@2012: My digital predictions.

The Mayan Calendar! Nibiru and the annunakis! Galactic Alignment! Apocalypse! These are only some of the predictions I’ve read online over the past 3 years about what’s going to happen in December 21st, 2012. My area of expertise is not religion or science, but… the end of the world? Please…

Now, going to what I really want to talk about. During my much needed holiday vacations I’ve thought a lot about what I expect in the next year; like a broker, what’s going UP and what’s going DOWN in the digital advertising world and the interactive world in general. So let’s see:

Flash: I don’t need to talk too much about this one. We all saw this one coming. We recently saw Adobe announcing that it’s discontinuing Flash Player development for mobile devices. Do I need to say more?

HTML5: And after saying that Flash is going down, well… HTML5 is the reason why. The advances that we’ve seen this year are amazing and now with new software like Adobe Muse and Adobe Edge being developed, I simply can’t see a way for flash to compete in 2012. Great example: The Expressive Web

Facebook engagement: Even though I’m in disagreement with engaging consumers in Facebook, there is no doubt that brands are in the social site to stay, for a huge reason: Consumers are there all day long. To be honest, I can foresee a downfall of Facebook if they keep on enabling brands become more intrusive to users and creating noise in their clean interface which was what got everybody into Facebook in the first place: the clean UI, without intrusive advertising.

Google+ Engagement: Well, as much as I like Google, I see G+ going nowhere but south. And now they want to start doing the same thing Facebook is doing for brands and companies, which in the long run, I see as a negative factor. I have to mention that Google, being the huge company that it’s become, is not being very smart by trying to do, well… about everything! Guys, keep it slim. Do fewer things great rather than lots of mediocre ones. And Google, you should know better: asking people to go use G+ by now is like MS asking people to use Bing! over Google. (ironic, right?)

–   Twitter: Going nowhere… people are still going to use it the same way, brands as well. The only thing that could happen is that they change functionality. More than 140 chars? Don’t think so but it could happen. Also, they could start charging brands for accounts, I remember reading something like that this year, maybe it’ll happen in twenty twelve.

E-Coupons: Including Groupons, Living Social, and all of the coupons sites. from my point of view, these were just a big buzz. I personally don’t believe in the business model. This kind of sites have been around for a while, so really the only innovation that Groupons brought to the table was a big sales team, but in reality the model has a lot of flaws and it’s very, very vulnerable. I may be wrong… let’s see how it goes.

Digital Signage: And a lot of you are going to be like … what? in a lot of ways. One way would be “What is that?” Sorry, won’t explain it here (google it) but that’s exactly one of the reasons I think is going down. The other face of the coin is that some of you are going like “What!? No way! Digital Signage is the future of signage! it’s digital, and can be interactive, and video and sound and Minority Report…” The truth is, like in Minority Report, consumers just walk by and don’t pay attention and DS is extremely expensive, for both sides, networks and advertisers. Another big problem I see in this area is the industry: No smart thinking (Sorry). A lot of corporate thinking but nobody is sitting down to think like a creative advertiser (meaning, like an agency).  While the advertising industry is thinking of being less intrusive and more engaging, DS networks are focusing on putting more intrusive screens on more places. Luckily, there are companies like my friends at rVue really making something that may turn this industry upside down.

Mobile: My biggest bet would go to Mobile. Everything is turning into mobile, and its no surprise. Nowadays having a mobile device is having a computer, GPS, radio, TV, gaming console, music player and more in one single device, and the most important thing… its portability, so consumers carry them everywhere, all the time. Do you really understand what that means? It means that everything you do as an advertiser, TV, radio or OOH can have a Mobile engagement right away. Consumers don’t have to wait until they get home to the TV or the computer to see a (intrusive) message, they can access it right away wherever they are. The trick would be not making ‘advertising’ but content. Consumers won’t approach advertising, they don’t want to be advertised, and the best way to avoid this is creating entertaining and useful Apps and/or experiences. The sky is the limit.

Interactive TV: I’m honestly not sure if 2012 is too soon for it to grow as much, but since we already have everything in place (gaming consoles, YouTube, netflix, hulu, Smart TVs, etc.) we just need to put the pieces together in the right way. I think that could happen in 2012 and we can start looking at growth in interactive branded content. One thing that worries me is how slow some of the services, like Netflix, are being able to keep up. I’ve heard of too many people cancelling their subscriptions to these services because of it. Let’s see how it goes.

Pandora: Although it’s a great service and it will not disappear, I think that more people are going to be moving to other platforms such as Spotify just for one single reason: Control. The fact that you cannot play whatever you want but what Pandora thinks is what your want to listen, it wasn’t a disadvantage until services like Spotify and Grooveshark came along. Needless to say that these services are going UP next year.

Ok so that’s it for now. I may come up with more later, so may rename this post to a part 1 and write a part 2. I could be wrong in what I say so please feel free to leave your comments.

Best!

 

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