It seems like each day, this industry of ours is changing and developing. From the start of a mobile revolution to an explosion in crowdfunding, 2012 was one transformative year, and 2013 is bound to be an even more powerful game changer. Although it’s impossible to predict everything that will make its way onto our radars this year, here are some trends that are already ramping up for the New Year. Hint: We’ll be talking about mobile… a lot.

Social Media

  • Mobile: It’s no secret that mobile web consumption is already on the rise in a big way, and social media is the frontrunner in the shift from desktop. By 2015, mobile Internet users will outnumber traditional users, but the transition is happening much more rapidly on social channels, says HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes. Social media platforms will be tasked with creating a full, user-friendly experience on both desktop and mobile sites, as well as thinking of creative ways to make posting and interacting on the fly fast and appealing. While all major networks have existing apps and some, like Instagram, are mobile at their core, key functionalities users are accustomed to on desktop sites are often excluded. 2013 will see an incorporation of all features – as well as new, mobile-optimized tools – into social apps.
  • Social Advertising: Going hand-in-hand with the mobile shift, brands and networks alike must think much more strategically about where and how they advertise. Interruption ads will make way (as they really should have long ago) for promoted posts, sponsored posts, and other native methods. While these options do have an inherent advantage, social media experts can’t just plug in a post, set a budget, and kick back and relax. Targeting and personalization to an audience that makes sense for each individual brand will become all the more essential to successful social advertising.
  • Social Search on Social Networks: Although the perfect method hasn’t been worked out– and doubts about results being truly representative of all information available on the web have (understandably) been voiced—a new breed of social search is coming. Facebook certainly seems to be the Darwin-selected Social Search O.G., but it will be interesting to see what networks actually roll out functionalities first.

Design and Development

  • Responsive Sites: Look for these clever little sites to experience a massive uptake over the next year. With such a frenzy surrounding mobile, brands will gravitate toward responsive sites like never before, creating a seamless transition from desktop to mobile for their consumers. We Mindgruvers are a big fan of responsive design and recommend it for all of our clients – check out, MDVIP Connect, and the forthcoming, new, just to name a few.
  • Mobile-friendly Design Elements: When it comes to responsive design, size matters. Large buttons are a UX essential for smartphones and tablets, and bold creative creates big impact on even the smallest screen. Horizontal scrolling will move out as vertical moves in, allowing for easy navigation of a full site in portrait or landscape.
  • Parallax Scrolling: We recently published a blog on parallax scrolling (I guess you can say we’re ahead of the game), and this is a trend that is definitely here to stay for quite a while. This cool, layered effect brings a new perspective to flat websites and pushes creative appeal to the next level.

Digital Marketing

  • Analyze This: Since mobile browsing is expanding 14 times as fast as desktop, purchasing and engagement patterns have changed dramatically, making keeping in tune with analytics more important than ever before. Social networks and third party vendors alike will release more robust functionalities to accommodate cross-channel and multi-device measurements.
  • Get Granular: Marketing has always required an audience connection to be effective, but now, doing so is incredibly customizable and, when done right, enables you to reach consumers on a personal level. Although a highly targeted approach has some downfalls, like the risk of decreased reach, this is a burgeoning aspect of display and social marketing that has enormous potential. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and an array of Google projects are already in the game, and I for one look forward to seeing the evolution and ROI of this trend.
  • Second Screen: A fast-growing phenomenon, second screen usage will be a huge consideration for digital marketers in the coming year. Creating apps, websites, and the like that interact with TV – and vice versa – will be key to maximizing advertising impact and engagement. Currently, 85% of American mobile users use their tablet or smartphone while taking in TV at least once monthly, with 40% second screening on a daily basis, reports TechCrunch.

The digital marketing and media industry is at its prime, and with exponential growth happening in every arena, it looks as though that prime isn’t going anywhere. Here’s to a great 2013 full of success, growth, and lots of cool changes to geek out over.


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