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There are a number of trends that will shape the very nature of digital media marketing over the coming year, according to Bradley Howard, head of digital media for IT services firm Endava, who explains how and why digital marketers are going to face a changing landscape. This article is copyright 2013 The Best Customer Guide.

Among the key digital media trends for this year, Howard foresees a new rise of digital giants Yahoo and Microsoft. But apart from the corporate implications, there will be consumer implications - and of course an adoption of technologies such as GPS for new uses, such as indoor navigation in shopping malls, and more...

  1. Yahoo! makes a comeback
    Competition is always healthy, but the dominance of Facebook has been distinctly unhealthy over the last couple of years. Step forward Marissa Mayer of Google fame. Yahoo!'s share price has increased 30% from US$15 when she joined to almost US$20. She's spotted the power of Flickr - which is a very effective tool for image and video hosting and as a creative communications library. Howard believes that Yahoo!'s share price will be at least US$30 by the end of 2013 and that the world will start to see some more high quality innovation coming from the company.
  2. Microsoft to return as well
    We all think that Facebook is ubiquitous, but it doesn't come close to Microsoft, whose messaging tools include Yammer, Skype, MSN Messenger, Lync, Office 2013, Windows 8, Surface, new Xbox, Bing, Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, Office 365, SkyDrive and Azure. No other technology company comes close to Microsoft for its product adoption across our personal and professional lives. There are many people who have moved to Apple computers in the past year or two, and who are either a little disenchanted or who use Microsoft Windows on their Mac anyway. Consequently, 2013 may be a very good year for Microsoft, in terms of both value and brand positioning.
  3. Indoor GPS
    Shopping malls seem to be growing. We're so used to using our smartphones as GPS devices in the outdoors, that it seems obvious to start using them for indoor navigation too. Macy's have used indoor GPS as part of their app. Expect to see shopping malls and retailers add similar functionality to their apps. It will also be interesting to see if Google, Bing, or Apple will add indoor navigation to their map products.
  4. Learning to switch off
    Have you been to a campsite recently? They're packed. Mud has become fun again, not considered a biohazard any longer. Escaping technological comforts has never been better. One of the most welcome releases of the Apple iOS 6 in 2012 was the 'Do Not Disturb' feature. We all, as humans, want to gain control back from mobile and electronic interruptions. Interruptions are annoying and lower our productivity. Most computers regularly pop up alerts from Outlook, Gmail, Tweetdeck, Skype, Dropbox and a dozen other sources - so expect to see more 'Quiet Modes'.
  5. Context sensitive
    Google search results feel relevant because, if you type in a search term, it presents relevant information. If you type in 'Indian' it lists local Indian restaurants, followed by Indian motorcycles, because Google knows you are interested in bikes. In 2013, we'll be using websites that will take a number of factors into account - from the weather, to profiles of 'similar' customers, our previous interactions, social media feeds - whether we're on a mobile or desktop and so on. Howard does not, however, believe that society is generally ready for noticeable personalisation, so we can expect to see more subtle changes to user interfaces and search results over the next 12 months.
  6. The end of the QR code?
    Most people seem to find QR codes annoying. After, all how can an illegible symbol be better than a human-readable web address? QR codes should really have been the first step to one-click impulse purchasing - so a consumer can select a specific product at the bus stop, and pay within seconds. Instead, marketing companies have dumbed them down to illegible web site addresses. Unless they're used properly, we can expect their usage to begin to fade away.
  7. Healthcare apps get sociable
    This year, consumers will certainly start using FaceTime, video chat, and various other mobile and tablet-based apps to communicate with the companies they want to deal with, and even healthcare professionals. Healthcare companies, for example, will also start using their links with us through social media to help us improve our health, wellbeing, and lifestyles in practical and innovative ways.