three words: Facebook Graph Search.

8. Interactive social TV. Late last year, Mercedes ran a TV commercial in the UK that gave viewers control of the action via Twitter and #youdrive. This year, program makers get in on the act, with a recent episode of Hawaii 5-O having different endings. The endings that went to air were location driven and based on the volume of tweets and votes.

9. Digital to real world products. Instagram has inspired a whole ecosystem of companies bringing your photos off the app and the cloud and into the real world with a bunch of printers, fridge magnets, books and projectors.

10, Retail customer tracking – via mobile phones. The behavioural metrics that online stores collect is now in the grasp of “meat space” retailers in shopping malls. Starting on Black Friday in the US, trials began collecting data about shoppers’ behaviour in malls by tracking the closest thing to ‘cookies’ that human beings carry—their mobile phones. Made possible by UK firm, Path Intelligence.

11. Smart Wallet. Yes, in the same vein as smart clothing and smart home, the smart wallet tracks your consumer habits in a mobile CRM. But it doesn’t live in your wallet – it lives in your smartphone. So it’s a platform battle at the moment with Google and Apple duking it out. Apple has Passbook and Google has Google Wallet. The US also has Square Wallet, compatible with both Android and iOS.

12. Mobile. Tablet. More mobile. Shame on you Australian companies. Too many of you ignore the mobile consumer. Yet at least 25% to 30% of your website visits will be via mobile and tablet. Also, where’s the contextually driven landing pages when consumers are using mobile search to find your store locations? No more excuses – 35% of global shoppers surveyed by IBM were unsure whether their next purchase was going to be physical or internet-based. If you don’t have a decent ecommerce site, you are even more likely to be losing customers to online stores thanks to showrooming.

13. Disruptive innovation, or “Always be in beta”. The mantra of developers should be the mantra of marketers in 2013. Kickstarter and the other creativity crowdsourcing platforms prove once and for all it’s a race to get your products and ideas out there because, if you don’t, someone else will. These platforms also work double time by showing investors there’s a market ready to consume the product when it’s launched. A business model for disruption, anyone?

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