Digital Predictions for 2013 close

Hannah Flores
Hannah Flores
In Musings, Online Innovation
20th December 2012
Digital Predictions for 2013

It’s that time again where we share our digital predictions for the coming year. It looks like we did a pretty good job with our predictions for 2012. You can refresh your memory here:

Now, let’s take a look at what 2013 has in store...

Content marketing

The practice of producing marketing that looks like editorial has been around for some time but in 2013 the use of branded content will become more popular than ever.

The growth of content marketing will see some brands becoming publishers in their own right, helping advertisers communicate to their audience in a more meaningful way, to delight and educate. The challenge here is for brands to make the switch from broadcast sales messaging to the production of informative and useful content that enhances the lives of their audience.

The ‘wow’ factor

Felix Baumgartner’s breathtaking Red Bull Stratus jump was watched on YouTube by 8 million people and the highlights have been viewed 30 million times.

Of course it’s only really the ‘super’ brands like Red Bull who have the power and wealth to fund a multi million pound project like this but in 2013, brands will need to go to more extreme lengths to grab the attention of their audience. There is more pressure on brands to be original, unusual, unique and to create the ‘wow’ factor.

This won’t necessarily require huge budgets but the onus will be on events or innovations that really capture the audience’s imagination. The interesting shift here is that we can no longer rely on our traditional broadcasters and publishers to instigate and back these ambitious events.

Mobile devices become 'remote controls' for our lives

With increasing power and capabilities, mobile devices will not only give us active control of electronics, but also seamless integration of the world around us.

Apple TV is showing the way by allowing users to control their TV via apps on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It is only a matter of time before we are all controlling our household appliances via mobiles.

The business of controlling your utilities with an app is one that is growing. The launch of Tado in Germany, much like Nest in the US, allows customers to control their thermostat via apps for iOS and Android. While Nest knows its owners have left the house because of its movement sensor, Tado knows because each occupant has the app on their phone which tracks their location.

This consolidation of devices is something that we will see more of in 2013. The Sonos Wireless HiFi System already allows for streaming of music from various Internet sources creating a complete home sound solution by piggybacking on the wifi connection. They recently deprecated their remote control in favour of mobile, pc and tablet apps. Expect to see more of this.

Paid for content

In 2013 we will see more of a shift away from free access content. Ad supported models will give way to pay-per-view or subscription based models driven by the decline in traditional media consumption and the fact that ad supported content is a very tricky business model to get right.

Users are getting more accustomed to paying for certain content and services and there are early signs that paywalls for Newspapers are starting to succeed. The New York Time now generates more income from subscriptions than from advertising.

Screen Convergence

There will be increasing demand for convergence across all devices as growing numbers of consumers are using multiple screens to perform the same activity. After its launch, Netflix was quick to adopt a multiple-screen business strategy. Not only can people access Netflix via a Computer, gaming console or television, but they can also stream select movies on iPhones and iPads.

Brands will continue to adapt to the multi screen consumption - allows users to access the same content/software without needing separate licenses for each device.

Consumers in control

This year saw several instances of people power causing a change in behaviour or an apology from brands - such as Starbucks’ u-turn on its tax findings.

Consumers are gradually starting to realise the amount of power they can have over brands through social media, particularly if they have a large following and are seen as an ‘influencer’. According to Conversocial, when communicating with a brand on Twitter 30% of customers expect an answer within 30 minutes and 29% expect an answer in under two hours on Facebook.

Companies, who haven’t done so already, will need to re-organise their customer service team to keep up with the increased demand they are met with on social media.

Bluetooth 4

Low power wireless via Bluetooth 4 will enable a whole host of new gadgets. It is now built into most phones and is cheap so we should see more being made of Bluetooth 4’s capabilities.

This year saw the launch of Hone, created for iPhone 4s and iPad 3, which is a Bluetooth device for your keychain that lights up and audibly vibrates when triggered via the app so that you can find your keys.

Look out for many more connected apps like this in 2013!

4G rollout

4G is launching in UK exclusively on EE. 2013 will see the roll out of 4G across other networks allowing users to stream fast broadband via their mobile devices. This could possibly see a reduction in home broadband as a result, which is exactly what has happened in China.

Did I miss anything? Please let me know in the comments below.