The end of the year brings with it remembrances and marks a good time to look back on things. This explains why December sees so many articles published with titles like “Top Horse GIFs of 2012” and “The Year’s Biggest Fashion Mistakes.” While sifting through such retrospective headlines and entirely all-to-similar year-end summaries, I was surprised not to see more people looking forward to the changes we can expect in 2013.

eMarketer just concluded a five-part series on online marketing trends for 2013 that brings awareness to some of the most immediate and relevant shifts we can expect to see. These are not “trends” in the sense of fashion or pop culture that are powered by perception and opinion; these are movements and evolutions that are already happening, supported by data and facts. I have summarized each of the five trends below along with the key charts.

Trend 1: Increasing Fragmentation Will Affect the Definition of “Critical Mass”

Meaning: People are spending time on a wider variety of devices and websites, so the key is to focus on reaching your audience in multiple places rather than dedicating resources to one or two primary areas.

Trend 2: Making Mobile-First a Priority

Meaning: Time spent with mobile devices is expected to be even with time spent on desktop computers within the next two years. If you don’t have a mobile strategy in place now, you will be far behind a year from now.

Trend 3: Commerce Loses its Linearity

Meaning: There are so many devices, websites, and ways to buy things now that companies need to work even harder to ensure consistency in the branding and advertising. Think of how many places we set up a client when they start working with us (website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.).

Trend 4: “Big Data” Gets Bigger

Meaning: The massive amount of user data available to companies is already somewhat difficult to manage and incorporate into research and strategies. Think of how much data is available in Google Analytics alone! This has lead to companies being overwhelmed and unsure how to take advantage of this data in their strategies and other efforts.

Trend 5: Content, Context Vie for Supremacy

Meaning: Consumers are smart and do not like advertising that is disguised as content.  Brands need to create actual content and focus on using it to RETAIN as much as it is used to acquire.



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