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10 Digital Unpredictions for 2013

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It’s safe to say that just because I waited until January 8th, it doesn’t mean that I can’t roll out what I think will happen in the next 12 months. In other words, not posting prediction pieces in December does not diminish their likelihood of occurring. In the immortal words of former NFL coach, Dennis Green, predictions are what we thought they were.

With that said, I wanted to go with things that can truly occur in 2013. Thus they aren’t predictions they’re the opposite, they’re Unpredictions!  I’ll explain why with each one .

 

  1. The GIF goes Hyper. Some say that the GIF has grown up. Well once they grow up, then they’re on their own right? The only limitation? One’s own creativity. Which may mean the GIF becomes so 5 minutes ago in about 3 months. :)
  2. Image is everything-meaning image sharing sites continue to explode, mystify and push the envelope.  Snapchat, Poke and Instagam are the first iteration, which is scary.
  3. This tape will self-destruct in 10 seconds.  See the Poke link above. But know this, Data deletion will become de rigeur i.e. standard. Want to combat the Nano bytes of data that seem to replicate exponentially? Eliminate it almost as soon as it’s created, especially if it’s useless. Look for that to be a growing option in 2013. want to know who really takes advantage of this? marketers. Marketers will jump on this and snap a gamification piece onto data deletion. In other words, Act now. No we mean it, Now!
  4. Speaking of hard drives. They become useless too in 2013. Can we just get a better name than The Cloud?
  5. Content isn’t King. The creator of the content is King! The act of publishing of content is no longer the issue. The platforms, they’re simple. But the person or marketing teams who “get” the user and write for the user, they are the new kings.
  6. Simple is the Queen to the Content Creator but dumbing it down will continue to dominate design.  Why do you think Video has exploded? Because no one wants to read! Duh!
  7. The Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple games/wars continue in earnest in 2013. This is about the easiest prediction in the bunch. But predicting who comes out on top for the year 2013-We put our money on Amazon. Surprised?
  8. 2013 decides whether Google Plus becomes relevant since users seem to be incapable of figuring that out.
  9. In 2013 everyone realizes that they must measure their digital and social efforts but that still doesn’t solve the problem.  Prepare for the birth of the Social Data Analyst Marketer.
  10. Contrary to what this article says, the death watch of the desktop officially begins.

 

Can anything that any of us predict, really happen in 12 months? Not really. In order for it to happen, it really has to be in the works prior to 2013, right? So that means, maybe they aren’t so much predictions as they are things that should happen because everything that we have seen heard and experienced in the past 12 months, indicate that they should happen.

Let the games begin.

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The Biggest Moments in Social Media in 2012

Looking back on the year, it’s easy to see what was big when we have the benefit of an infographic.  At the least, there’s no doubt that social adds a layer and an element to our memories. Big shoutout to Mashable and The SEO Company.

 

Social May Artificially Validate Motivation and Intent But…

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Don’t let the title scare you. it’s really a simple notion actually. It goes something like this. You’re a marketer, you’re tasked to sell something online. You know about Google’s algorithm, you understand how to optimize for search, you know that you will be using WordPress because of it’s ability to add plugins and content on the fly. You have everything that is needed except actual people, buying customers and or web traffic if you will. You decide to make it social. Or become… wink wink, social.

You’re thinking that if  you meet, follow, friend and like enough people that you might be able to sell them on your product or they will find your site and buy. You figure that if you create social profiles everywhere and try and be everywhere at once, you have a better chance of selling stuff.  You and everyone else!

So…Are you trying to sell a product or make friends?

What’s your intent? To find buyers or to find friends?

What’s you motivation? To make money and to sell product or be social?

We call it social media but is social a means to an end that has nothing to do with being truly social? and what’s that “media” part of the term supposed to refer to? What is being “truly social” even mean? In order for there to be harmony, success and sales, do you as a marketer need to keep swimming in social circles in order to create genuine relationships in the hopes that one day after you have gotten past the whole trust thing that your prospect/customer will eventually buy something from you the company? That’s a helluva sales cycle. Most companies don’t have enough time to wait for that! Is there a workaround for that?

There’s an old saying and it goes like this. Quit trying to make out with the person who’s name you don’t even know yet.

Maybe we need to start calling a spade a spade. At the end of the day social and search may get you in the door and as a marketer you may have done your job of using what is at your disposal, but at some point it will still come down to trust, price, value and the user experience and not necessarily being everywhere and being “social.”  What if you made your intent perfectly clear in a social setting that you want to sell people something, how would that work out?  Sadly, it might not be pretty. Which means that you’re back to square one. Trust, value, price and user experience.

From a transactional standpoint social might get the conversation started for both parties and in some cases it might somewhat be artificial or even superficial for both parties-but in the end, it will always come down to you guessed it, trust, price, value and the user experience.  The problem is until marketers figure out a better way to convey trust, value, price and a great user experience-they’re going to have to bide their time getting to know who you are.

Are marketers okay with that?

