Can you believe we have come to that part of the year already?! The bit where everyone is evaluating what has happened over the last 11 to 12 months and is making predictions for the coming year… Well we are; and with that in mind let’s look at some of the things that we are going to be looking for in the coming 12 months.
In the last 12 months; people were generally focused on the following trends:
Social media (finally) growing up
Mobile marketing being taken seriously
Reputation management (social media)
Content is king
Bar codes (QR codes)
To the man in the street, this meant a few great things in terms of his experience with brands.
It meant that consumers were being taken seriously. To some extent, brands realised that their audience had a voice and they were not afraid to use it. Social media became the voice of the consumer and companies were forced to listen and react.
Consumers in general never really understood QR codes. I must admit while I think they are pretty interesting and fun to play around with; the fact that QR readers are not native to smart phones and tablets just makes them an absolute pain to use.
Content became the currency of the year. Consumers were hungry for it and brands were more than happy to dish it out. Those who did so properly were rewarded with online conversations that potentially led to sales, but at the very least strengthened their brand and reinforced their position in the market place.
So what’s going to be different in 2013?
1. Get it done
In my opinion, 2013 is going to be a year where things get done. People are going stop talking about the benefits of social media and blogging and start actually getting involved. This is arguably the biggest thing that needs to change. Until now, people have been grappling with the difficulties of convincing their internal stakeholders that there are benefits to social media. The problem with this is that it is very difficult to show value in something that you are not involved in.
2. Cloud computing
Cloud computing is going to continue to rise in popularity; especially in small to medium-sized companies. There are a host of benefits of cloud computing that naturally lend themselves to SME’s to take advantage of. How does this relate to marketing you say? Well the fact that your business can / does run on the cloud is not necessarily related; but the fact that your clients can access your systems anywhere and at any time is beneficial.
3. Marketing effectiveness being evaluated
I think we are rapidly moving past the stage where we can continually measure online and offline effectiveness against each other. I see 2013 being the year where marketing channels are all rated in terms of how effective they are at creating, sustaining and converting in to sales. In 2013, the online/offline battle ground will be won on this front.
4. The KPI of ROI
As a spin-off from the previous point; I think that people are going to have to be more concerned with how effective all their marketing is and that they are going to be aggressively measured on this. The results and performance metrics are going to prove critical in 2013.
5. Mobile marketing takes off (again)
Mobile marketing is going to get even more serious in 2013. There has been this misunderstood void in the last few years that has been “mobile marketing” but in 2013 everyone is going to be taking this front very seriously. With more and more smartphones and tablets on the market than ever before; no one can forget to place emphasis on their “mobile strategies”. This includes everything from USSD, SMS, MMS and WAP to mobile internet and applications.
Covering it all
Again consumers can get ready to have their collective socks blown off. In 2013, digital campaigns are going to be looking at touching you directly (hopefully in a non-creepy way… unless you are into that!). This means that you will have beautifully immersive experiences in a way that speaks to you, as you;, and not as part of a collective demographic.
Consumers will be touched through location–based services reaching out to them through their mobile devices (smart phone or tablet).
These are just some of the major things I think will be emphasized in 2013 — over and above that, tailoring your marketing to how, where and when your target audience wants to interact with you is going to be pivotal. This goes beyond “just” content marketing and being “mobile”. This is your entire marketing message and it needs to speak to individuals and not to demographics anymore!