January is always an exciting time at an innovative agency like 4Ps Marketing, and we have tried to use this article to sum up the thoughts of several of our digital marketing experts.
Developments in digital marketing have progressed so much over the past year, it has given marketers many new opportunities to build brand awareness and engage with their target audiences.
There have been new social platforms such as Instagram, not to mention the EU Privacy Directive, a piece of legislation allowing website users to opt in or out of cookies. This seemed to be quite a scary concept to websites and brands, but it has allowed the consumer to feel more in control, making them more likely to trust the brand. In the long term, it is much beneficial to all parties.
Then there is the big one; content. Major algorithm changes made this all the more important, with great emphasis being placed on fresh, original content.
With all these developments, the digital marketing industry had much to learn and adapt to in 2012. Without further ado, here are our marketing predictions for 2013:
We predict that SEO in 2013 will see additional focus on mobile and worldwide strategies. Online marketing is a key driving force for many businesses and mobile strategies are becoming an important consideration. Mobile apps, mobile websites and responsive web design have already become the norm for pioneering businesses.
International strategies are also becoming a key focus for businesses wanting to expand their client base. This involves adapting your strategies to the needs and wants of different cultures. There might be a difference in language, which often means that you will need to have content tailored for that country. Alternatively you may need to have an understanding of other search engines such as Yandex or Baidu.
.domains or .brand domains are set to be available in January, and it will be interesting to see how the integration of these TLDs pan out.
Finally, it is still true that white hat techniques equal sustainable results. This is exactly what any marketer aims to achieve; lasting results.
2012 saw cloud computing facilitate the consumerisation of technologies such as tablets and mobiles. We also saw Google moving into the affiliate space and advertising exchanges start to dominate the display market in the UK.
We believe it is the integration of these technologies and an understanding of how the gap between data and technology can be breached that is the real innovation, rather than the technology itself. 2013 will continue to see this integration develop. New technology such as Universal Analytics enables cross-platform data analysis and businesses are adapting their operations structures to enable marketing teams to work together effectively.
Our prediction for Social Media in 2013 is that we will see a continual rise in creative content, mobile and an increased ability to measure and provide significant ROI figures.
Although 2012 has seen Facebook and Twitter dominate the social media space, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest have also made a mark and have been adopted by many large brands. The purposes of these networks are all very different. Google+ aimed to compete with Facebook and Twitter, Instagram focused on photo sharing and Pinterest focused on both. With each new platform, marketers have a new community to capitalise on.
Content will become more important than ever in 2013. Consumers are becoming ever savvier; they know when they’re being sold to and might be reluctant to engage with brands that take the “heavy sell” approach. Content allows a business or brand to sell its personality and benefits, which can lead to enhanced relationships and direct/future sales. Additionally, we cannot ignore the SEO benefits of good content.
The past year has seen huge increases in mobile activity. Whether it is website visits or engagement via Twitter, consumers are becoming more mobile and your engagement, strategies, website and content must be altered accordingly. Content that can be read and shared on the move will be extremely powerful.
Our final point about Social Media in 2013 is ROI; over the next year, people investing in social media will be able to pinpoint their returns far more accurately.
Branding and Data converge
2013 will be the year when big brands realise that their data strategy is integral to the growth of their brand. Companies and organisations worldwide will start to use data for their marketing campaigns at both a strategic and tactical level. We are not talking about using data to make our marketing better (I take that as given) but making our marketing more trusted. A brand that doesn’t have a strategy for how to use data will start to lose consumer trust. If a brand loses trust then you are eroding your brand equity. If you erode your brand equity then we don’t need to tell you where that will lead your organisation.
In summary, we believe that marketers in 2013 will start to understand the importance of seamlessly plugging your data strategy into your brand strategy. Those that do will reap the rewards, those that don’t risk undoing years of hard work.
Last but not least, we wish you all a very prosperous 2013 from all of us over at 4Ps Marketing.
Director / Co Founder
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