Top 13 Trends In Digital Marketing for 2013 – The CXO’s Guide

1. Watch Our For Tectonic Shifts In The Digital Media

Watch out for new technologies, platforms and tools, as well as advancements in that which already exists.

Will Facebook search replace Google in search dominance? Will WhatsApp, BBM, Skype, Facetime, etc. slowly but surely erode Facebook status updates, comments and likes given the way mobile users are using social networks? Will handheld devices suddenly topple traditional computing?

2. Watch Out For Facebook Changes

Facebook gave us a new brand / profile page, and also added the Timeline feature early last year. Expect more changes this year. Facebook is experimenting doing away with the thumbnail images that support the tabs such as photos, friends on individual profile pages.  Expect that this could happen to brand pages too. Facebook is also changing privacy settings for users. Will these changes affect how your brand is engaging with your customers? Keep a watch!

3. Mobile Marketing Will Be The In Thing

This year will be even more `mobile’ then 2012 with 900 million plus mobile phones out there. A Nielsen NM Incite study reveals that 46% of all social media users use their smartphones to access their favorite social networks and 16% use their tablets for the same.

In India, mobile phones are increasingly becoming the `smarter’ variant. Last reported there were 27 million smart phones in the country. What is interesting is the extensive usage of search, social media interactions and apps on mobile phones.

4. Visuals Will Be The Name of The Game

Visual messaging, visual engagement, visuals speak a thousand words and multiply your reach! It is actually just going back to basics. Why is photography/cinematography so critical in the success of a movie, or the making of an ad? The visuals are necessary and empower messaging more than just words can. Photos on Facebook generate 53 % more likes than regular posts. ‘Virals’ are not made, they `happen’.

5. Content Continues To Be King

It’s the 30-second ad that will run for the next few months v/s content everyday that engages, and aims at content excellence. As digital marketing blogger Jeff Bullas puts it: “Create online buzz and virality through liquid content. Content so contagious that it cannot be controlled.”

Plus content that’s hot out of the oven. Your brand, your company is doing things every day. Your content should consist of news, updates, or content from the brands universe that touches relevant and recognizable touch points with the consumer.

Keep the hot news ready to be served as it comes. On your website, in the social space, and all findable on search engines.

6. Breaking Digital Clutter Will Get Tougher

With more brands and corporate realizing the power of the web, they are all out there doing there SEO, SMO, Website updates, etc. etc. The digital clutter will only increase. Getting the audience to engage with you will not be easy. Getting them to click on your link will depend ultimately on what you have to offer. Refer point 5.

7. On-set of Real Time Marketing & Internal/External Communications

Yes, we know we can do real time media planning and buying. But what is going to be even more exciting is real time marketing. Buyers are engaging real time on company websites and social media with the sellers, and in every product segment. What’s more digital is becoming all pervasive. So it’s use is not just restricted to marketing any more but PR, sales, CRM, corporate communication, et al.

Brand pages on Facebook get posts that relate to purchase enquiries, and on another extreme even employees or hired help talking about low wages! CXOs have to say goodbye to advance campaign planning and traditional modes of interactions, and look at nimble-footed communication plans.

8. Importance of Off Page SEO Will Increase Thanks To Social Media

With increase in social linkages, sharing, fragmentation and spread of what is being said about your brand, your off page optimization has to be robust. Linking, monitoring, seeding content, targeting influencers and addressing the audience where they are will increasingly start counting for your Page Rank on search engines.

9. Contextual Content Marketing Will Emerge

Serving the right content in the right context of what your customer is seeking will become increasingly important. More and more `targeted marketing’ will be the name of the game.

10. Marketing Will Become More Human

A face to the voice that speaks will become increasingly important. Be it the profile of who is tweeting on behalf of your company, or the CEO’s blog or twitter account or the way you respond to your audience on twitter. A face adds credibility and the audience will increasingly look for this credibility in a highly competitive environment.

11. Opt-In Email Lists Can Give A Marketing Edge

Email is not out, email is in, we check it everyday. We click on offers from mailing lists, we read articles that interest us in the weekly news digests we subscribe to, we click on links forwarded to us via email. Smart marketers will focus on building these email lists and getting the consumer coming back for more regularly. The bigger and better your list, and better the targeting you do with it, the better your marketing returns.

12. Lead Generation Budgets Will Shift To Digital

As opposed to 2 per cent response rate in mass media marketing, digital media marketing can give 10 per cent or even higher responses. Topping this is the fact that you pay only for media that delivered, CPC (cost per click) deals are dominating digital media spends. What’s more you can control what you want to spend for the lead.

13. Device Agnostic & Device Independent

Be it through responsive design or sheer investment in content that can be served for multiple screens, marketers will realize the need to invest in either or. While compatibility across screens is any digital content designer’s dream, it will take a while. Not in 2013 at least.

But equally important, will be the need to go digital at new touch points, be it through mega-digital activations across outdoor media, at point of purchase, at events, malls or even in sub-way stations. Tesco increased their sales without increasing the number of stores by creating virtual stores at subways, considering that where the hard working Korean may actually consider shopping as they waited for their daily commute.

How the Marketer Can Prepare

Leaders of all types must have at least a high-level understanding of how social and digital technologies work. Even if your corporation is not pursuing the digital media, social and new technology – opportunities there are possibilities of unavoidable challenges and risks. Either posed by your end-consumer who has adopted these, or by the competition.

