Wednesday, 2 January 2013

So What's Hot? Trends for 2013

There are a load of trends that will increasingly impact us - and largely in a positive way - as 2013 unrolls.
  1. Social media is driving a lot of change. It is now central to home and work, and the collective communities are reshaping companies from without. Social media is helping business build broader, agile networks so they can create and deliver value to customers. B2C is creating what feels like a one-to-one relationships, but is using one-to-many technology to enable it. About two thirds of the wired globe is on Facebook. LinkedIn is growing (and is increasingly being used for head-hunting). Expect to see many more people automatically touching base via social media as time goes on (The Economist, Nov 2012; Caligiuri, 14 Dec 2012).
  2. Companies are growing a social and economic conscience, trying to build legitimacy in the eyes of their demanding consumers, employees and stakeholders. Increasingly, their stakeholders can din companies on Facebook and various review sites if companies muck it up or greenwash. Where companies truly have mutual benefits with society, it works. Beware the company who puts on ethics like a cloak: it will not be the cloak of invisibility! (The Economist, Nov 2012)
  3. Cheques are on their way out. Internet banking is in. Malaysia is phasing out cheques by April 2014, as more people chose internet banking (Yong, 20 March 2013). Like money orders, cheques are an anachronism. The change is being driven by the ease, information-richness, immediacy and low cost of automatic & online payments. Accounting software now automatically codes bank transactions: a cheque has no information with it, so it means additional manual adjustments. Cheque costs are likely to increase to more accurately reflect their processing cost too - bankers drafts now cost about $30 each…There will be even fewer once banks start charging realistic processing costs... from 2008 to 2011 we went from writing 204 million to 60 million cheques; and cheques have gone from making up half of all banking transactions in 1993 to 2% in May last year.
  4. If you are still watching broadcast TV, you are so old hat. According to eMarketer’s 2012 digital media usage report, those of us viewing TV and video on computers, tablets or mobile devices will increase to over half the population. This looks set to increase. Additionally, more businesses now use video to communicate info about their company, their products and their services (eMarketer, 2012).
  5. There is some awesome technology convergence allowing those of us with smart phones to tap into a new marketing trend which will be a biggie: “SoLoMo” - Social, Local, Mobile. More B2C companies are working in that sector such as Foursquare, which converges users' GPS and the users' 'likes' and advises the companies located close by and what special deals are currently available. And 96% of smart phone users are also on the web (Caligiuri, 14 Dec 2012).
  6. Online conferences, video conferencing and online meetings will increase. This will mean we can save travel costs. It will not be a replacement for getting face to face, but will create more choice for participants. Expect the BNZ Business Centre facilities to get very booked out!
  7. MOOCs will get bigger. Courses will continue to go online, and we will end up with some great deals as students, but bad deals as academics and teachers. The model will shift more towards learners actually learning from individuals in order for teachers to earn money from teaching... though I am not sure this is a bad thing either.
  8. Open Access academic writing and eBooks will continue to gain ground. Open Access is about not tying up academic publications with profit-making publishers, but by-passing them to publish articles as a public good. EBooks in various formats will continue to gain ground over print. Expect some of the slower adopters to move to Kindles, iPads, Tablets and audiobooks.
  9. The customisation of content to fit the context will increase. Companies will create tailored communications that talk to specific customer problems in the customer's industry, targetted at the customer's company and how their product or service will benefit the customer. The seller will have to ensure they tell the customer what the WIIFM is, else their message will be ignored. Company marketing will have to shouts their “calls to action” in all their comms. Companies will need to be even more savvy about bridging their content to action, and how they get information from potential audiences and target them more effectively in future campaigns. Look for more calls to action via some more unusual content in 2013, especially from free information exchange such as blog posts, white papers, articles and case studies (Caligiuri, 14 Dec 2012).
  10. We will see more news-jacking, where people get their own expertise in to breaking news by creating a connection between the story and themselves. Caligiuri reports that a "lawyer client of mine specializing in privacy has been having some newsjacking success. When stories about Google keeping consumer information came out this year, for instance, he reached out to the media to offer his opinion, and has now become recognized as a privacy expert to whom media turned multiple times in 2012 on privacy-related matters. This has done much to raise his profile" (14 Dec 2012).



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