2013 Forecast

By Will Margiloff, CEO IgnitionOne

2013 will be a pivotal year for digital marketers with significant shifts taking place with how we reach consumers. OK, we say that about every year. But this year its true, honest! Most of the shifts transforming our business have already been set in motion, so 2013 is the year a lot of them become real as we move toward a more integrated and efficient marketing world. Here’s what to expect from the next twelve months:

The age of the PC is over, so get used to it.
While calls about the demise of the PC ring about as hollow as those for the death of the TV Upfronts, 2013 will mark a true pivot point when the market penetration of smartphones and tablets will finally cause marketers, publishers and technologists to step up their games in responding to this growing multi-channel, cross-device lifestyle. We’ve also seen the stats and the forecasts regarding smartphones and tablets but after years of hype, connected TV and other nontraditional video platforms will also finally achieve critical mass in 2013.

The end of speculative money.
And because our industry will finally start taking the imperative of integration seriously in 2013, a major benefit will be realised. The irrational spigot of VC money in ad tech has finally been turned down to a trickle and only those technology brands with the commitment and resources to adapt to consumer cross-device behaviour will survive, let alone thrive.

Agencies will marry creatives and quants.
The often-repeated notion that the swinging 60’s era of “Mad Men” is giving way to a revenge-of-the-geeks “Math Men” era is wrong and short-sighted. In fact, where we are headed is a weird yet ultimately fulfilling marriage between the two. 2013 will be the year when traditional agencies will increasingly ape the modus operandi of their interactive brethren by marrying creatives with quants. The trail blazed by the likes of Razorfish and 360i will become de rigour at traditional TV-driven shops.

Data for data’s sake will end.
Big Data is advertising’s version of the gawky adolescent with potential who quite hasn’t come into its own. Next year the world will realise its useless unless it can be automated and applied. The new emphasis will be on visualisation as providers will offer brands and agencies clean and efficient dashboards that will give marketers the upper hand in synthesising offline, online, first-party and third-party learnings. The era of integration is upon us and a fully integrated, cross-channel, unified, single tag dashboard is a must-have to make a brand marketer’s digital dreams come true.

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