The Kalexiko Clairvoyant: 2013 Digital Marketing Predictions

Crystal balls out and Nostradamus hats on,

 

With 2012 dead and gone,

 

It’s time to take a look forward

 

and see what 2013 has in store for us.

 

It’s that time of year again when the festive holidays have come to an end, work begins and us here at Kalexiko HQ find ourselves arguing over what we think will be the heavy hitters in the digital world this year. While it’s guaranteed that Apple will no doubt fire out sixty or so ‘thinner’ models of their current lines; we wanted to have a look into some of the innovative trends that could rock the world of digital design this year.

 

The Death of Print Media

If you are reading this now you have proved my point exactly. Sadly print media will soon be as dead as a dodo and as an ardent lover of the printed word this genuinely breaks me.

99% of all literature published today has an online equivalent- fact.

 

Even the works of ancient authors are flying around the web. What would Homer and Ovid say if they were told that their Odysseys and Metamorphosis were to be immersed in the web-book cyclone…I wonder.

 

Although the ailing state of printed media is rather sad, it’s really not all that surprising. The pragmatic benefits of digital printing does outweigh the traditional method paper-print.

 

So let us rush in and look at one benefit of digital print; speed.

 

One of the chief benefits of digital printing is the speed in which a publication can be transmitted to the receiving masses.

 

The old process was packed full of rigmarole; from test prints to nationwide distribution; the paper print process was hardly convenient.

 

The digital publication process cuts out the ‘middlemen’. All the editing and ‘testing’ can be done digitally and changes can be made instantly. After changes have been made the publication can be transmitted through the internet to anyone with an internet connection; easy as that.

 

This process also cuts down massive costs as digital printing and distribution is a cheaper process, meaning that a publisher can charge less (if anything at all) to broadcast a publication, thus raising its popularity as people like free things!

 

Secondly, digital print is far more eco-friendly. Our beautiful forests and the wonderful atmosphere benefits from the lack of paper foraging and transporting publications across the country.

 

The ascending popularity of e-reading devices only contributes to the impending doom of the printed media. Everywhere you go now, you will see someone with a Kindle, iPad, smartphone; pretty much every device now has the ability to function as an e-reader. Why lug around a book on your daily commute when your phone can double as a book and as a phone?

 

Yes, it is a shame that a heritage that has been around for millennia is dwindling, but digital print is veritably the way forward, the last chapter is ending and it will soon be time to close the book.

 

Stripping it back

Minimalism is making a comeback in 2013. The days of superfluous embellishments are coming to and end and the mantra of 2013 is ‘less is more’.

 

Don’t believe me? Well have a look at Microsoft, eBay and Starbucks; three huge brands who have stripped back their logos to accommodate a more simplistic, cleaner look.

 

So why have these giants gone for a far more simplistic style? Surely the leaders of a field want to portray themselves with a baroque, intricate logo that boasts design expertise and complexity? It worked for the Renaissance masters.

 

Erm, well.. it seems not.

 

In opposition to complex trends, design seems to be going through a second generation of modernism; the turn of the century brought an espousal of basic shapes, bold colours, patterns and an overall more aesthetic simplicity.

 

It seems that digital design is following this path. The question is why do this when we are at an age when design can be literally mind blowing?

 

Two words; simplicity- versatility

 

Adopting simplicity increases versatility. It’s as simple as that. A simple basic logo for example can be applied almost anywhere, to any medium and still be registered while letting the rest of the design do the talking.

 

Simplicity also offers functionality. The digital world is not reserved for the young and technologically savvy anymore. Audiences spanning all ages use computers in some shape or form. This rising universality has meant that designers have had to cater for those who aren’t as technologically savvy. A reversion to simplicity means more accessibility, therefore a wider user-ship.

 

Remember: Simplicity- Versatility

 

Adaptive Websites

The popularity of mobile-websites are ascending like a furious rocket, and this has meant that Adaptive Websites are beginning to crop up more and more by the day.

 

An Adaptive Website will adapt website content around the context of the user; such as screen size, touch-screen capabilities, additional peripheral devices and device adequacies. Elements of a site become completely arbitrary and completely unique to the users context.

 

Adaptive websites go further than just focusing content based on the audiences device. In fact it literally explodes into the world around them, location adaptation is becoming almost mandatory when creating a website adapted for a mobile device.

 

Tailoring a website that adapts to a user’s location, offering services based around the area that they are situated gives a more personally oriented experience.

 

Adaptive websites have become a must for companies wanting to extend seriously into the mobile-web, expect to see more of them in 2013.

 

Vintage Vogue

Nostalgia is the opium of the age. It’s not just your Grandparents who reflect blithely on the days when things seemed just that little bit better; digital technology has dug into the archives of the past and brought it to the present.

Retro type fonts and vintage textures are cropping up here, there and everywhere; on the internet and in the world around us.

 

So why is there a seeming need to bring back stuff we have already used and moved on from?

