• Convergence of direct response and branding media campaigns

Marketers have placed a wall between these two types of campaigns, but in reality, they are both aimed at one primary goal: reaching a customer and influencing their decision-making to drive sales for the product or service that we are advertising.  While direct response and branding campaigns will have different metrics associated with planning and optimization, there is now a crossover not only seen through media attribution, but more clearly understood by agencies and companies.

  • Companies are looking for one agency to solve all of their digital marketing needs

Having multiple agencies that all specialize in one digital marketing tactic is becoming less attractive as companies move toward consolidation and streamlined integration. Rather than overseeing five separate agencies, companies need a single point of contact or single agency to manage solutions and lead their digital marketing efforts as a partner.

  • Mid-level companies moving their marketing business away from media holding companies and toward mid-market agencies

Mid-level companies are beginning to realize that they are being underserved by larger agencies, generally getting the B or C team or even entry-level interns servicing their accounts.  While large agencies do have the resources to support the ebb and flow of seasonal campaigns and massive client work load, most of the time, they are not a good partner for mid-sized companies. The simple move to an agency that better aligns in size and staff will allow them to be  big fish in a smaller pond.  In my experience, the level of talent at mid-level agencies tends to be stronger and more adaptable than at larger companies.

  • Programatic buying (Real Time Bidding)

This wave of buying will continue into 2013, and those on board will do well with campaigns, clients, and job security. On the same token,digital marketers who do not adapt will struggle to be competitive. The only caveat is the conversation surrounding privacy or do not follow (DNF), which has been a hot topic.  While DNF is a broader topic commonly misunderstood by consumers, this could be the one thing that could push down the programatic buying platforms.

  • Change of skill sets for both in-house digital practitioners and hiring agencies

The vast amount of information and data, combined with increased use of automation tools, requires a heavier reliance on analysts at all levels of the media team.  Skills similar to those of stock brokers and investors will be more sought after, and agencies or companies that hire accordingly will be positioned for success moving into 2014.

  • Media convergence

Shops specializing in only paid search or only social will begin to struggle against agencies or firms that understand integrations and how to leverage multi-channel marketing strategies and plans. I am in no way saying that speciality shops will be going away, but they will need to adapt to a more complex marketplace in the world of “Big Data,” attribution modeling, and cross channel/tactic optimization.