Global research agency Millward Brown has summarised their top 11 digital predictions for 2011. The trends we can expect to see this year include:
1. Brands juggling their presence in the ‘Splinternet’ – i.e. the public open web versus social networks accessible only by members. Brands will increasingly need to develop and build different applications for specific platforms, such as Facebook and the iPhone, to ensure they are where their market wants to encounter them.
2. Online shopping – this will continue to grow strongly in 2011 due to its unmatched convenience and efficiency, with collective buying services like Groupon continuing to be popular. Mobile apps are expected to be particularly popular in the UK.
3. Online display - Marketers will increasingly attempt to deliver branding messages within the ad using expandable formats and interactive features, which often replicate part of the experience of a microsite or social media page.
4. Virtual video – Developing videos with viral potential is becoming a key success criteria for any new communications idea.
5. More ‘made for web’ online display content - Online video advertising spend is growing and expected to grow further, driven partly by brands becoming smarter in their use of online video paired with display, and by greater mobile video consumption, via smartphones and tablet devices.
6. More on Mobile - Marketers will take advantage of the improved performance capabilities of mobile devices that mean more people are online, more of the time, and allow for better mobile ad experiences.
7. Geo-location services – 2011 will provide a more rewarding experience, more detailed and dynamic information and a growth in check-in rewards.
8. Search - Consumers will trade privacy for relevance. Links with social media profiles, search history and behavioural segmentation will provide greater search relevance for users prepared to share this information with search engine providers.
9. Gaming – Growth driven by the recent launches of Sony’s Move and Microsoft’s Kinect will lead to further innovation in game design in 2011. Meanwhile, casual gaming, driven by the capabilities of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, is likely to grow further.
10. Social Graphs - People are looking for brands in social media that are relevant to their needs. They will be involved in the biggest social network (Facebook) because other people are, but increasingly will be more engaged in niche networks that appeal to their particular interests.
11. Online Privacy - Marketers will make progress on the development of online transparency frameworks.