2013 predictions for digital marketing: how did we score?

Last year, we shared our predictions for the digital marketing space in 2013. It’s time to take a look back and see how accurate we were.
1) Every new website will be responsive
Looking at websites built by our customers, we definitely see a continuously growing percentage of websites built using responsive design. It’s currently only about 50% of websites, but the trend is clearly growing and we expect that number to reach more than 80% by the end of 2014.

2) Cloud will become the first choice for hosting websites
In 2013, we definitely saw a growing interest in running CMS’s in the cloud. Those who do not need to amortize their previous investments into their own infrastructure are looking at cloud hosting as the preferred option. Still, traditional hosting providers have their loyal clients and options like dedicated servers and shared hosting are still in play. We saw a growing interest in Windows Azure (primarily in the PaaS model) as well as in our Kentico+ cloud offering. This demand is driven by customers who want to save money with the Cloud, but also by those who want to have the elastic power of the Cloud at hand when their website suddenly has to handle lots of traffic.

3) Marketers will start adopting Big Data to make better decisions
At this moment, it seems that marketers are curious to see what Big Data can offer them, but they’re lacking a ready-to-use solution that would provide them with instant insights without going through a complex Big Data project. That solution is still to come.

4) WCM will continue to move to CXM, from content to customers
We can say that 2013 was the year when the market finally acknowledged the importance of CXM. Even people who used to be skeptical about CXM, calling it “meaningless vendor jargon” now acknowledge that CXM is important. Companies are asking for a holistic approach to managing their interactions with customers and the WCM vendors who do not have a CXM story yet are running to catch the train.

5) CXM systems will become a central platform for digital marketing
Similar to the previous prediction, we see a growing need to consolidate digital marketing activities and customer data in a single place. Traditional WCM, CRM and Marketing Automation vendors compete to be chosen to manage customer data for companies by offering either all-in-one solutions or integrations with other products. Numerous acquisitions in this space witness that it is a hot market and will continue to be in the coming years.

6) Marketers will rely more on external agencies to execute their digital marketing strategies
The lack of internal expertise and resources remains and marketers rely heavily on agencies to help them define and execute successful digital strategies. While marketers are getting more experienced, their needs get more sophisticated as well and they continue to look for external help.

7) Internet users will be more concerned about privacy and ownership of their content
When we made this prediction, we hadn’t foreseen how big a topic privacy would become in 2013. With all the scandals around NSA and similar agencies in countries all around the world, people have realized how fragile their privacy is in today’s digital world. People are clearly concerned how governments, ISPs and cloud service providers treat their personal data and they want more transparency.

As you can see, some of our predictions came true, some didn’t. One thing we can say with confidence is that 2013 was the year of major changes. We will publish our 2014 predictions in January, but we can already tell you that it will be an exciting year for everybody in the digital marketing industry!
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Petr Palas

I'm the founder and CEO of Kentico. I write about Kentico, WCM, CXM, digital marketing and related technologies.