 

Well, vintage design has become a social representation of individuality and a sense of ‘cool’. Head down to any ‘indie’ café or boutique and you will see an amalgamation of décor that looks like it has been time-warped from decades gone by.

 

This ethos has crept into the world of digital technology, take Instagram for example. One of the facets of the application that has brought it a mass audience is the ability to add a filters that give a vintage effect and colour washes to add an individual stamp to a photo. The popularity of this has also led to Twitter releasing a similar function to their photography application.

 

It is speculated that the rise in popularity for vintage styles comes as a by-product of our current social and economic condition, as a means of gazing on a time gone by through rose-tinted glasses.

 

As I said; Nostalgia is the opium of the age.

 

Custom Photography

Have you ever noticed that throughout the web, the same people seem to work in every career path you can imagine; accountants, doctors, lawyers, astronauts, scientists- those guys can do everything it seems.

 

Sadly not; these ‘talented’ guys and gals have only one job and that’s modelling for stock photography catalogues.

 

In my opinion, stock photography jades a website, starves it of individuality and makes it look wholly unprofessional and unrealistic. Hence why there is a rise in websites operating custom photography.

 

Here at Kalexiko HQ we only settle for custom photography. If you want a website for your company then you want it to reflect your ethos and what your company stands for. Stock photography says absolutely nothing about a companies individuality.

 

A company needs to gain your trust, respect and grab your attention; how can it do that when its website just presents a characterture of the company?

 

Custom photography presents the closest to reality you will get to a company or individual through their website, it represents honesty, integrity and a belief in individuality.

 

Leave the flock and abandon the stock!

 

Video Communication

If you ask a group of people which of the following two do they prefer; to read a book or watch its film adaptation, I could bet you my left arm that they would chose the latter and I would probably walk away with both arms intact (if not, I am right handed so I can make such a bet in bold confidence).

 

Similar rules also apply to a website. If you’re trying to craft a compelling website, too much text is not the way to go.

 

Hence the rise in video communication. Communicating a message through the medium of video rather than scrolls of text will deliver more of an impact upon the viewer as more information is retained through a video format, also the manner in which the message is delivered is completely in your hands.

 

If you feel you need to shout your message at your audience you can!

 

Video communication is more engaging, adds a more personal sense of communication with your audience and is a more convenient way to convey information.

 

Of course, there is always the risk of overdoing it; too much video can turn your website into a micro-cinema and take away the attention from the other elements of your website.

 

Biotechnology/ Immersive Software

2012 brought us the inception of Project Glass, Google’s delve into the world of Biotechnology/ Immersive software. It is very likely that the world of Biotechnology/ Immersive software will begin to develop at a frightfully quick rate in 2013.

 

In the digital world, there has always seemed to be a desire for things to be as realistic as possible; from graphics to peripherals, an experience that can replicate reality has always seemed to hold sway.

 

Biotechnology/ Immersive software, such as the developing Project Glass, will break down the frontiers that divide the digital world from reality.

 

The rise of Biotechnology will take the whole digital world by storm as practically every territory of all things digital benefit from Biotechnology/ Immersive software; fully immersive headsets for computer games, glasses that act as monitors, Star Wars-esque web-holograms could all be making an appearance in 2013.

 

SEO Integrity

SEO; the three letters that make every online marketer tremble. Successful SEO tactics are about as predictable as winning lottery numbers and as stable as a ladder in an earthquake. Due to increasingly tighter privacy policies and search engine restrictions SEO success in 2013 will be based on integrity; gaining a following through social means will be based on the production of quality content and authorial expertise.

 

Popularity is one aspect that is uncontrollable by the author of a website, it lies solely in the hands of the followers. Gaining internet presence is judged by social circulation. This had become increasingly easier to achieve thanks to the swelling of the popularity of social networking sites.

 

Though, due to recent restrictions implemented by social media sites and search engines, obtaining internet presence and consistently circulating through social media is becoming increasingly more difficult.

 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. While it means that gaining online presence will become more difficult, it also means that the charlatanism will slowly be flushed out of the world of online marketing.

 

The tightening restrictions that 2013 will bring will also mean a rise in SEO integrity. Following will be gained through ‘word of mouth’ through social media sites and this will be gained through the production of quality content and authorial expertise on a topic.

 

This means that website authors will have to conduct penetrating research into an area and ensure that content is both timely and timeless. Invasive SEO methods will be replaced by content that is created through audience understanding and a genuine desire to give an audience what they want.

 

Therefore online marketers will need to carefully implement all of their SEO tactics into all facets of their web campaigns, creating universally high-quality content that covers every aspect, from mobile to location driven campaigns.

 

Content conquers in 2013.

 

Crystal Ball, Crystal Ball…

There you have a glimpse into 2013 through the crystal ball here at Kalexiko HQ. We are certain that this year is going to pioneer some very exciting and innovative digital trends and experimentation.

 

If you think we have missed anything important, or if you have any predictions of your own, drop us a comment! We are always eager to hear what you guys out there have to say.

 

Most importantly, here’s to a happy new year and may this year be as exciting as the last!

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