Millward Brown reveals digital predictions for 2012

9 December, 2011


NEW YORK — Leading brand research consultancy Millward Brown highlights growing trends in the digital media sector with its predictions for the next 12 months.

Among other trends they believe that gamification, ‘virtual togetherness’ and real-time online decision making will take hold in 2012, radically altering the way in which marketers interact with consumers via digital channels.

Dave Barrowcliff, a specialist in Social Media Measurement for Millward Brown commented, “We are uniquely placed in the digital and social media marketing space to identify and predict upcoming and expanding trends in this sector. 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.”

Below are three of Millward Brown’s digital media predictions for 2012. For all 12 predictions, please visit  

Gamification unlocked: Big Brands become more playful
Gamification is a simple idea: engage people by applying game mechanics to non-game situations. Points, level progression, badges, achievements, virtual currency & puzzles. The principles of gamification may be simple, but effective execution is not. People’s motivations and approaches vary. Crude forms of gamification such as Foursquare-style badges and points-based rewards are mere “badgification”—a one-size-fits-all solution to a far more complex problem.

Gamification is inherently social – so which brands will succeed? Dad could unlock his Super Dad achievement for purchasing Pampers five weeks in a row (earning himself a 10% discount), get 50 points each 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 reducing his car’s weekly mileage and refuelling with BP.

“Virtual Togetherness”: TV and Social Media fuels an explosion in tools and technologies for interaction and research
Social tools and technologies that enable people to interact with TV programs will explode in 2012. Innovations will emerge that allow people to engage with shows in ways we haven’t thought of. The explosion of social media will see TV becoming an even bigger echo-chamber for interaction and engagement. Throw in Twitter, a backstage blog, a handful of hash-tags and an interactive app and TV will be on social steroids. Social media will allow users to interact with TV shows in innovative ways and TV producers will use this data for creative inspiration.

Services such as Bluefin Labs and GetGlue indicate traditional TV ratings may be augmented by “social ratings” as advertisers will no doubt be keen to understand how well a show is travelling beyond the TV audience.

Online Advertising: real-time decision making takes centre stage
2012 will see an increased demand for real-time brand and creative-based campaign insight, fuelling the emergence of intelligent automated decision-making processes for campaign optimization which are a significant improvement on current click-based systems. This will be the year when this impact is felt across the industry. Media buyers will invest heavily in their demand-side platforms and become accustomed to responding to real-time analytics.

Industry players such as market researchers and creative agencies are rising to the challenge and creating solutions that provide real-time ad evaluation and creative recalibration. Successful players will be those who learn to merge real-time data from media plans with analytics and creative evaluation to optimize online advertising.

For all 12 predictions, please visit and download the PDF.

About Millward Brown
Millward Brown is one of the world's leading research agencies and is expert in effective advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research. Through the use of an integrated suite of validated research solutions — both qualitative and quantitative — Millward Brown helps clients build strong brands and services. Millward Brown has more than 79 offices in 51 countries. Additional practices include Millward Brown's Global Media Practice (media effectiveness unit), The Neuroscience Practice (using neuroscience to enhance traditional research techniques), Millward Brown Optimor (focused on helping clients maximize the returns on their brand and marketing investments), Dynamic Logic (the world leader in digital marketing effectiveness) and Firefly Millward Brown (a global qualitative research business). Millward Brown is part of Kantar, WPP's insight, information and consultancy group.

For further information please contact:
Teresa Horscroft
Eureka Communications
Tel: +44 (0)1420 564346
Mobile: +44 (0)7990 520390

Delyth Hughes
Global Marketing Director, Millward Brown
Tel: +44 (0) 1926 826179

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