As Courtney Hunt, Founder of Social Media in organizations aptly posts in her post on Social & Digital Tech Trends : 9 Take-Aways For YOU: Being digital dinosaur is a luxury few people can afford.

What trends do you see emerging in the months ahead? We would love to hear. Please post your comments or mail us on info@bcwebwise.com

What Is The Future of Digital Marketing, A Marketer’s Guide – 2012-22

Digital can be mainstream in 10 years

Youth in the larger metros and hand-held devicescould be responsible for driving this change.

Why?

  • Already a major source for news even in real-time
  • TV networks seeking online model to secure their share of the online revenue pie.
  • Online ads are not just cheaper, but efficient and can be customized and served in real-time.

Social Communities Will Be a Part of Life

Current Global Trends:

  • 57 percent of people talk to people more online than they do in real life and 78 percent of people trust consumer opinions posted online.
  • Social networking has exploded globally. Nearly 1 in 5 minutes online is spent on social networking sites.
  • What does it mean for brands: Digital media is increasingly becoming a part of life. Weave social media into everything you do to reach, engage, listen to consumers and invest in ORM.

Auction-Based Buys Will Take-over

  • The top ranking reach networks Google and Facebook operate on bidding. The display investment with Google increased by 92 per cent in the past year.
  • Real-Time-Bidding (RTB), based on audience data will become a ‘must’ for marketers due to their potential to enhance campaign performance.

Digital Media Agencies Will Buy Audiences

As it is an era of an increasingly data-driven market where consumers play a central role,traditional ad space buying model will slowly disappear, in exchange for an audience-centric model with greater efficiency to eliminate campaign waste.
This is the most outstanding trend that every marketer, publisher, agency, data mining company and technology enabler will have to watch out for.

Real Time Planning Will Take Over

Pre-campaign planning will be replaced by planning during the campaign. Instead of inventory, marketers will choose for an audience based on valuable intelligence that satisfies an advertiser’s requirement in real time.

Websites Will Be Critical

  • Branding is going to play an enormous role in the future of website marketing because consumers are seeking information when they want and not necessarily when you are pushing content.
  • Web marketers who take a strong branding and business building approach to the online platform (brands like Nike, the Mini, Adidas, Uniqlo, etc.) will flourish as opposed to those who do one off tactical initiatives on their websites.

Connectivity Will Be Independent of Devices

By 2016, it will all be about connection and what your device can do to achieve that. Media communications will be simplified owing to everything being well connected. Increased compatibility will facilitate communication across multiple platforms through which, the advertising industry will benefit tremendously.

Technology Will Drive Marketing Online

Will we be using a search engine like Google in 5 years? Will we be using desktop computers in 5 years? What will future social networks look like?
The acceleration of innovation in online technologies and the ways we can discover, consume and engage with information can be a challenge to keep up with.

Technology Will Drive Creative (& vice-versa)

  • Driven by consumer expectations who need stimulus beyond the ordinary, first movers, stand alone innovations – that deliver a WOW experience to the consumer will stand out
  • Marketers will need to look for communication opportunities that have the right mix of relevancy & surprise – To have long term ‘Top of Mind’ impact in the increasingly competitive space.

App-based Behaviour Will Drive Mobile Ads

  • With mobile internet usage and mobile search already ahead of desktop, behavioral and geo-targeting, apps will completely change the way ads are sold and consumed on mobile.
  • In the Indian context, apps can drive rural marketing where other modes of reach are limiting.

Location Based Services on the Go Advertising

  • If used right, LBS can be a boon and offer an important basic capability that enables all sorts of innovation in mobile device tools and marketing.

Branded Apps Will Be a Norm

  • Letting someone download a branded tool to enhance their experience of your brand, offers great potential for engagement, lead generation and even direct sales.
  • The App revolution is fueled by a new level of utility in content for mobile devices. The popular tagline “there’s an app for that” is based on this utility. When you can find an app to enhance just about anything you are doing, the net effect becomes transformative.

M-comm will take Over E-comm

  • Easily click a button on a device to trigger a micropayment from your own account without having to re-enter or re-confirm credit card details. M-coupons and offers will further fuel marketing efforts.
  • As the recent text-to-donate campaign for Haiti from the Red Cross showed the world, trying these payments to user’s phone bills may offer another solution.

Digital Will Go Beyond Desktops & Hand-held

  • Digital will link to outdoor, ambient and unexplored realms; all with traditional digital linkages to the Internet
  • National Geographic’s Augmented Reality (AR) Experience in malls, Lynx Falling Angels outdoor AR experience, will be unforgettable for a long time to come and looked up on the web- way beyond the time when these events actually happened.
  • For Marketers it means – Integrating digital in all your plans and capitalizing on activation opportunities where digital can add a revolutionary layer plus long term shelf life.

Consumer-centric Approach v/s Brand Approach

  • Consumer data in terms of their likes and preferences is more accurately available. These can be harnessed to deliver a communication that is relevant and meets intangible consumer needs thereby strengthening relationships. Brands need to be more humane and grounded in order to strike a chord with the audience.

Brands with Pull Strategy Are the Dark Horses of This Race over push strategy.

@bcwebwise

We build a digital architecture that is rooted in research, strategy, branding and content. Layering it with the right brand building assets and maximizing deliverables with the right reach vehicles and technology in the digital spectrum is the key. Through this approach, we strive to achieve the extraordinary and build businesses.