5 Hot Topics for 2013

What does 2013 hold?

So, the world hasn’t ended and its the first week of 2013!

January is a great time to take stock of 2012 and look forward to how the digital environment is going to affect your organisation.  To help you out, here are my thoughts on the top 5 topics to watch in the next twelve months.

This has already grown massively in 2012.  If you are active on Twitter, then you will be used to people tweeting their opinions on the TV show they are watching – indeed, many TV shows encourage viewers to do so by helpfully providing a ready-made hash-tag for users to tweet with.  However, in 2013, second-screening is going to develop – the number of devices that people can use to get online is growing all the time, so watch out for the rise of the Xbox and Wii U.  Also, the UK will follow the US and see significant growth in connected Smart TVs which may cut the number of devices required to multi-task down to one.

Perhaps the most predictable of hot topics!  It will come as no surprise that the number of smart-phones will increase (hopefully in line with people being able to use them!), but how people use them will change.  Mobile payment started to gather momentum at the end of 2012 with Starbucks accepting payment in 7,000 outlets via the Square Wallet app.  Apple’s offering, Passbook, has great potential for redeeming vouchers but the take-up rates suggest that it will need to develop in 2013.  However, adoption may be the issue in 2013 – consumer trust in mobile payments is yet to be fully understood.

Content is still King:
Search engine algorithms have become more and more sophisticated in the last couple of years – they are now capable of sniffing out and prioritising articles which are original, well written and informative.  Content marketing got some very positive PR in 2012 after Coke announced that it was one of their key priorities, but now its up to everyone else to develop their plan – make sure your frequency, themes and distribution plans are sorted for 2013.

Social Commerce:
This has struggled to gain traction over the last couple of years – ask 99% of organisations how their Facebook store is performing!  Organisations need to become more sophisticated and subtle about the way that they sell – Pinterest will continue to deliver referral success (look out for Instagram this year too).  After a couple of year’s ‘grace’, organisations will expect social media to start delivering revenue, particularly as social can be resource heavy.

Demographics out, Behaviour In:
Advertising is unrecognisable over the last ten years – the channels by which organisations communicate with their audience has changed dramatically.  However, many organisations still target their audience by demographics – age, gender, location, eduction.  In the digital age, the opportunity is in behaviour.  Let’s say you sell guitars (one of my favourite subjects!) – instead of targeting by demographics, target users who follow guitar manufacturers on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, or people who use guitar forums.  Those who unlock this in 2013 will have a good year.

So, those are my 5 hot topics for 2013 – what would be in your list?  Leave a comment and let me know!

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