5 Trends Guaranteed To Disrupt Your 2013 Marketing Plans [Research]

19 Social Media, Content Marketing & Mobile Tactics for 2013

While the digital world is about twenty years old and reaches about a third of the world’s population, profound changes occurred in 2012 that are guaranteed to disrupt your 2013 marketing plans. With less than a month until the end of 2012, you must ensure that your 2013 marketing budget can handle these five dynamic trends.


#1Smartphone sales have outpaced stalled PC growth; tablets now drive growth in the computer market. While PCs will continue to be an integral part of the work environment, marketers must be present across devices. Further, smartphones in the US have passed their tipping point.

B2B marketers take heed—this isn’t just a consumer trend! Smartphones and tablets are an integral part of how we now consume information and communicate including text, email and voice.   

Strategy: Incorporate a four-screen approach.

  • Offer information to meet different content consumption habits. This means focused use, content snacking, dual consumption and time shifting. 
  • Provide different types of content via different devices to meet consumer needs. Understand how consumers use different devices and ensure that your content is available when and where they want it.


#2: Social media usage exceeds time spent on portals. With one seventh of the world’s population active on Facebook, a more sophisticated strategy than “We need a Facebook page” is required. 

Strategy: Be present on social media with an effective marketing strategy.

To fuel this social media strategy, you’ll need to have a content marketing strategy that’s integrated with your overall digital and search marketing plans.


#3: The digital advertising landscape continues to evolve despite the flattening of digital display advertising growth. Google and Facebook have emerged as the dominant digital advertising platforms while portal advertising, once a must-have marketing staple, has eroded. Plainly put: social media advertising doesn’t work.

These changes combined with the erosion of print and potential disruption of television advertising provide opportunities for the emergence of new online advertising alternatives, such as online video and ecommerce advertising. In fact, Amazon generates over $1billion in advertising revenue.

Strategy: Create a multi-media content marketing strategy. By developing original branded content and related digital outposts, marketers establish digital corporate assets that help them to weather changes in the advertising landscape.  

  • Determine your content marketing goals, target audience (think marketing persona) and related metrics. Ensure that your content marketing plans are integrated with your social media strategy and overall marketing plan.
  • Offer a variety of content marketing formats including video. Create original video content to support your offering.
  • Develop an editorial calendar to keep your content marketing plans on track.
  • Incorporate search optimization. Since customers still turn to Google to find answers to their purchase questions, it’s critical to retain a presence on search engines.
  • Format your content marketing to attract a readership.
  • Maximize your content marketing’s ability to support and close sales. At a minimum, use a call-to-action.
  • Distribute your content marketing via a variety of channels including owned media and social media.


#4: Social media doesn’t drive sales. Over half of participants use social media to find discounts or coupons. (Here’s additional research on how participants shop on social media.) Further, as mentioned above, social media advertising doesn’t work. 

Strategy: Increase social media effectiveness at generating sales leads and closing sales. As social media continues to mature, it’s critical to get your social media marketing to support your sales process in a measurable way.

  • Improve social media marketing’s effectiveness to closing sales. While very tactical, it’s important that every communication across social media helps support your overall sales process. At a minimum, this means including a call-to-action, a trackable promotion code, and a tailored landing page. Use testing to determine the optimal option.
  • Assess social commerce options. Concurrently, social commerce options continue to increase and provide social shopping alternatives.
  • Add mobile options to augment your marketing plans. Make sure you’re able to respond to customer questions and close sales when prospects are in your store (or your competitors’.)


#5:  Consumers use their mobile devices to shop and pay for purchases. Smartphone and tablet sales account for close to one fifth of ecommerce sales. Interestingly, the top smartphone activities at retail locations are communicating with family and friends regarding product selection and taking photos of the product. It’s a change in how we shop together. Secondarily, customers used their smartphones to find product information, especially the best price. Further, customers made $4 billion in mobile payments via Pay Pal in 2011. (Here’s more research on smartphone and tablet shopping.) 

Strategy: Develop an integrated mobile marketing strategy.

  • Have a mobile presence across relevant devices. In today’s always-on smartphone world you need to have a mobile website because a website built for desktop browsers won’t cut if for mobile users. It can take too long to load and be difficult to navigate.
  • Supplement your mobile website with an app. Remember a large portion of smartphone owners use apps to navigate the mobile web. 
  • Include tablets in your mobile strategy. Don’t overlook the power of couch commerce. Make sure that your mobile website is tablet friendly.

As the digital landscape continues to mature, there are certain to be disruptions that will have a significant impact on your marketing. Despite the fact that the future will bring a level of uncertainty, it shouldn’t come from these five trends.

What are your opinions about these five trends? What else would you recommend marketers do to prepare for 2013?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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