So what’s expected to happen in 2013?
Brazil has the FIFA Confederations Cup in preparation for the ’14 World Cup, the US has a fiscal cliff to climb and together with the EU an imbalance on revenues and expenses to address. The NFL has some skulls to crack to fix their concussions problems, those employed in the US will hire the unemployed in foreign lands (read more outsourcing), more foreigners will purchase US land, buildings, businesses and IP, and of course, VP Biden is the newly assigned czar on gun control.
IMHO, 2013 will follow Amara’s Law: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
So here they are: The top 10 digital marketing trends of 2013.
10. Gamification – “All Play and no Work makes Jack a rich boy!”
9. Cloud computing enables scalability to allow for new experiences in video games
8. Digital Content across devices enables personalization that follows users across platforms
7. TV is old. It’s still king of the screens, but it’s content that folks want anytime, anywhere on all four screens.
6. The Smartphone begins its attack on plastic in mobile payments.
5. Tag Management becomes a competitive imperative
4. Users prefer mobile devices when reading magazines and shopping
3. Social Media Mainstream and Niches continue to grow, especially in Emerging Markets except China
2. Big Data will lead to consumer insights and smarter experiences at the speed of light
1. The glory goes to the man in the arena and not their bankers and consultants.
10. Gamification – “All Play and no Work makes Jack a rich boy!”
So have you seen websites that try to encourage your behavior by offering you a little badge for doing something? Foursquare gives you a badge when you check into the same place three times for example. Dashlane offers badges when you save passwords in their password and credit card maintenance software, and Fitocracy makes working out with your friends a competitive game. Users can Level Up by improving their bench press and earning a badge, post it to facebook and let the world know about their development.
As Daniel Pink will tell you in his book, Drive, human nature is best motivated by a sense of purpose, autonomy and self-mastery. These types of immediate rewards for accomplishing small tasks might seem like it’s meant for grade school kids, but the data doesn’t lie. Gamification increases engagement, helps users spend more time on site, and
that drives ad revenue and subscriptions since folks tend to develop a sense of being invested based on the recognition and the bragging they’ve done on social networks.
We’ve come a long way from that LinkedIn profile bar that showed 90%complete.
I remember hearing from Larry Ellison that in 1999, business had not figured out how to use the Internet. At first, I rejected the thought, but within a few minutes realized that we had a long way to go and I agreed with him at the time. I often wonder if we’re figuring it out yet, and in 2011, and looking into 2012, I see a lot of innovations that make it a great time to be growing the e-business unit of most companies.
So let’s take a look at what 2012 has in store for us.
Mobile computing is changing the way we consume content. This was the year I started watching all the seasons of Mad Men, but I watched them on my iPad through my NetFlix app. I check the New York Times in the morning while I’m waking up. I use an app that automatically starts the daily podcast “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” with Gordan Diehl as my alarm clock in the mornings. I subscribed to my first magazine this year on my iTunes account. And I bought more via online apps than I did via the internet. Any good marketer knows that their behavior is a data point of one, but as I think about my changes in how I get my content and my goods, I see that the change is going on all around me. Perhaps that’s why Google just bought a CHECK FACTS Motorola so that they can compete with the world’s largest Media company, (and this might surprise you), Apple. read more
This month Apple had its developer’s conference which always attracts significant amounts of excitement and attention from Mac-lovers and the media in general. This year one of the new features that had the community abuzz was the unveiling of the new iMessage features that will become native to the line of iDevices (iPod touch, iPhone, iPad).
A clear and upfront shot across the bow of RIM’s popular BBM messaging service, it seems that Apple has decided the time has come to attack one of Blackberry’s final supporting columns. As Apple has shown many times before, they can be “fast-followers” as well as innovators. The company has had its failures in this regard, but that’s true of any innovator that’s been around for awhile.
Apple fires a shot across the bow of RIM.
