Now that we’ve had a couple of weeks of 2013 to catch up on our RSS feeds from the holidays, let’s review three of the most influencial trend forecasts from the greater digital industrial-complex and finalize our preparations for year to come.
Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends
The Queen of digital forecasting is indisputably Mary Meeker from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Her annual “Internet Trends” is the industry standard for providing a high level overview of the overall landscape and its growth per platform. From the graphs showing the growth of internet usage over time, to exact numbers on smartphone and tablet penetration, she provides the justification for moving money from traditional marketing budgets into mobile and digital campaigns. In particular, pay attention to page 19, where she identifies the huge opportunity within the delta between amount of time spent on mobile devices vs. the amount of media spend targeting mobile. Many a marketing plan this year will include Meeker’s data to justify an increase in the mobile marketing budget.
The entirety of her report can be summed up in the phrase “Re-Imagination”. She presents a plethora of examples where the digital re-imagining of categories and verticals have lead to innovation and improved consumer experiences. Obvious examples include the transition from desktops to tablets, a trend we know is just getting started, and that influences every single project we will kick off in 2013.
eMarketer’s Trends for 2013: Big Data
eMarketer’s end of the year reporting is divided into five major subjects, all available for free. One of the subjects that they cover well, a trend that made a large number of industry trending reports, is Big Data. Marketing increasingly depends on Big Data to give them insights in to their consumer’s behavior. It’s not an easy beast to wrangle, of course, but it’s definitely an opportunity for the IT department to show huge value to Marketing.
In surveying business executives about Big Data and where they believe the best opportunities lie, the top three answers were:
- Customer insights, segmentation or targeting
- Budgeting, forecasting or planning
- Operations, service delivery or supply chain management
Of course, executives have asking for help with these three opportunities for a while, but now the IT department can step in with data and dashboards to provide guidance to help set the direction of the company overall.
Gartner Technology Research: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013
Gartner, another big shot in forecasting industry trends, summarized a large number of these discrete threads into bigger themes, two of which stand out as sizable opportunities for large IT consultancy firms in the business of helping their clients optimize and act upon their IT resources and assets.
The first is a theme they call Actionable Analytics. Again, this is part of the previous Big Data trend that eMarketer reports on above, but Garther speaks to the necessity of converting those vast swaths of data collected within the system, for each and every interaction taken in the business, into something that can be presented in a way the variety of organizational departments can understand and use to improve their performance. It will be increasingly valuable to be able to present Big Data findings in a way that’s easy for Marketers or the Sales Force to not only understand, but to be able to act upon.
The second theme which is of great interest to IT consultancies is what Gartner calls “Integrated Ecosystems.” Technically consolidation is often the objective in order to gain efficiencies to lower cost or increase security, but thematically, integration should be the goal across departments to maximize the benefits of the entire ecosystem. Again, marketing needs to know the real time effect of each of their campaigns, and each action within the system by the consumers, in order to create the most effective marketing campaigns. Sales, also needs to know the point of entry into the sales funnel, so they can maximize the messaging and respond appropriately in each stage of the deal. And the enterprise social media team, who is managing a very diverse number of channels and consumer messages, needs to analyze in-bound marketing efforts – SEO/SEM, Social, and CRM – so they can tweak the system to traffic all of the activity to the most appropriate recipients.
Because I love trends and lists, I have compiled 50+ trend lists and predictions for 2013 into one master list so you can compare them all and make your own conclusions.