The Future of Digital – What the man from Google said…

By February 27, 2013 No Comments

As a design agency working plenty in the area of digital it makes sense to keep up to date with the latest trends and happenings in the wonderful world of the Web and beyond. Therefore, yesterday I was at The Technology for Marketing event in London. Listening, learning and making contacts. Well worth the visit. One of the highlights was a key note speech from Richard Robinson a director at Google as he detailed his thoughts on the future of digital. 

The Future of Digital

There were three pillars to the keynote on the future of digital

  1. Pace
  2. Connectivity
  3. Human


In terms of pace it is now estimated that the internet population is 2.4 billion (WOW!) … However, as little as 18 months ago it was set at around 1.8 – 2 billion. It is predicated to reach 5 billion by the end of the decade (again WOW!). 

Another interesting research finding in relation to e-commerce was that 60% of all people online bought a product last month. A truly massive amount of shopping online.

Many of us are familiar with Moore’s Law and computer power is doubling every couple of years now. Your phone is probably more powerful than that pc you bought a few years ago. The cost of storage is also dropping by half every 13 months. With so much of our lives now up in the cloud that’s a good thing. The one area in terms of pace that is still to really to take off is Internet speed itself. A short while ago we were at a miserable 56k but broadband speeds today have not grown in the same exponential way. The next real step change though will be wide use of fibre optics – which will see massive speed increases and have massive effects on the way information is consumed. Why is this last one so important? Research shows for example that if a page takes over 3 seconds to load 50% of people will go elsewhere. 

All this is leading to more demanding customers.


We are all so much more connected. With the growth of mobile connectivity adapting to different mediums is very important. There are now 1.1 billion 3g mobile subscriptions and growth is +37%. Smart phone penetration is predicted to hit 75% by the end of the year in the UK… Up from 47% 2 years ago and 62% last year. On average a 1/3 of visits to sites are from mobile and it is predicted that mobile will overtake desktop by the end of the year. The reality is that responsiveness should now be built in to your website from the off. But lets not just think of desktop, laptop, IPad, Iphone, but also the myriad of other devices now available – some probably come to mind more than others. For example – what about cars? 8 million cars shipped this year with internet enabled screens. 70% of people interested in a www car said they’d be influenced by whether it was Internet enabled and 50% said they would browse the web within their car (hopefully not whilst driving around the M25!). Finally he referenced Google Glass – the web, camera and video on your face – next stop something embedded into your eye ball? who knows!


Messaging will have more meaning on a personal level. Messages won’t simply be pushed at yo. They’ll be an understanding of who you are, where you are and what you want. Powerful contextualisation will make messages much more engaging. The people who really understand their audiences will prosper. The future is here now though – Google Now that is – which is providing predictive information based on you, your preferences, and location. Ultimately making the experience of digital much more personalised.

Getting the right information at the right time with Google Now…

As detailed in the first point the pace at which digital is going to mean that the future of digital is here now… today… well at very least it will be here a week on Tuesday!


By Chris Peak