Welcome to 2013

In this, our fourth edition of our annual Digital Trends report, we have once again pooled the collective experience of the team at 33 Digital and their work at the coal face of digital marketing and communications to try and gauge what the world will look like for marketers and comms professionals in 2013.

What seems to be emerging this year are far larger, more strategic changes, that could require marketing departments to think more strategically about what the future holds than ever before. We have noticed entire industries and economies impacting our trends. 2013 has in store some excitement in the form of trends such as the Quantified Self which will thrust digital communications into the health and wellbeing space. After years of scandals in finance, the media and politics, brought about by a new level of transparency and the tendency of secrets to escape, we will see doing good become the new cashing in. But as with every year, some trends are simply new iterations of what we’ve seen before. In 2013, we expect to see what we described last year as the emergence of the “interest graph” play out in full as we witness the rise of the niche with a new wave of specialist social networks Davids take the attention away from the Goliaths.

It could be said that 2012 was the year that social media truly mainstreamed. Not just the tip of the iceberg, but the whole thing. Digital innovation hubs springing up outside of Silicon Valley in cities such as London, New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Sydney have flourished and brought with them product and property booms alike. We saw the first digital Olympics, not to mention Facebook reaching 1bn users, Twitter becoming the “second screen” and holding sway over the US election, Instagram being acquired for $500m, Pinterest valued at $1.5bn, MySpace making a comeback and App.Net coming out of nowhere to gain 30,000 paying users.

Digital innovation is more exciting than it has ever been, and 2013 will be a barnstorming year. Innovation is coming from the startups, names like Lightt, Lift, Branch and Medium will be ones to watch. But innovation is exploding from the big corporates too, as they launch incubators and accelerators, with Microsoft’s Modern Jago, Telefonica’s Wayra Academy and Amazon’s new London R&D hub as examples.

Enjoy our 2013 trends report. We certainly enjoyed the year of 2012 and putting it together.