With 2012 now just a distant memory, many of us are now looking to what 2013 will hold. With no Olympics, Jubilee’s or other major showstoppers in the wings we may find it a little hard to adjust to what will just be another “normal” year. With the economy now heading into its fifth year of recession is there anything to look forward to? The answer is, and must always be, yes.

We are starting to see small signs of recovery; studies have showed that the feeling of top business management is on the whole positive for 2013 and not without reason; the automotive industry posted the best unit sales last since pre 2008, 35% of businesses are expecting to see a rise in employment figures and several retailers are posting record Christmas sales.

What will this mean a little closer to home? Gecko is expecting to see changes in customers attitudes to innovation. The past 5 years have seen many companies being generally risk averse to new technologies or switching suppliers, preferring to stay with what they know. This is in blunt contrast to the huge changes in technology that have been made available during this time; the rise in social and digital media, “big data” and leaps forwards in automation or work have all changed the face of marketing in spite of this cautious approach by management.

This is not to say that all companies have slammed the brakes on to change, in fact it is not unusual for adversity to be the driver of innovation. For example, Gecko’s service offering has changed dramatically in response to those looking for new and better ways to communicate and we are now looking forward to be able to roll this out to a wider audience in 2013. Our focus will be on providing customers with tools that allow them to target audiences using existing data in new and inventive ways through systems that will help save time and money. After all, marketing departments now have more communication channels than ever before and they are usually manned by less people with reduced budgets. With so many balls in the air, Gecko is there to offer the extra pair of hands to make sure none of them fall.

As company’s find out more about their customers; where they are, what they are looking at and their preferences, sending out more relevant communications becomes easier in theory, but not always in practice. Many businesses have been collecting huge swathes of their own data, quickly realising that information equals power but very few of them go on to use it in a meaningful or cost-beneficial manner, often hampered by time, expertise or creativity. Gecko frequently sit in front of clients that think they don’t have the information to create such conversations but who in reality are sitting on their very own old gold mine of data; all we do is show them an easier or more effective way to realise its true potential. Although more are seeing this revolution, 2013 will hopefully start to see more companies (and not just the big high street names) utilising the information they have been meticulously collecting over time.

Our final prediction is the rise of what we call the fuzzy line; as communications become more targeted, raising awareness of new brands, products or services are no longer just the preserve of above-the-line channels such as TV or newspapers. Companies can now pinpoint those most likely to respond and contact them directly via social media (including TV 2.0) or traditional direct marketing without the need to invest heavily in hard to track, expensive advertising. Have the days gone of above and below the marketing gone? Not entirely, but they have become blurred and Gecko are sitting in the wings ready to help our customers capitalise on this new wave of customer communication.

So, just because we don’t have an extra bank holiday this year or a reason to start waving our flags doesn’t make it any less an exciting a prospect. For the first year in many, there is a more positive outlook on the horizon and no more so than at Gecko and with that we wish everyone an amazing 2013.