Digital Media trends- What to expect from 2010
This article was published in iMediaConnection. For readers of ChasingTheStorm, pasting it here too.
You can see more on what I have written for iMediaConnection here.
The article on What to expect from 2010:
It is that time of the year again. Prognostications by industry watchers on the big next thing in (digital) marketing/media are all over the place. This is truffle sniffing season and we are all dogs in the jungle trying to sniff out truffles. I have had some success at this in the previous seasons, and here’s some I sniff this time around. Whoof!
Digital disciplines: From a digital marketing ‘discipline’ standpoint, social media and web analytics will gain huge traction. We will see more organizations deploy web analytics managers or make their system administrators get trained on web analytics (poor guys). Within a year, they will move to hiring new staff, realizing that the previous strategy was not exactly working out well. This might happen with in-house digital marketing staff too.
Social media and web analytics together will be the biggest force in 2010. If you thought you had heard enough about social media in 2009, are a ‘social media basher’ or are waiting for the ‘fad’ to die off, you have my sympathies on your disappointment. Not the least in 2010. As a matter of fact, analytics and social media will get closely intertwined. We are going to see this reach a different level of sophistication from a user and marketer perspective. More pain for the marketers, and cheerio to the users.
Omniture has realized that off site analytics needs to be tied in to onsite analytics in a seamless fashion and with one single tool. This is just the beginning. We will see multi-purpose tools for social graph management and we will see one tool attempting to aggregate reports being generated from multiple current tools like PeopleBrowser, SocialOmph, Hootsuite, Scoutlab, Radian6, Spiral16, Lazyfeed, etc. We will see many players entering in to this field and will see many acquisitions. The bigger sized companies will acquire the smaller companies to help provide a holistic interface. Whether or not this integration can truly happen is a subject of debate. There might not be a Swiss army knife for multiple reporting formats, but this will be attempted at the least.
Along with the maturing of the social media space, both from a user and marketer perspective, we will see mobile coming to play — finally. Social networking apps, location based apps and better, more robust mobile payment solutions will emerge. MOL buying Friendster is already being seen as social networking marrying casual gaming, ecommerce and mobile. I am tempted to mention color codes/QR codes in places other than Japan, but there is no evidence to see it coming next year (which is a pity). I will give it a miss at least for the first half of 2010.
Platform: From a platform perspective, expect to see ads on Twitter. Not really a prophecy since this has been in the offing for some time. But expect to see ‘differently’ targeted ads on Twitter. Expect to see contextual targeting acquire a new meaning. Facebook and LinkedIn will become more aggressive in advertising and we will see the emergence of more intelligent ads based on user behaviour, metadata information and interest.
Format: From a format standpoint, we are going to see the emergence of video. Not only will there be more marketing via video, there will be a further explosion of user generated content on video, specifically with an Asian perspective. And this will have an impact on both software-led and hardware-led services. Apart from the conventional players in digital imaging, we have heard about Cisco (acquiring) going full throttle with their Flip device, and there is no reason why there will not be a Chinese counterpart (maybe more loaded) — at half the cost. With all of this, happy videos to you.
Apart from video, we are going to see the reinvention of the banner space. Ads will be more rich, interactive and at the risk of sounding clichéd, ‘engaging’.
Off-site analytics: In off-site analytics (I don’t know if this is a term yet, but what I mean by this is measuring all actions with respect to the brand happening outside of the ‘website’) I see the action-attribution phenomenon picking up steam. How different disciplines come together to achieve ultimate results will be the talk to watch out for (I am already working on this for the past few months). There will also be a marriage of offline metrics and online metrics. Online GRPs will be talked about a lot.
Alternate: Towards the second half of the next year, I see a wave of cloud-based services. Added to that, Chrome-powered net books — specialised single-purpose $100 laptops, towards the end of the year, will rule. How will that affect advertising/marketing? I would say this is still early days for this, and something to keep an eye on.
Client demands: From a client-agency relationship perspective, I see clients asking agencies for real digital expertise and holistic digital marketing offerings. They will demand subject matter specialists from the agencies. No one in advertising/marketing is pureplay ‘offline’ nowadays, so clients and agencies will quickly realize the difference that pureplay specialists bring to the table. Of course communications has always been ‘integrated’, hence we will see a re-emergence in demand for digital professionals. I also foresee them being groomed in TV/print advertising, in a shift from what we have seen in the past.
I hoped to write from a practical on-ground approach rather than something drastic and way too futuristic.
Websys: It surprises me when people, in their enthusiasm over sounding ‘cool’, say that the next big thing is semantic search, augmented reality or even brain/retina scanning technologies. Realistically speaking, before they mature, they are still pretty much ‘star trek’. Not unachievable but just immature.
There will be no ‘Web 3.0′ (as a term) but what I think is coming, as the next version of the web, is this — and this will happen from 2010 onwards:
The web 2.0 or conversational space will see a new level of sophistication. There will be better organization of content and more structured creation of content. Simply put, we will see the chaotic and unorganized nature of today’s conversational web become more systematic.
We will see the emergence of the ‘Systematic Web’ or Websys. The name itself will lead to the meaning unlike ‘Web 1.0′, ‘Web 2.0′ or ‘Web 3.0′ — which have been open to interpretation.
What do I mean by ‘Systematic’ and what are the findings that led me to this? I have covered this phenomenon in detail here. I invite you to give your opinions. The more truffles, the better it is. Happy Holidays. Whoof!
Think about it