Forecasting the Future: A Few Thoughts

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With the year coming to an end, I decided to make a few digital trend predictions for next year:

ROI will not be the sole focus

Finally, agencies will not be held accountable for only bottom line ROI. More brand marketers will be looking to agencies to increase visibility, engagement and brand affinity, not just sales. New important metrics will not be static independent numbers like Facebook likes, ROI, Twitter followers, etc., instead we will use an algorithmic cocktail of weighted social and sales metrics.

Google will get smarter, SEO will become less relevant

When SEO works, Google has failed. Search is a huge part of media plans, but that just increases visibility. Google is known for getting consumers what they want organically, not what someone with SEO software optimizes for. Google will continue to update its algorithm to include more personal and social data to serve more accurate results based on interest, less so on keyword optimization.

The purpose of mobile websites will be defined

The majority of mobile sites are built for easy browsing (and most look like crap). Designing for mobility will be more important going forward. What does this mean? Mobile sites will not be mini versions or tab-browsing versions of .com websites. They will have a specific purpose in the marketing system that is different than the main website. Designing for mobility means designing for context, utility, and purpose.

Agencies will be more responsible for content

Commercials suck. Content rules. Branded content will become more important and will ultimately be what agencies get paid the big bucks to do. Short content and social experiences can only be so engaging. Longer content to engage with and share will become more important.

Alright, time to sit back, relax, and see if these take place!