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David Pidgeon 

The top 10 emerging digital and media trends for 2013

Millward Brown, the global research agency, has released its annual top 10 digital and media predictions, highlighting growing trends in the media sector.

Among the trends, the agency's Futures Group believes that the emergence of "mobile as remote" will make it a central pillar of smart communication plans; that omnichannel marketing will help brands build on meaningful moments of engagement, and that social TV will grow up and become part of the narrative rather than a conversation about the narrative.

Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director for Digital at Millward Brown commented, "We expect 2013 to be another dynamic year for online display, mobile and social media. Consumers have ever higher expectations of intelligent digital advertising approaches, and marketers will need to deliver more sophisticated campaigns to keep pace with what works."

Some of the report's key findings include:

The emergence of "mobile remote"

"With increased power and capabilities, our mobile devices become the remote controls of our lives allowing not only active control of electronics, but seamless integration of the world around us. The new functionality of our mobile 'remotes' utilises advanced technology to simplify our lives. Anything that needs a processor to operate can use a smartphone as the 'brains.'

"Brands need to start developing communication plans that adapt to this world. With mobile as the hub, information gathering becomes more centralised as consumers trade personal information for convenience and access to events, offers and premium content."

Omnichannel marketing and brand building

"Omnichannel marketing is about being present or available across the consumer's behavioural path: each potential contact point integrated with all others. The digital arena will represent the first stage of more brands adopting an omnichannel mindset as social and mobile data sources are blended with offline brand experiences.

"In 2013 the green shoots of omnichannel strategies will involve companies turning existing datasets into active targeting engines. As mobile ad-serving platforms mature this will transition from social apps into ads running across any mobile content. As well as receiving location data, mobiles have the potential to inform nearby digital screens - Minority Report-style tailored out of home ad content may not be so far away. The implication for marketers? Start building the infrastructure to deliver an integrated experience in the omnichannel world or face being left behind."

Social TV grows up

"Contrary to predictions that the digital age would drag people away from television, we are watching more TV than ever and viewing experiences are being enriched rather than eroded by social networks and dedicated social TV apps like Zeebox.

"Increasingly, the assumption that a laptop, tablet or mobile are the 'second' and 'third' screens will be eroded. It will not be enough to simply broadcast a hashtag and flag a few tweets on the television screen. Telling stories through multiple screens (and elsewhere) will begin to supplant the notion of broadcasting something on the first screen and people reacting and responding to it on disconnected supplementary screens."

Other predictions include:

  • Real-time planning will become an essential feature of digital campaign delivery and evaluation
  • Better alignment of online display formats with objectives
  • Wider availability of high impact Facebook advertising will provide richer opportunities for brands
  • More paywalls on premium sites will lead to a scarcity of 'premium eyeballs'
  • In-app advertising spend will be driven by greater use of rich media
  • In Africa, brands will take advantage of huge mobile marketing opportunities
  • Social media listening will evolve from monitoring to insight generation as brands give more weight to social data in business decisions

For the full breakdown, click here.

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