Without a doubt, 2012 was the best year in Triggit’s history. In the past 12 months we have grown more 300% in both revenue and staff. We launched our best product to date with FBX. We signed incredibly important advertisers all over the world. And we are having more fun than ever before. Last year was nothing short of awesome. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.
But as good as 2012 was, I am incredibly bullish for 2013. Here are my predictions:
- First and foremost, 2013 is going to be great year for the US economy, which means nothing but good things for those of us in the marketing sector. At this point all the indicators such as household formation, average age of the US auto fleet, corporate profits and pretty much everything else is pointing to a very solid year. Because advertising and marketing is often highly tied to these cyclical effects, we usually see an outsized gain when growth occurs. I am forecasting a solid vintage with lucky 13.
- Having dreadfully missed Facebook in last year’s predictions I certainly don’t intend to do it again. 2013 will be the year FB starts to unfold their wings. We saw the beginnings of their power in the space in 2012 and by all indications they are just getting started down there at 1 Hacker Way.
- 2013 will be the year we finally make progress innovating on the dreadful ad units – otherwise known as banner ads – we have had to work with on the web. Roughly five toothpicks wide and about as engaging as a discarded cigarette butt, banner ads should have been improved a decade ago and are embarrassingly out of date. Thankfully this process has already begun with the often-misunderstood “native” ad, which is simply publishers refusing to go along with the collective stupidity and instead individually innovating by creating their own ad units. Over the coming year I see a plethora of new formats emerging and significant progress being made. My personal hope is that we get a full half page ad that simply covers 50% of the page.
- For last six or so years there has been tremendous pressure on the structure of our business as Marketers, Agencies, Media and Technology companies have all struggled with how to relate to each other. Quite simply the old model of Client, Agency, Media is being significantly disrupted as technology is automating formally manual processes and shuffling the center of gravity. Until recently most participants in the industry largely assumed things would stay roughly the same with technology being a vendor to the agencies. Lately we are seeing this assumption challenged as important advertisers such as Kellogg’s, Proctor and Gamble, Ford and many others are going technology direct. My bet is that 2013 will be the year the market broadly wakes up to the reality that the model is restructuring and we could be in for some major changes.
- For years now the market has been looking at the infamous Lumascape with its smorgasbord of companies and has not so silently prayed that some magic consolidator would swoop in and simplify the market. Every year someone (myself included) predicts that the acquisition spree will begin and the behemoths of our world will bring us all rationality. Every year the books close with an acquisition here or there and a larger and more complex map. As with any innovation cycle – and there is surely a lot of innovation going on – it is to be expected that we would see such a profusion of new approaches and technologies creating confusion. Yet it is reasonable to ask when it will end as it always does in every market. My prediction is 2013 will be the year that we come to recognize that the consolidation will be coming from within rather than from adjacent companies moving into our space. For as we have waited and predicted the consolidation, many of the companies on the Lumascape have been growing exponentially and some are getting to be quite large (for instance Triggit has been growing at 300% a year in revenue since 2009). Next year these growth companies will start to make strategic moves that shakeup the space. We will look back and recognize that strategic acquirers and incumbents made a big mistake by letting Ad Tech startups grow so large unencumbered.
- No Triggit predictions are complete without opining about RTB. Every year I predict RTB will be bigger and better the next year and every year it has been true. 2013 will be no exception. With FB proving that RTB works for more than just IAB ad units we should see a myriad of companies rolling out their own exchanges to access the now sizable programmatic dollars. Moreover, we will see the continued trends of ad networks leaving the business, direct sales forces losing their stranglehold and large platforms realizing it makes strategic sense to engage with RTB sooner rather than later. We are in the early innings with RTB and we have a lot of growth in front of us.
- We will continue to make slow and steady progress with attribution next year. I don’t expect that there will be any groundbreaking changes, but attribution continues to be a huge pain point for our industry and all the signs point to more progress.
- Yahoo has been getting back in the saddle since Marissa took over and I fully expect them to make a significant move into ad tech in the coming twelve months. I have no idea what the actual move will be (and I am not sure they do either), but they are coming back.
- Retargeting will be taken out of the tactic box marketers have been myopically placing it into, and instead they will recognize that retargeting is simply the first step to a sophisticated data driven marketing strategy. Lots more on this in the coming year.
- And last, but hardly least, I once again predict that we all will have a ton of fun in lucky 2013. Happy holidays and New Year everyone!