Digital trends for 2012

Dena Dillon is the founding director of Piper Digital Marketing, which counts Bentley, Ferrari and Lotus among its clients.
Dena Dillon is the founding director of Piper Digital Marketing, which counts Bentley, Ferrari and Lotus among its clients.

THE life-changing digital revolution just keeps on spinning.

Local industry expert Dena Dillon makes a compelling case for why business owners should get on board the whizzing merry-go-round in 2012 or risk being left behind.

Here are her predictions for what to look out for in 2012.

Slow Death of the Mouse and Keyboard: With an explosion of tablets and smart phones that require us to touch the screen to navigate and access information, touch is now moving into computers.

We are seeing the arrival of touch gestures already, like on the track pad in Mac OS X Lion, and soon it will graduate to touch gestures directly on the screen.

This has influenced media with an increased use of news aggregator sites like Flipboard which are based on the magazine experience.

Flipboard aggregates the content of your social networks and other websites and presents them to you in a magazine like format on the iPad.

E-commerce: This will continue to boom in 2012, therefore we will see exponential increase in the number of SMEs appreciating the necessity for an online channel and developing their own online stores.

SMEs already using e-commerce will adopt the more marketing- savvy practices of the larger companies like transparent user reviews, the ability see a product in a video and click and buy, and mobile commerce.

Mobility: Due to an escalating take-up of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, 2012 will see an explosion in online magazines presenting through magazine apps.

Popularity of ebooks, tablet-viewed TV and movies will also increase.

This presents new opportunities for advertising.

Second Screen Experiences while you watch TV: We now tend to have our tablets or smart phones on and in hand while watching TV, so companies are creating apps for you to download so you can interact and further engage with the show.

These apps will normally use the sound from the TV to trigger elements on your second screen like related photo galleries, polls, or interactive content where you can learn more about something in the show.

APP Marketing: Companies are really appreciating the marketing potential with distribution channel of apps.

We are seeing companies not only developing their own super creative apps, but we are seeing companies partnering with some of the most popular apps to feature their product within their app. HTML5 has made it cheaper for this cross-platform development, so expect to see an explosion as apps development becomes more affordable.

Facebook and F-Commerce: With more than one billion people set to be using Facebook by the end of 2012, it's no wonder FB is high on the list as a marketing channel for most companies. 2012 will see an exponential increase in company pages as well the use of Facebook apps, like sweepstakes apps, to grow their fan base, communicate corporate messages and drive sales. It is believed that 50% of sales will be transacted through social media and mobile applications by 2015. Although F-commerce had a disappointing uptake in 2011, expect to see it move in 2012, with either Facebook Initiated Selling or Complete Selling through Facebook.

Near Field Communication (NFC): This is a technology that allows us to transfer data from our smart phones to a terminal device through simply having it in close proximity. Therefore by simply holding our phone near a paypass terminal we can use our phones as our wallet to pay via our credit card for goods and services. Our phones could also become our passport, our boarding passes, or stadium entry tickets. A simple wave/swipe and off you go.

Dena Dillon is the founding director of Piper Digital Marketing, which counts Bentley, Ferrari and Lotus among its clients. The company has offices in Australia, Asia and will launch in the US later this year. She has a Bachelor of Business, 11 years' digital marketing experience and was the 2011 Sunshine Coast Corporate Business Woman of the Year.

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