Digital Media
Digital Media

Leading brand research consultancy Millward Brown has revealed the rising trends in the digital media sector with its predictions for 2012.

The company believes that "gamification," "virtual togetherness" and "real-time online decision making" will be at the forefront in 2012. This will change the way of interaction between marketers and consumers through digital channels.

"We predict huge change in the way brands adopt and develop emerging technologies. They will use these technologies to engage with a growing generation of digital consumers in more playful and enjoyable ways," a specialist in Social Media Measurement for Millward Brown Dave Barrowcliff said in a statement.

Below are the three digital media predictions for 2012. All predictions can be checked at 2012 Digital Predictions.

Gamification unlocked: Big Brands become more playful

The concept of gamification is easy: involve people by applying game procedures to non-game situations. Points, level progression, badges, achievements, virtual currency and puzzles. The doctrine of gamification may appear simple, but carrying out an effective implementation is difficult. People's motivations and ways differ. The basic forms of gamification like Foursquare-style badges and points-based rewards are mere "badgification" - a one-size-fits-all solution to a far more difficult problem.

Essentially, gamification is social - so which brands will be successful? Dad can unlock his Super Dad accomplishment for buying Pampers for five weeks continuously (making a 10 percent discount), get hold of 50 points every time he and his friends buy Special K in the same week (worth 50p) and level to Master Environmentalist (giving him access to green offers) for cutting down his car's weekly mileage and refueling with BP.

"Virtual Togetherness": TV and Social Media fuels an explosion in tools and technologies for interaction and research

In 2012, social tools and technologies which allow people to communicate with TV shows are going to explode. New technologies will enable people to engage with shows. The expansion of social media will make the televison an even bigger medium for communication and engagement. With the inclusion of Twitter, blogs, hash-tags and interactive apps, TV will be on social steroids.

Services such as Bluefin Labs and GetGlue specify that traditional TV rankings might be increased by "social ratings" as advertisers will be eager to understand how well a show is running beyond the TV audience.

Online Advertising: Real-time decision making takes center stage

There will be a high demand for hard-hitting brands and innovative campaigns, fueling the emergence of intelligent automated decision-making procedures for campaign optimization which are an important development on current click-based systems.

Industry experts like market analysts and innovative agencies have taken up the challenge and are designing solutions that offer a proper ad evaluation and creative recalibration. Successful experts will be able to combine real-time data from media plans with systematic and innovative estimation to optimize online advertising.