The Digital Future Foretold

We asked our Digital Agency Summit speakers to look into their crystal balls and forecast the future. What will be the next big digital disruption?

Over the next few years, you won’t create your social network; your social network will be created by your activity through your mobile device, which is always on and always near. Google has the data, platform and network to become an artificially created social network that is more meaningful and real time than the one we create by uploading our own content.—Kenny Tomlin, founder and CEO, Rockfish 

I do not know what the disruption will be, but I am looking for real innovation, not incremental innovation. We have not seen a ton of digital marketing technology that has changed the game since the early ’90s.  Real-time bidding, yes, but that’s incremental to the whole ad serving and inventory management world. I would like to see the industry re-imagine what advertising online looks like. —Darren Herman, chief digital media officer, The Media Kitchen

One thing I’m particularly interested in is the emerging trend of the visual Web and how it will affect e-commerce. People love Amazon because it’s still pretty much the easiest and best way to shop for things online. But while they have a strong mobile presence, the platform was designed for the PC age. It’s still amazingly useful, but it doesn’t feel modern in the context of the visual Web. It’s just not as beautiful, inspiring and social a shopping experience as it should be.

With the emergence of Pinterest and tablet-driven social magazines like Flipboard and Zite, it becomes easy to imagine a much more visual and more social way to shop online. We’re already seeing online shoppers gravitate toward Pinterest more to share what they buy, and Zappos just launched a cool Pinterest shopping experiment called PinPointing that allows shoppers to get recommendations via Pinterest pins. We certainly will see visuals become a more popular way to navigate than text, particularly as more and more of us spend more time on tablet than PC. And now is a good time for brands to start experimenting with more visually driven shopping interfaces.  —Winston Binch, chief digital officer, Deutsch LA

Smell-a-vision. But for the Internet. —John Noe, CEO and founding partner, Rokkan

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