 

Social Media’s Impact and Effect

There’s no doubt any longer about social media permeating every aspect of our daily live’s. Here’s a great infographic on the true ubiquity of social.

Thanks to the folks from Socially Aware Blog

 

From Social to Local to Mobile

You don’t know this but you are really driving the train. By your actions of buying smart phones at an alarming rate, by snapping up tablets like they’re going out of style, you have made it known to retailers that these are the new weapons of not only commerce, but online commerce as well.

Retailers and advertisers and marketers used to be able to dictate and call the shots and we as consumers responded like we were pavlov’s favorite dogs. Those times are over. Because of social, mobile and local, the pressure to woo us, to incentivize us and to convert us, has never been greater.  Theese social tools and platforms and these mobile devices have combined to strike fear into retailers far and wide.

With that said, this infographic might make a bit of sense for you.

The Retailer’s Guide to SoLoMo

Thanks to the folks over at Monetate Marketing Infographics//
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//

Should Everything be Free Online?

Chances are, you have given away more than you have charged for…

For a lot of people, what they expect and get from their digital experiences isn’t even close to being reality. Want a few easy examples? OK.

  • One of the most prevalent business models in the online world is to build a product or service and then give it away for free.
  • Another prevalent business model in the online world is to build a product or service, give it away for free while trying to make money on people buying “other” things while in your store.
  • Consumers look for alternatives when they realize that they have to pay to access content online.

Could you imagine someone setting up shop in your neighborhood and giving away a product or service in their store for free forever?

Somewhere along the way, someone got the notion that “value” should be given away for free.

I’m not sure how or why it began like this, actually I have an idea, but the truth is, social media has not helped temper the consumer expectation that the majority of all things on the web should be free.  It’s actually been gasoline on an open flame. Does Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Tumblr, WordPress, Posterous, Typepad, Flickr and Evernote amongst others, charge to use their platforms at an entry level? No.

Look, I like free just as much as the next person but so much is being given away online that it’s diluting the need for and the value of products and services that consumers actually need and should have to pay for. Thus, consumers have been trained or conditioned to think that they can find an equivalent for free.

Which sadly, is usually the case.

This in turn means that web entities are constantly fighting an uphill battle for proving their legitimacy, their meaning and their value.  But where we as marketers, as media and as consumers come up short, is that we have professed so much about how open the web is and how anything is possible and how you can find anything, anywhere…to an extent that we keep wounding the golden goose and we keep bending and altering our digital expectations.

There’s a simple solution.

We have to level set expectations up front.

Not too long ago there was a book out titled Bounce by Matthew Syed, in it, the author contends that most of us are amazed at and marvel at athletic achievement at the elite level, but what we don’t know or see, is how hard great athletes at that level, work at their craft to become, ”great.” We just think it’s their natural ability coming through and that’s what propelled them to the top.

The same holds true for a lot of people and companies in tech. We want to solve problems, we want to make life easier, we want to show how beautiful and easy something might be to create, or we want to share information that can make our lives easier. But what do we do?  A very poor job of intimating how hard it might take, how long it might have taken, and the money and resources required to just get in a position to be successful online.

And then, at the end of the day we punt, and are conditioned to think that the clearest path to success is to give it away for free. We’ll set up a pricing model later… Look, digital is not free, somewhere somebody is getting paid because of your current web experience.

We need to level set expectations up front not after the fact.  Value what you do.

The Best SEO Advice I’ve Seen in a Long Time…Relevance is the new PR

This morning’s thought: “I now need to go back and look at all my recent SEO work.”

I like the competition of search. Every day is different and you have the ability and or the chance to “win” so to speak.  It’ similar to watching the standings in Major League Baseball. Some days you may gain on the competition, other days you lose ground, and still others, nothing changes.

That’s the nature of competing against Google and it’s algorithm changes.  It’s cat and mouse. The pursuer and the pursued.  That’s why any article or blog post that talks about Google and search engine optimization has to be paid attention to. Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, there can be nuggets or threads of truth that can help you get a leg up on two targets  that are constantly moving in the digital space.  The customer and Google search.

How fun and frustrating can it get? Well, to the extent that after reading a post from Search Engine Land that Google would neither affirm no refute titled Ex-Googler: “To Please Google With Your SEO, Forget About SEO”, I started this post with that opening thought.

It’s OK, it happens all the time and actually as an “SEO’er” you should of kind of always be thinking that way anway-How can you improve organic search rankings?  When you’re done reading the Search Engine Land post, go over to Forbes and read a pretty good article as well on SEO titled, The 6 Basic Components Of A Strong SEO Strategy For Online Retailers.  It ties and supports the other post better and as recent as I’ve seen in quite a while in regards to what you need to think about when it comes to SEO.

It’s all good though. All of it keeps you on your toes. With that said, go read both posts in their entirety.  Below are some of the soundbites  that got me thinking.

At this stage a webmaster is out of his mind to still rely on techniques that were common practice 8 months ago.”

…don’t dismiss directories completely.

and the best one of all…

Relevance is the new PR.”


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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