It’s always fun to do a little prognosticating as each new year approaches, so let it not be said that Daylife didn’t do some predicting of its own where 2012 is concerned. Here, then, are our predictions for the New Year:
The Internet Will Become Hyper Personalized
The massive maze of information known as the Internet will one day have its own apocalypse and be reborn as a new source of customized information similar to what we know as Apps today–essentially, your own highly personal internet. 2012 will be a decisive year in the move toward the personal Internet. This personalized Internet will allow users to create their own seamlessly integrated collection of education, information, entertainment, social environments and commerce experiences within a diverse range of hardware to be consumed however they choose, wherever they choose, whenever they choose. Guiding these experiences will Siri-like assistants and semantic algorithms that ensure only the right sorts of content is reaching any given user as it’s needed.
The Enterprise CMS Will Move to the Cloud
For years enterprises have been battling the disorganized circus that is the content marketing systems universe. From major publishing companies to marketing departments at Fortune 2000 companies, the CMS has been central to organizing and publishing, both on- and offline. But because these have largely been server-side, highly customized and very expensive installations, the typical CMS quickly falls out of date and usually is imperfect from the moment of implementation. As more and more companies embrace the cloud for every aspect of enterprise IT operations, expect to see more major publishers and Fortune 2000 companies embracing cloud-based and open-source CMS solutions, enabling the creation of technology stacks that are flexible, constantly updating, scalable and vastly more efficient for workflow, all at a lower overall cost.
The SmartAd Will Change Advertising as We Know It
There is a less than .1% click through rate on display ads demonstrating the ineffectiveness of online advertising, yet advertisers continue to pour millions of dollars a year into these ads. Why is that? To date, advertisers and publishers have not yet worked together to develop a more effective form of consumer engagement for a business model that is so crucial for their survival. In 2012, advertising technology will catch up with the ways in which people access the Internet (desktop, tablet, mobile), enabling the creation of ad units that are highly interactive, contextual, constantly updating and which feature topical customized content – all with increased measurability and improved ROI.
20th Century Marketing Speak Will Die
For years companies have painstakingly drafted content for release to the public, each sentence carefully crafted and approved by CEO’s, boards, lawyers, partners, customers etc. But these days, the need to publish high volumes of information in bite-sized pieces (i.e. via tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts and the like) is challenging this highly inefficient workflow. Moreover, consumers have a visceral negative reaction to traditional corporate marketing speak. Studies show (http://www.edelman.com/trust/2011/uploads/Edelman%20Trust%20Barometer%20Global%20Deck.pdf) that people respond best to timely communications that use an authentic voice–a voice that sounds “real” and “human”. Consumers are tired of carefully crafted messages and want to believe in companies whose values conform to their own. Moreover, consumers want to engage corporate brands on landscapes that are less like traditional Web sites and are more like interactive, constantly updating destinations that are useful and have value to them. Companies who are successful at this will be increasingly rewarded with consumer recommendations to friends, viralty, strong word-of-mouth and increased consumer engagement with the brand.
The Role of Curator Will Go Mainstream
The role of curator was once the exclusive domain of educated experts in a field organizing a vast array of content for presentation to the public–the museum exhibit curator, for instance. Thanks to the rise and ubiquity of social media virtually every person who spends time online anywhere in the world will become a curator. By filtering and presenting the best of the media any one person may encounter online or in the world, and sharing that across social graphs, personal blogs and broadcast mediums such as Twitter, every individual on earth is destined to become an unwitting curator.
The Media Geyser Will Be Harnessed
Content on the Web is gushing like a geyser, and most of it is “unstructured” when removed from its original context, rendering it nearly useless across the broader Web. It needs to be refined in order for it to be valuable, findable and presentable to readers. In 2012, semantic algorithms and new architectures for better organization, distribution, and storytelling will be refined and emerge. Backend technologies will harness the best information and make new distribution models available, creating new opportunities for publishers of all sorts to better present constantly changing, always updating funnels of news, information, education and entertainment.
Marketers Will Continue to Evolve and Behave More and More Like Publishers
Brands will change their essential practices in order to act more like traditional publishers and to better align with the interests and values of their target audiences. Up until now, marketers bought media with established audiences where they could insert their messages, or they relied on the complicated dance that is PR. But increasingly, consumer demand that brands engage with them on their terms and turf, which requires marketers to behave more like the media companies they currently by ad space from. With the advent of new, simple cloud-based publishing toolsets marketing organizations at brands around the world will begin to adopt the disciplines and behaviors of traditional publishers, to deliver consumer-focused Web destinations and customer communications (such as newsletters or Facebook Pages) that are packed with constantly-updating, fresh and relevant media that also advances the business aims of the brand.