With the platform shift in full swing, businesses will be challenged in the coming year to stay ahead of consumers' usage curve and deliver them with the content they want, when and where they want it. it will also be imperative to maintain revenue stream in core digital channels while capturing market share and moetizing emerging channels. Doing so will require businesses to get even smarter in how they scale their content to other platforms by developing integration strategies that deliver unique offerings to advertisers.
Greater integration between delivery of content and the ability to deliver campaign in a multi-platform fashion remains a challenge, but the companies who facilitate this form of platform agnostic strategy will enhance value to marketers, simplify campaign management for agencies and gfoster greater pricing equilibrium between their content channels. As the bridge between traditional and digital platforms, online video will play an important role in how these integration strategies materialize.
RENEWED FOCUS ON BUSINESS PERFORMANCE AND CONTENT MONETIZATION
This past year saw previous years' lofty valuations in the technology sector begin to come back to earth with serveral growth companies now trading on the public markets. As certain stock prices softeneed following their public offerings, funding of technology companies becaume more selection with a bias towards companies demonstrating strong user growth and developing revenue streams. Newly public companies are also adjusting to life under the Wall Street spotlight as they are asked to meet quarterly revenue benchmarks and profuit forecasts without the luxury of being able to rely on future growth expectations alone to drive their valuations. Such renewed sobriety is an indication that 2013 promises to be the year of "show me the money" in the technology sector, not only for publically traded cpmanies but also those that are privately funded.
MEDIA COMPANIES WILL FIGHT BACK WITH DIGITAL CPMS UNDER PRESSURE
The continued downward pressure on CPMs redsulting from teh rapid adoption of programmatic ad buying is beginning to meet with stronger resistance in the industry, particularly among media companies delivering highly engaging content and coveting audiences that warrant higher CPMs. Premium publishers will take several measures to protect the value of their invenotyr, inlcuding (1) putting it on private exchanges with reserve prices to ensure their $5 inventory does not get sold at a $1 CPM, (2) demonstrating through metrics that thier ads have higher viewability and ad engagement and (3) proving the effectiveness of their ads to drive consumer behavior, including in-store sales.
Certain large, premium publishers are also beginning to experiment with and implement native advertising-based models to deliver unique branded content at scale. facebook and Twitter have already successfully implemented such ad units that leverage the unique value of their platforms, with the added benefit of being units that work as well on mobile devices as they do on desktop computers. Look for others to follow duit as a means of enhancing the value of thier platforms, increasing the value of thier inventory and impreving the scalability of their content.
SOCIAL STRATGY = SIMPLICITY, SCALE AND SUCCESS METRICS
As marketers continue to get a better handle on social media strategy, they will look for ways to deliver impact at scale via integrated strategies rather than rely on fragmented efforts. While Facebook can deliver impact at scale for many large brands, other channels such as LinkedIn, twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr are gaining in impotance for different segments of marketers. The need for simplicity and the ability to efficiently run social programs will mean an increasing reliance on social marketing platforms that can feed multiple channels and deliver content at scale. But running the programs will not be enough, as marketers will be called upon to prove value and ROI of their efforts and show how this media channel fits into a brand's marketing mix.
MOBILE PLATFORM WARS SET TO INTENSIFY
The battle for mobile platform supremacy will intensify in the coming year with the potential for expansion from two major players to as many as five. While iOS and Android currently own 90 percent of teh smartphone and tablet markets, Windows has made it clear they are renewing their push for platform share with major investments ont he smartphone and tablet fronts. continued adoption of teh Windows 8 platform on PCs may provide enough cross-platform synergy to drive greater mobile adoption of the platform, while BlacdkBerry loks for a turnaround with BlackBerry 10.
Other possible entrants into the platform wars include Amazon and Facebook, both of which have the potential to make a splash. With an established position in the tablet market and rumored development of a smartphone, Amazon's completentary commerce ecosystem and content assets could be parlayed into a meaningful segment of teh smartphone market. Facebook represents anotehr sleeping giant in this market given its heavy user engagement on desktop and mobile channels, along with an existing developer ecosystem. This potential for greater platform fragmentation means the possbility of a multi-player dynamic in the smartphone market, resulting in more competitive marketing strategies and accelarating innovation that could further yield rapid share shifts.
(c) Comscore 2013