I hope all of you had a great Christmas and New Year’s Holidays…and survived the Mayan Apocalypse!  It’s the beginning of a new year and many of you are scrambling to piece together your 2013 budget now that the “Fiscal Cliff” “Tax-megeddon” is over.  Well, we here at Red Clay are in that same mode, working with our clients to budget for 2013.  We’re also hard at work determining what we see for the new year and for the second year in a row, we’ve put together a few predictions for our readers.  First, let’s review 2012.

My 2012 Prediction Results

Foursquare will double its user base with 25 million users

I don’t know why I chose marketing as a career…I should have been a fortune teller.  Foursquare reached over 25 million users in September of 2012 and received over 3 billion check-ins with millions more generated each day.

More Agencies Turning to Responsive Designs

Mobile web design really began to stir in 2011 and in 2012, more agencies did develop responsive designs to meet the needs of tablet users…even Microsoft.com.  We’ve learned that responsive isn’t for everyone, but it does meet a lot of organization’s needs.

The Return to Creative

Last year, I said I thought you would see more creative, experiential marketing than in 2011 as budgets slightly increased, starting with Super Bowl Commercials.  Well, I realize now that this prediction was short sighted, as it’s hard to compare year to year without being subjective.  I thought the 2012 Super Bowl Commercials were more creative, but in general, this didn’t come to fruition.  The further we move into the digital age of marketing, the more every marketing dollar counts for ROI.  We did participate in some creative campaigns, but it wasn’t an industry-shifting year.

The Decline of Zynga

On January 11 of last year, I stated that Zynga’s IPO in 2010 would continue to suffer after its initial 20% drop in price.  The stock was then priced at $9.50.  Well, I was right.  Since 1/11/12, Zynga’s stock price has dropped almost 75% to right at $2.36 (as of January 2, 13:51 EST).  Beyond their continued drop in value, in late November, Facebook announced that it could create its own games, causing a continued slump in price.

2013 Predictions

Google Fiber starts its takeover

In 2012, Google made available its first reaches into the ISP world by announcing that it was installing gigabit-speed fiber in Kansas City for $70/month or simply free if you want slower internet. It’s 100 times faster than standard broadband today and can deliver HD television for an added cost. In 2013, they’ll expand outside of just the Kansas City area and add another major city (or two). And in their wake, there will be a wide variety of ISPs begging for mercy, offering discounts and other services trying to stay competitive.

IT Budgets Continue to Shift their Dollars to Marketing

We’ve already seen some of this, but I believe we’ll see marketing departments reach deeper into IT budgets for websites and a variety of other necessary marketing tools. While I don’t think it will be this year, I believe that marketing departments will eventually become more influential in all things web, from CRM systems to intranets, than the IT department.

The Convergence of Media Spend to Digital

Over the past few years, we’ve continued to see emerging tools become available to allow for tracking of multiple marketing channels. But, in 2013, I predict we’ll see a fury of activity from marketers, making campaigns more integrated and honestly, completely digitally integrated. From magazine ads with QR codes, to the merger of paid and earned media, I think 2013 is going to be the year that marketers flip the switch and figure out what full campaign integration is. We here at Red Clay are excited about the opportunities it can bring and are prepared for it.

Facebook Issues a New First: Games

In November of last year, Facebook stated that they now are prepared to create their own games. This is primarily in response to the success, and cash, they’ve seen game creators receive on Facebook. I believe they’ll issue their first game, getting away from their core competencies, and by doing so, will eventually see Facebook go the way of MySpace. Now, I don’t think Facebook will disappear this year, but I think 2013 will be the year that we look back and say, “that’s when it all fell apart.”


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