News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Everyone is polishing their balls …

… Crystal Balls that is.

Excuse the crassness of the title but it had to said! It’s that time of year when the predictions for what 2013 will hold for business and the world start to fly. I’ve had a good look around and gathered the best together for you.

First off, Mark Gregory from The Conversation predicts that 2013 will be the year of e-commerce, mobile and wi-fi and that this year’s federal election will be make or break for the National Broadband Network. As technology continues to advance at a startling pace, keeping mobile friendly does seem to be key. predicts that ‘mobile moments’ will be huge. ‘Consumers will look to their mobile devices to maximize absolutely every moment. Hectic, urban lifestyles mean that no amount of (micro) time will be too fleeting, or activity too absorbing, to cram in more content, connection, consumption or simply more fun.’ If they are there, and they have a mobile, they will use it. How can they use it to connect with you?

While Lucy Kellaway from The Economist thinks that 2013 will be the year for greater equality in business. With the old ways of running companies becoming unprofitable, it’s time to across all levels of an organisation for their input ‘For the past couple of decades companies have claimed to be interested in their employees’ ideas, offering “suggestions boxes” and prizes, but in reality they have taken little notice. In 2013 this will change—any man (or woman) with a plan will have a say.’

She’s also predicting a rise in moral decision making in business and the end to our fixation with email. Bold predictions indeed.

A personal favourite of mine, Colin Shaw, thinks that we are starting to realise that this economic downturn is not a blip on the radar, but has dramatically changed the way consumers, well, consume. This is the new normal, and it means being on top of the customer experience.

Now more than ever we need to be looking at numbers, researching our market to find out what our customers want. One of’s top ten predictions for 2012 is that brands will also ‘demand’ that their customers contribute to them. There’s a great example of consumers needing to give blood to restore the red in a football team’s jersey. Of course, consumers will only go out of their way for a brand that the truly believe in so having an inspiring vision is key.

The New Retail blog points out that 2013 is the year of the water snake, meaning: ‘“Influential, motivated, insightful and highly intellectual are words that best characterize Water Snakes. These Snakes…enjoy being recognized and rewarded.” The ancient Chinese could have been talking about the customer who is influenced by friends on social media, does her homework on the web, and expects both a great deal and preferential treatment when she eventually chooses to buy.’

So, to sum up, it appears that 2013 is the year of creating convenient connections with consumers, providing a great multi-approach customer experience, consulting with everyone for their ideas and really finding out what it is your customers want from you.

Here’s to the Year of the Snake.

Startup Daily