Many of the features of iMessage are clearly better than BBM. For example, the integrating of iMessage conversations immediately into any normal chatting with other iDevices, without having to use a separate application. What this basically does is that any normal text chatting with another iDevice will, if you enable it, become an iMessage chat with all of its full features. No need to go back and forth between your BBM conversation and a text one, with iMessage they can become one and the same.
This along with the generally better user experience on the iDevices would suggest that RIM was finally losing one of the final legs they have been standing on. For the last few years Blackberry has only experienced growth in European and other foreign markets, while steadily losing ground in the US.
This is because in Europe and abroad, text messaging services are obscenely overpriced, not unusually in the realm of 10 cents a message, with unlimited plans being either unavailable or also too expensive. Its a cash-cow for the providers, but a pain for consumers who have consistently turned to the BBM service as a way to circumvent expensive texting plans and communicate internationally on the cheap. On the other hand, the affordability of unlimited texting plans in the US has made BBM less of a selling point. Its this key difference that has been holding RIM afloat. Apple is taking aim at this buoy.
But at the end of the day, iMessage is beating what might already be a dead horse, while at the same time possibly lining itself up to be the next one left in the dust. The problem is that no matter how great Apple might make iMessage, it still has the same fundamental problem that is killing BBM: that is, its platform exclusive.
Problem 1: It’s exclusive to Apple users.
iMessage cannot be downloaded by Droid or RIM users. Much like BBM, this is a tool that is only useful with others that have Apple devices as well. Which is useful since so many have them, but at the end of the day not everyone you want to interact with has one. You’re forced to exclude others, which Apple may be seeing as a tactic to pressure those on the “out” to switch to an iDevice.
Problem 2: Its an issue that’s already solved.
This would work, if it weren’t for the fact that there are already apps on the market that do exactly what BBM and iMessage do, but do it across all platforms. The most popular of these is “What’s App” which can be used on iPhones, Blackberries, and Droids without issue. The application has continued to experience enormous adoption as users gravitate towards free tools that have no constraints about devices or networks.
What’s the value of a telephone if there was only one phone in the world?
The arc of the history of the internet and technology has shown that it constantly bends towards tools and solutions that are inclusive, not exclusive. There’s even math and models to outline the value of the “Network Effect”, research we presume Apple performed in making the decision to close the iMessage platform to Apple customers.
The consistent strength, stability, and adoption of open source projects, the Android Market, and applications such as What’s App juxtaposed with the slow death of BBM, Windows, and so many more closed services show this over and over again.
One of the most recent example would be the competition between Skype and Facetime where Apple once again tried to pit their platform restricted solution against an inclusive one and all signs point to its losing that battle.
Let’s hope Apple learns from history and opens iMessage for everyone so users of any device and network can use it. Data wants to be free.
Look at the analytics. If you’re users are visiting your existing website via mobile devices you can make a better decision.
If you’re using Google Analytics, go to Visitors > Mobile > Mobile Devices.
Media companies, Magazine, Subscription based websites and advertisers should consider building iPad applications. I’ve tried to list out the following benefits.
- Instant distribution of content
- Gain insights about the content published (for example, see how many users read each article)
- registered user option (paying or free access to both the app and/or each edition)
- applications built on XML are easy to keep the updated with continuous streams of content with each new edition read more
What did Microsoft really buy in this deal?
The Skype technology code base is similar to a version 1.0 of a microsoft product and is notoriously known for having been riddled with technical inefficiencies. The Microsoft Lync product has relatively similar features to Skype. So if Microsoft really wanted better code, I would guess that they could have out-coded Skype for say a budget of about $1 billion and still have saved 7.5 billion dollars. So lets take technology and source code off the table. That’s not it.
Affiliate Relationships? Nope… read more
Search Engine Strategies has been part of the search marketing conference landscape for over a decade. With a powerhouse trifecta of outstanding speakers, crowds in the thousands, and a three-day agenda of sessions ranging from über techtastic to super social-chic, it’s clear to see why this summit is labeled must-attend for many industry pros.
