2022 is coming to an end and that means everybody in the entire world has to forecast the important trends for next year.
Unbelievably, people are forecasting that the jobs they do will (continue to) be trends next year. The D&I are forecasting D&I will be critical next year, same with the AR & VR people, and the same with SEOs and Digital Marketers. It’s all a little trite, easy and somewhat self-sustaining.
So, my great prediction for 2023 will be that people named “JB” will rise to even greater prominence and be heralded as a sage of our times. Or something like that. Maybe ;-).
In some seriousness, these are the digital trends to watch out for in 2023:
- The Metaverse will get heaps of coverage but is a long, long way from mass adoption. Expect commentary to be as if everybody and their granny is now in the metaverse. Don’t believe the hype.
- AR may reach mass adoption stage and become part of everyday life. Google is now offering to use your phone camera to search, sports are getting to the point of showing the real world as augmented. There is still an awful long way to go for AR and we haven’t yet discovered the Killer App for this digital technology.
- VR is still a way off. Hence why the meta verse is lagging. It’s fun, but it’s just not there yet despite the hype.
- SEOs will continue to argue about the relative dominance of Technical SEO vs Content vs Linking, but the reality is the split will most likely stay the same (roughly equal). Try as it might Google can’t make a workable search engine without links – onsite or offsite.
- AI content will be massive this year. It’s so easy, but it is also vapid and empty. Google may take steps against it, but it really is bad at spotting a lot of machine generated work, despite what it claims. The other question is whether or not the content adds value. If AI regurgitates rubbish, it’s still rubbish.
- Speaking of AI, much more advertising on Google will be created and managed by AI. There are issues of content diversity leading to reduced clicking in this approach, as the content regresses to the mean, but we’ll see. In some ways it will become easier to create masses of generic ads.
- The last time I wrote a trends report a long time ago, I talked about Trust. Guess what? It’s still an issue, except only bigger. Users have become very jaded and wary of online platforms and the usage of their data. Expect far more user-friendly privacy services to appear over the next year or so. This is especially so in the web-native generation who have only known the internet. I’m not sure the rest cares that deeply, or if they view it as a necessary trade-off.
- Speaking of trust and the coming generation, more and more users are shifting away from valuing reviews, or they are learning to pick and choose the reviews they want to take on board. No longer do we have the Bambi-eyed trust of what internet strangers have written online as we’ve all become picky and cynical about what or who we believe. There’s an opportunity for new trust metrics to evolve in the next few years.
- Performance measurement will take a massive hit over the next year as Google’s Universal Analytics sunsets for most on June 30th. GA4 is still some way from being an adequate replacement for most. Privacy will also influence this as the tech giants somewhat grudgingly implement user privacy features, all the while keeping as much data for themselves as they can lay their hands on. Numbers will get very hard to understand and interpret between the platforms and systems. Only good analysts (or really good ones, like me!) will be able to really understand conversion data and drive insightful actions from it.
- We’ll see something of a retrenchment from the big orgs as they mature and projects either produce a profit, or are allowed to wither. Things like smart speakers, on-demand video, rideshare and food delivery are likely to take hits as products converge to commoditised versions, or the funding just evaporates due to a lack of profitability. In some ways, these trailblazers will become laggards in the next iteration.
- Speaking of retrenchment, pretty much every Big Tech company has laid off workers recently (all suspiciously similar numbers). Let’s hope that doesn’t continue for 2023. One potential upside is those laid off tech workers will bring their ideas and innovations to second and third tier companies and we start to see some smaller competitors come to the fore. Let’s hope so.
That’s it. There is obviously heaps more for 2023. We’ll know how right we are about this time next year! Contact JB if you’d like to discuss any of these trends and how they might impact your business.