TFOL At Large: Digital 2013 Predictions Event

Today TFOL attended a breakfast event, Predictions for Digital 2013 organised by Propel London, held at The Mayfair Hotel. The opening address was given by the always excellent, CEO of IAB, Guy Phillipson. He gave an insightful and entertaining Review of 2012.

Guy highlighted that only a third of marketers feel confident communicating with consumers via social media, despite social media advertisings’ incredible growth. He also announced that video advertising now is worth £70 million, up 17% year on year. Guy felt that the big social media event of 2012 was Facebook’s (“the ITV of Social Media Advertising”) public flotation. He also predicted that by end of 2013, the majority of searches would be on mobile devices. However recent research has shown that only 40% of the top 100 advertisers have optimized mobile sites.  Luxury brands, please take notice!

The second speaker was Henry Rowe of FaR Partners who spoke about Key Digital Trends to Watch in 2013. Henry gave 11 digital predictions based on data collected from their clients, who tend to be media agencies and media owners. He felt that content would continue to play a growing importance in brand’s marketing plans. Indeed he said Sainsbury’s had recently announced that content rather than advertising was a larger part of its plans for this year. He also predicted that “Deep consumer data, programmatic media & a more liquid market will blur lines between client, media owner and agency”. He also saw the continued evolution of high-impact formats which is predictably interesting for luxury and premium brands.

The next speaker was William Hobbs of Barclays on The Economic Outlook for Digital in 2013. As he was speaking the latest UK economic figures were released and showed that the UK economy shrank by 0.3% in the last three months of 2012, fuelling fears that the economy could re-enter recession. Despite this news, he was surprisingly positive about the economic outlook generally.

The event concluded with a panel of digital experts discussing Where Would You Invest in Digital or Technology in 2013. This was a lively discussion with a number of interesting topics raised including home automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile payments and telemedicine.

Well done Propel London – a good event with excellent speakers and panellists. The biggest lesson TFOL took from this event? Henry Rowe’s point on how 2012 was, for many in media, about laying down the digital foundations, whereas 2013 was going to be about fun, interesting and innovative work. Bring it on!

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