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The Search Agency 2013 Predictions: Paid Media

Posted on Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - SEM

Here at The Search Agency, we’re all about looking forward and finding a better way for advertisers to utilize their online space. Also, everyone here LOVES to talk. So, I did what any marketing manager with a good head on her shoulders would do — I made all our experts get in a room and discuss the future of search, hence the genesis of our two part predictions series. Is there really any better way to end the year than to make some online marketing predictions??

Today we’ll be tacking our Paid Media predictions, and tomorrow we’ll go over our thoughts about Earned Media in 2013, so stay tuned!


Paid Media Predictions for 2013 (in

no particular order!)

  • The year we truly see an explosion of mobile optimized sites. Retailers are starting to realize that they can no longer give a poor online experience to customers. We’re talking Html5 and better integration of a mobile experience into desktop. Next year people won’t just be building websites for a computer, but also for mobile, tablet, and any other device that Apple hasn’t announced yet. Bottom line: nothing is ever just a website any more.
  • Mobile and Tablet CPCs will be more competitive next year. Chances are, they are going to be on par with desktop either because Google changes the algorithm or the space will grow more competitive.
  • There will be an explosion of tablet traffic to commensurate with the increase in consumer tablet device usage. Advertisers will need to start to think about how T-commerce is unique and different from M-commerce and E-commerce.
  • Attribution will come to the forefront with more advertisers dipping their toes in the water and starting to invest resources in platforms and analysts to make this actionable.
  • Technology tool evolution enables big data projects. As ‘big data’ evolves, smart marketers will leverage tools that empower consumer behavior insights to drive growth. In turn, the insights they draw will begin to infiltrate channel-specific, silo’d optimization tactics. The ‘year of attribution’ moves towards reality. Specialists in vertical specific optimization must adapt to cross-channel measurement to derive greater insight. Tools, big or small are going to start being able to handle big data to provide real insights and analytics, be able to process data in a smarter way, using visual tools,  and show a conversion path.
  • The ramp up of connected TV. Technology innovation powered by content producers for Internet connected TVs leads to a transition from ‘early-adopter’ to ‘early majority’ for Holiday season 2013.  Content producers and brands that are betting big in for 2014 will partner with OEMs to become native technology on internet connected TVs in 2013. This will be the year to take the functional tablet experience to your TV. It will also be the tipping point of a consumer generation this year; advertisers and ad networks will follow the year after.
  • Social Commerce – Too big to ignore any longer. Social commerce will explode. Retailers will experience extreme growth through social search and content marketing. More so than 2012, tools on Facebook like Catalog and Offers will enable better connected promotional messaging to connected consumers.
  • Feeds based advertising goes mainstream. Feed based SEM and Display creative has become more common place in 2012. Google AdWords PLAs became a hot topic for retailers in 2012, but in 2013, Google will penetrate other verticals for feed based advertising. As an example, think hotels and flights.
  • Consolidation of online advertising toolsets. Google DoubleClick Digital Media Platform, Adobe, and IgnitionOne are all players in this space. 2013 will mark more consolidation of the multichannel online marketing approach. Advertisers will embrace the ease of implementation and seamless attribution conversation with this consolidation.
  • Display targeting will continue to innovate and draw more government/privacy scrutiny. Amazon/Facebook/Google will heat up the display marketing targeting capabilities in 2013. As the targeting arms race continues, privacy watchdogs and US Government officials will have more ammunition to discuss policy intervention for online governance. Don’t expect laws to pass, but you should anticipate new policy creation with new backers.
  • Arms Race of tool sets is going to de-emphasize the nuts and bolts of paid search as people want more high level information.
  • Google and Amazon continue to kick up unique content with their own studios to compete with Netflix and Hulu. However, content doesn’t just mean blogs; video is on the rise. Think: Google channel, Amazon channel.
  • Competitors will start copying each other’s business models. Google shopping will be an Amazon competitor and Amazon will get into the ad business. Facebook is also trying to compete with Amazon with its new Catalogs feature.
  • Netflix will be bought. (more on this later…)
What are your Paid Media Predictions for 2013? Leave them in the comments! Check back tomorrow for our Earned Media Predictions!


About Heather Sundell

Heather has five years of experience in online and offline marketing. She graduated from The University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and absolutely no idea how USC football works. An aspiring cyclist, blogger, and cheese enthusiast, she is currently honing her Gen Y skills by doing all three at once.

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3 Responses to “The Search Agency 2013 Predictions: Paid Media”

  1. Keith Wilson says:

    Some great insight here… great thinking and pulse on the industry… internet tv is really exciting to think about as a platform for advertisers. Anyone diving in?

  2. I agree that tablets are becoming a bigger part of user experience. There would be a peak in customers shopping through tablets compared to mobile devices or computers.


  1. Predictions Roundup 2013!

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