Staff Reporters
Dec 20, 2012

MEDIA DEBATE: What will be the key digital developments in 2013?

As 2012 draws to a close, three pundits from different areas of the industry present the trends they believe are likely to shape digital media over the coming year.

L-R: Birge, Blakeman, Chew
L-R: Birge, Blakeman, Chew

Gregory Birge
Founder & CEO
F5Digital Group

People still confuse marketing and advertising. Both have a specific purpose. The issue is that digital and mobile are still used as an advertising platform and are not supposed to be. But a trend is that large corporations are now asking questions: they want to do things differently but don’t know how. They are looking for solutions beyond a creative idea. There will be more tools available, but if they are not used properly, the issue will be the same. The fact that digital has changed the way we need to do business will be reinforced next year.

The second point is that we are going to see more integration and integrated platforms. It’s becoming really easy to develop professional digital content, and whoever you are, you now have real digital tools to help you in daily life. Consumers are taking advantage of it—in a good way. Everyone is becoming a geek and the benefits of digital are becoming clearer for consumers. The implications for brands are a real nightmare though. Having an interconnecting database on the client side is a wishful dream. On the one hand, the technology is available, but on the other, we are creating a generation that is ahead of that technology.

Convenience is where brands must reinvent themselves. They need to think about what they can do beyond advertising, and we need to think about how we can support them; how we can increase connection time with consumers. As a consumer, I might have needs that are in line with a brand’s vision that can be met, but unfortunately most brands are not thinking in those terms. Five years ago, Yahoo brought out a TV guide. It was in line with customer expectations and brand values. This is the kind of thing brands must embrace. So the core trend will be the end of the advertising model as we know it. Clients have their share of responsibility in all this. They must make agencies accountable for what they deliver.


Steve Blakeman

The key trend for 2013 is quite literally in our hands. The mobile ecosystem is developing at such a breathtaking rate that it often feels almost impossible to keep pace with the technology and more importantly how consumers are using it. So beyond the increased proliferation of apps and slew of new kit, what are the three key trends that will emerge?

The first will be the convergence of the mobile, tablet and laptop. Hybrid machines will be a focus as consumer demand for increased levels of mobility, portability and accessibility drive manufacturers to produce increasingly inventive converged solutions. The most notable will be the laptop with either a detachable touchscreen that effectively doubles as a tablet, or an integrated keyboard/sliding touchscreen.

Then there is the Windows Phone 8. The second generation of the mobile operating system is arguably a make-or-break opportunity for Microsoft as it vies for a place in the dominant lineup of iOS and Android. The initial W8 phones are pretty impressive, with features like Word Flow, which autocorrects the dreaded ‘fat finger’ typing errors with almost 95 per cent accuracy.

Lastly comes mobile cloud computing (MCC). Freeing up the memory and computing power of the mobile will herald a new era in the way we can deliver, store, retrieve, process and share mobile data. Indeed, given the advent of high speed LTE questions, we will see the need for significant memory on mobile units which then opens up a multitude of new manufacturing possibilities around size and thickness, for example.


Eugene Chew
Director of digital strategy
JWT Shanghai

2013 is the year we’ll see mobile overtaking PCs and laptops as the primary device we use to go online. The mobile will become the umbilical cord to a range of cloud-based services that will quickly become indispensable for managing finances, relationships, and time.

The documents we work on, the music and photos that are dear to us, will increasingly live in the cloud. You won’t know where exactly they are stored, but they will be available to you when you need them, from a multitude of devices. Losing your phone or laptop no longer means losing your memories. But as synchronising data between devices will be seamless, we will become less loyal to those devices.

As mobile networks are upgraded, we will also increasingly tap into the processing power of the cloud, so low energy consumption chips in mobile devices can still deliver major computing power. The device will become less important, but we will talk more about how some cloud based service saved our life.

With more devices connected to the net, we’ll see more mobile applications that tap into the richness of all this data and pull out surprisingly useful intelligence. We already have apps to help us avoid traffic congestion, find a parking space, or even see if there are any sharks near the beach we’re going to swim at. In 2013 we’ll see more services that make use of location-based data and the internet of things to optimise our lifestyle & consumption behaviour. Our smartphone will become the centre of our lives, collecting data on everything we do, linking our car and wearable devices to our personal cloud.

Campaign Asia

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