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.
Interview with: Robert K Seolas, Co-founder and CEO, ObservePoint
We recently had an opportunity to interview Robert Seolas, Co-Founder of ObservePoint. ObservePoint is a partner of Lima Consulting Group and is the software that we use to conduct web audits for Omniture’s SiteCatalyst products, Coremetrics, Google Analytics, and other popular web analytics solutions.
Q: Why did you start ObservePoint?
RS: My partner in ObservePoint, John Pestana, was a Co-Founder of Omniture, one of the world’s foremost Web analytics platforms. Before retiring from Omniture, John knew the company received regular calls from customers who often complained that their analytics software wasn’t working. They always wanted to blame Omniture, but when there were hiccups, most of the time it was because there were problems with the tagging on their websites. read more
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
With IBM’s recent acquisition of Unica we have seen the next phase in the entry of large players in the analytics market. It was only two weeks ago that they bought Coremetrics.
IBM follows Adobe’s lead in the acquisition of analytics solutions. Adobe threw its hat into the ring in 2009 with its purchase of Omniture, and has invested significant resources into its continued development. However what was important to really notice about that deal was that Adobe paid $1.8 billion dollars, an acquisition that were most analysts indicated that Adobe overpaid by a wide margin.
The reason is simple: potential. The grandfather tech companies have begun to take notice of the booming analytics business and they want to incorporate it within their platforms. With Unica’s purchase we should expect to see a quiet period as as Adobe and IBM integrate the technology within their platforms. However we should not expect this to be a 2 player world, there is too much money and influence in the analytics business for other gorillas in the business to ignore.
My prediction of who is next? Oracle. The company already offers marketing campaign, CMS, and customer engagement products and solutions. The only piece they’re missing is analytics. Not to be biased but I would argue that of all the solutions, analytics is the most important. So who would they buy?
Predicta: A Brazilian analytics player with a solid management team that is providing tremendous value for its clients through the extension of modules that extend the value of data.
Webtrends: An oldie, but goodie. They’ve had some bumpy rides over the past five years trying to get bought out in my opinion. Their technology roadmap has been very thin and we haven’t seen a lot of innovation from this established player, but they have the potential to break out.
It is in many ways the brain food of a sophisticated e-marketing strategy. Without analytics one can deliver content or run campaigns, but its like shooting in the dark. You never know if you hit something on target. Analytics provides the ability to gain consumer insights and provides actionable intelligence so that marketers can improve their Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
Little by little companies around the world are becoming ever more aware of the power of such insight, and the limitations of the analytics mainstay (Google). We’ll be writing an article soon on why Google analytics is not free.
As this process continues we can only expect for the market to continue to grow, and the gorillas know it. And they want a piece. Its a vote of confidence in this industry if it ever needed one.
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