This year, SES has added a brand new track to the conference agenda: Focus Latino. SES New York, the fourth stop on aimClear’s March Conference Road Trip, will host the debut of the LatinVision Media-sponsored track. Paul Lima, of Lima Consulting Group collaborated with Latin Vision to develop the agenda for the five unique sessions that will take place throughout the day, each with a keen focus on Internet marketing to the Latino/Hispanic community. The track will kick off with an Introduction & Opening Keynote that was coordinated by Paul, moving into morning and afternoon sessions Reaching Latinos Through SEO, Search & Social Marketing to Latinos: Roundtable, Analytics for the Latino Markets, and finally, Improved Conversions With Web Site Optimization.
I had the pleasure of sharing an interview with one of the marketers behind the much-anticipated Focus Latino track, Paul Lima (@Paul__Lima). Paul, founder of Lima Consulting Group, will take the stage on several panels throughout Day 2 of SES NY. Read on for the fruits of our Q&A.
| aimClear: Paul, thank you for your time today. When perusing your Search Engine Strategies bio, I was fascinated to learn you were a former commander of the Pentagon’s cyber-warfare unit. That seems quite the leap from interactive marketing—an industry in which you’ve been active for over a decade. Tell us a bit about how that career transition came about.
Paul Lima: Each side of my career has helped the other, like an upward spiral you could say. The opportunity to serve in such a specialized unit and with such talented soldiers afforded tactical and operational insights into the underpinnings of the telecommunications infrastructure that all Internet marketers rely on. My role there was no different than my role today as the owner of a digital strategy consulting firm; that is, to find appropriate clients and recruit the best people. But I have to admit, there was something very, very special about working with the institution that funded the Internet, and as one of the Generals I worked for said, innovating new ways to fight and win America’s wars.
As the year comes to a close, and a new one begins, I reflect on the typical questions and trends I’ve seen and think about how best to advise our clients for 2011.
Top 10 Trends of 2011:
10. Facebook’s Online Marketing Platform
The adoption of Facebook’s advertising capabilities and ability to target specific segments by smaller and mid-sized firms. While Facebook has done little this year to improve the features in its advertising portal, the business community is beginning to adopt the platform en mass. If you haven’t heard of facebakers.com, you might want to review the international levels of adoption of Facebook as a global advertising player.
9. Privacy Showdown becomes a major news topic in 2011
Digital marketers had a lot of press coverage on their tactics in the last half of 2011. We’ll see public debates, but I don’t think that there will be any major changes this year in the law. However, I do believe that we’ll see some innovations coming in the way of online reputation managers allowing both sellers and regular folks to create digital reputation management badge that can be taken with them across all websites.
8. Smartphones for everyone.
No longer reserved for the traveling elite, smartphones have found their way into the hands of soccer moms, teenagers, tweeners, and even children. The 7-12 year olds at church were asking for the “itouch” on their holiday gift list. Digital cameras are going away, and devices that double as cam-corders and “The Jetsons” video telephones are coming to a hand near you. Droid, Blackberry and Apple will fight and Blackberry will become a distant third because they haven’t catered to the all-powerful Apps content the way Droid and Apple have. See #4 for more on this topic.
7. Software as a Service
Major software industries are being consolidated from the traditional client / server model. Companies such as NetSuite, Salesforce, Omniture, Rackspace, and others are finally making it possible to enjoy the benefits of the internet without having to be a propeller-headed, geek. This is our hope and Lima Consulting Group continues to position itself to help companies benefit from these trends by integrating these software solutions for our clients. We believe there are three “i’s” in technology Innovators (the manufacturers of software), Implementers (the installers) and Integrators (consulting companies that implement two or more of the innovators solutions). We’ll continue to see increased competition from new entrants who present themselves as “cloud computing”, “Software as a Service” consulting companies.
Open Source software will continue to gain widespread adoption. Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, Typo3, WordPress, and even xMod are solid tools depending on the job you’re asking them to do. But the real innovation here will come from systems integrators that offer these solutions as a service. Companies that allow you to setup and host these applications will do well. I like the business model from companies such as Volusion and Shopify in this respect where for about $50 a month you get an e-commerce platform that should meet most online stores needs.
6. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is an amorphous term, but I’m defining it here as data centers migrating away from corporate or the home to the internet based data centers. Firms like Rackspace, Carbonite, Jungle Disk and my favorite, Box.net are really growing their user base. The ability to integrate these applications within other software packages, (for example you can integrate Box.net within NetSuite), is a real alternative to the costly implementations for tools like Sharepoint and Documentum. Keep an eye on the company that Computer Associates acquired, 3Tera, and software companies that virtualize data centers and applications. This software allows data centers to move their entire operation to the data center closest to the highest levels of traffic within seconds. As the world rotates each day, the data centers will also rotate to wherever the sun is shining. The data center that never sees night – interesting concept towards addressing disaster recovery and increasing internet speeds while seeking best pricing on energy. That’s enough to make the “green” contingency happy, the typical internet user and even the lawyers among us.
5. ieverything™ vs Robot This
iPad launches, iPhone 4.0 and iOS make it easy for entry level developers to develop over 300,000 which were downloaded over 7 billion times. The median revenue is less than $700 while the average cost to develop an app ranges between $15,000 to $50,000. The iPad took the world by storm introducing a new category of computing, or at least bringing a niche category of tablet computing to the forefront. Today, Barnes and Noble declared the Nook as their best selling product ever, it’s been out – what – two months? And the Kindle brings up the 3rd place spot filling a need for a less tech-savvy crowd. But the real shift in 2011 will be back to subscription models to pay for content such as the WSJ, NetFlix downloaded to your devices and of course ebooks, which outsold regular books in 2010 and lastly the worlds largest media company, yep – you guessed it – Apple. They sell more media than any other company. So the device and the content combination will engage in hand-to-hand combat with Google’s Andoid more flexible and open platform. Microsoft really should be the one giving Apple the competition here, they missed their chance. If Google gets this right, they will finally be out of trouble in having 96% of their revenue coming from their online advertising product, Adwords. Look for a bloody battle between these two in 2011, it’s going to get personal.
4. Here an App, there an App, Everywhere an App, App!
Salesforce started the first large-scale App store with their AppXchange. Then Apple with their App Store, then every company in the internet base Software as a Service model did. NetSuite has the BOS network, Omniture has the Genesis partners, Droid has andoid.com and the list goes on. The widespread adoption of the “crap apps” out there will be a major reason that the victor will emerge, and I predict that Apple will continue here for several years to lead. While Droid has flash, and an open network, I heard once that “average products well marketed will beat good products with average marketing.” And the iPhone is no average product, they have the first mover advantage for having created the category and they don’t appear to be letting off the accelerator in terms of innovating both their software and their hardware associated with the iPhone and iPad. I for one have been impressed with their advances the last three years and I am eager to see what they launch in the summer with their next generation iPhone and iPad.
3. Net Neutrality – Ain’t
Net Neutrality in 2010 allowed one standard for wireless providers and another for landlines making, in essence 2 playing fields. This was an unfortunate ruling that would allow certain wireless providers to block features that don’t need to be blocked for any other reason than it would cannibalize the cell phone companies revenue. Central to the issue is Skype’s video chat and voice chat using the 3G network on the major carriers. Verizon allows it, AT&T does not.
2. Personalized Online Experiences Based on What You’ve Done on the Internet
The improvement in web analytics to allow for personalization of ads and content based on prior site visits. Solutions such as Omniture’s Test and Target, Recommendations, Merchandising, Survey, and Search and Promote became more widely adopted and this notion of personalizing experiences on the web is the future of online experiences. The increased integration of your entire totality of information available to digital marketers will allow them to develop a more complete picture of an individual’s online behavior and interests than ever before. Armed with the profile information collected from social networking sites such as Facebook, linkedin, Twitter, youtube, and others they can present more relevant content and online experiences. The first to adopt these technologies will be media companies and ecommerce marketplaces. read more
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