Emerging Interactive & Digital Media Trends in 2012

I’m sure you’ve seen many predictions already for social media and technology in 2012. Here’s your chance to add your thoughts.

There’s a great discussion taking place on LinkedIn (it’s been going for 4 months) in the Interactive & Digital Media group. It all started with the question:

What are the few new emerging interactive & digital media trends in the next 1-2 years?

Augmented reality

Forget the QR code (well, not yet). Augmented reality will eventually blow away QR codes.

Ben Grogan's comment on Augmented Reality from LinkedIn

Check out some of these iPhone apps that use augmented reality. They include:

  • Golf range finder
  • GPS and compass apps for hiking
  • Sightseeing and travel guide apps

The detail and capabilities are what’s really exciting and impressive. We should see these capabilities explode in the next year or two or three.

Another interesting example is what the Moscow (Russia) Ministry of Internal Affairs did to try and improve road safety.

Near-field communications (NFC)

Many people agreed this was the field to watch. Cashless payment is just the start. Jon Cheung sees it as “an interesting social arena, that will make it easier to check into locations, easier to like things in the real world, and easier to share information, and a new element to games.

Bruce Condit adds a nice sense of the integration available:

Imagine, your customer walks in the door, they receive a coupon via BlueTooth promoting your latest special. They purchase the item or service, using the coupon that was broadcast to them, and they pay for their purchase using NFC. This would enable business owners to really target their offers based upon time of day, location, season, etc. It could also provide powerful demographics based upon coupon usage.

Social TV

Some social TV products are already on the market. We don’t hear too much yet, but I think we soon will. It’s a logical progression, with many comments on social and connected TV in the group discussion. (Look for comments by Zach Weiner, Nick Meyers, and Sean Connors)

As Sean Connors suggests,

With the dawn of wi-fi enabled televisions finally becoming more widespread, we’re on the cusp of another level of interactivity. I easily see digital content providers creating ways for viewers interact…the ability to reach across multiple platforms is just another added plus.

There are so many possibilities here.

Greg Yavello comment on Social TV, available on LinkedIn


We’re not just talking marketing and market segmentation here. We’re already seeing advances in personalization of search results. This will go even further to personalized decision engines or context-based recommendation engines.

Jon Cheung gives a great example:

Google knows what I like, who I talk to, and what I talk about, mash that against the Internet and Google should be able to customize a wall of content tailored exactly for me.

Many people talk about how facial recognition software will change things. And Megan Cunningham talks about how the entertainment industry is developing a more intimate relationship with its audience.

I think the emergence of personalized photo-apps (like the campaign we launched earlier this year with ABC’s game show, Wipeout) is another way of looking at personalization. And many other entertainment marketers have done this effectively as well, developing more intimacy (and often humor) between audiences and the characters in their shows.


I think we all realize the benefits and challenges this creates for advertising. In fact, I’ve talked here about advances in display advertising that were highlighted by Google recently.

All these changes in technology will bring exciting new interactivity and creativity to advertising.

Adrian Hernandez comment on advertising, available on LinkedIn

This will be fun to watch!

So, what are your predictions? Add them to the group discussion on LinkedIn, or feel free to talk about them right here.



  1. Rik Zak · March 21, 2012

    I get ’emerging technology’ but ’emerging Media’? Which media is still emerging? Why are we still using this term?
    Rik Zak

    • ctmarcom · March 21, 2012

      Hi Rik, Thanks for your comment! My use of the word “emerging” actually went with “emerging trends”–emerging interactive and digital media trends. The word “media” was hooked to digital. However, while I see your point, I wouldn’t necessarily have a problem with “emerging media” if we were talking about media that was brand new. These days, I think most forms of new media are really based on emerging technology anyway, so not sure that I, personally, would use that term. But, bottom line in my blog post is that I was talking about emerging trends in interactive and digital media. Hope that makes sense.

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