7 Marketing Predictions for 2013

Welcome to the 2013 Marketing Reality

The beginning of a new year is a time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going with our 2013 marketing plans.

As Yogi Berra famously said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” That said, you still need to set business goals and create marketing plans around them. In order to improve your planning, it’s useful to understand what may happen in the coming year.

7 Marketing Predictions for 2013

Here, in order of importance, are seven marketing predictions for 2013 that apply across many business types. (As a point of comparison, here are 2012’s marketing predictions.) 

  1. Social media continues to gain influence. Use of social media is no longer an option for businesses including B2C, B2B and not-for profits. Social media is where your target audience spends their digital time. While 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs don’t have a social media presence, your senior management team needs to overcome their fears and find ways to actively engage on relevant platforms. Even if your firm is in a highly regulated field such as financial services or pharmaceuticals, you need to  be on social media to interact with prospects and customers. If the various branches of the US military can participate, so can your firm. If you still need persuading, here are 47 social media facts and charts to help you understand what works and what doesn’t on social media. 2013 Actionable Marketing Tip: Create an integrated social media strategy that’s incorporated with your overall marketing plans. It’s no longer acceptable to just have a Facebook presence. I recommend starting with a blog as that also supports your content marketing strategy.
  2. Content marketing takes its place at the marketing table. Quality content is needed to fuel your marketing plans across platforms and devices. Although advertising has its place in terms of raising awareness and sending prospects to your various presentations across your website, social media and third party sites, the bottom line is that customers don’t trust it; They trust content2013 Actionable Marketing Tip: Given the rapid growth of content marketing, it’s critical to provide information that stands out as stellar from your target audience’s perspective. (To help you, here’s a content marketing checklist.)
  3. Mobile is mandatory. Marketers can no longer ignore mobile without hurting their bottom line. Smartphones and tablets are how people communicate, consume content and research products. Customers expect marketers to be ready and present wherever and whenever. Having just a website that doesn’t accomodate consumer’s mobile activities is not enough. The need for a mobile presence becomes more urgent when you realize that participants spend seven times more time on social media via mobile apps than via the mobile web. (Here’s 25 Mobile Marketing Charts and Research.2013 Actionable Marketing Tip: Have a plan for a mobile app and a mobile website focused on your key on-the-go activity, and relevant keyword searches.
  4. Search still navigates the web. “Navigational searches continue to dominate the top search results according to findings by Experian Hitwise. Interestingly, they’re using less words to do so as a result of search engines prompts based on the participant’s past behavior. Don’t get complacent and think that just because you’ve got a marketing plan for social media and content marketing, you don’t need search. 2013 Actionable Marketing Tip: At a minimum, ensure that your social media and content marketing strategies are optimized to support your target keyword phrases.
  5. Email still connects marketers and their audience. While this older digital communications channel is anything but sexy, it’s remains the business workhorse for connecting, communicating and driving sales. Unlike social media options that require participants to return to receive your message, email registrations provide marketers permission and the conduit for on-going communications. 2013 Actionable Marketing Tip: Leverage your social media outposts to support the growth of your email housefile.
  6. Organizations change their structure out of necessity. Companies must adapt in order to effectively implement integrated marketing plans including mobile, social media, content marketing, search and email. This translates to modifying organizational structures to supply appropriate resources—not only in marketing but also across customer service, technology, management, human resources, legal and other areas. In larger organizations, this can translate to tearing down silos and older fiefdoms as well as changing the use of third party marketing resources such as agencies. 2013 Actionable Marketing Tip: Give your staff social media training to put everyone on equal footing. At the same time ensure that there are social media and crisis management guidelines in place and up-to-date.
  7. Accountable metrics must show the money! It’s no longer acceptable to dedicate an ever-growing proportion of your marketing budget to social media, content marketing and mobile without being able to measure a return on your marketing investment. Social media, content marketing and mobile all provide measurable outcomes if you plan for tracking. 2013 Actionable Marketing Tip: At a minimum incorporate a call-to-action, a unique tracking code and means to capture the results.

While the future’s never certain, in 2013, marketers will need to develop a more holistic view of their customers by acquiring information from social media, content marketing, mobile, search and email. Further, marketers will have to improve their ability to develop effective campaigns and to track them.

What’s your 2013 prediction and what’s the basis for your forecast? Please include your answer in the comment section below.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


PLEASE NOTE: 

There are only 2 days left to nominate your favorite social media blog of 2013 in Social Media Examiner’s 4th Annual Top 10 Social Media Blog Contest. We encourage you to vote by naming your fav in their comment section. (Of course, we’d be delighted if you chose us!) Again please cast your nomination by commenting here.

BTW, here’s what marketing experts thought about last year, in terms of the biggest marketing break throughs of 2012,  biggest marketing surprises of 2012 and the biggest marketing #Fails of 2012.

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