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Predicting the digital marketing landscape in 2013 and beyond

The most challenging things about digital marketing is the ridiculous pace at which its very landscape changes. Social networks come and go. Search engines rise to supremacy only to be superseded right under the mainstream’s nose. The very technology frameworks that provide the foundation for the internet evolve at break-neck speeds. The sheer amount of marketing data being produced grows ever more profound.

And yet I find that it’s this exponential rate of change that provides the lion’s share of competitive advantage within this digital marketing thing of ours.

Like Aaron, I’m a big believer understanding – and predicting –  how macroeconomic forces will shape the digital marketing landscape both in the short term and the long term. However, unlike Aaron and other industry thought leaders I’m not interested in painting Google  – or any other industry entity for that matter – as the bad guy. Why? Because in my opinion it’s a) a waste of precious time b) there are much bigger bad guys to fry.

That said, it is important to understand how subtle changes in the landscape, like this one or this one, could ultimately lead to a complete redefinition of the rules for this marketing game. That’s what the big money is doing, and they’re not thinking 2013. They’re thinking 2023, 2033, and beyond.

So make sure to leverage mental tools like conjecture and criticism along with a healthy dose of skepticism in order to come up with innovative hypotheses on what it will take to differentiate your marketing programs from those of your competitors. And always be prepared to falsify and abandon even your most treasured “best practices” if the data and evidence seem to point in a new direction.

Because it’s this willingness to accept and embrace change that will likely determine your long-term ROI.

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  • Rudy Saldivar

    Great post to start 2013 Hugo! The Economist magazine just reported that Amazon raised $3 Billion in a rare bond issue last month (December 2012) …..indeed they have an eye to the future.

    • hugoguzman

      What’s up, Rudy! Glad you dug the post and thinks for that financial insight. That’s a fascinating piece of info. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

  • http://www.poweredbysearch.com/ Dev Basu – SEO since 2007.

    Nice post Hugo. You nailed it in the last sentence of the second last paragraph; “Prepare to abandon…”. We so often see others in the industry holding on to outdated strategies. I can see a big shift though in the thought processes and tactics being used by more and more digital marketers. Exciting times.

    • hugoguzman

      Glad you enjoyed it! I’d argue that this “holding on to” phenomenon extends beyond the world of business and marketing. People have a hard time abandoning ideas and ideals even when objective reality renders them moot.