Digital marketing trends for 2013

Will it be a year of forays into new areas or very much a continuation of what we had in 2012? AVATAR CEO Zibusiso Mkhwanazi recently wrote an article on the marketing trends to look out for in 2013. In this article we look at those trends.

The rise of Big Data
Given all the gadgets that we are now using from cellphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and ultra-books, there has been an explosive increase in the amount of data being generated. In this age where we are always-on, data is being generated around the clock tied to our daily activities and events. All that generated data can be analysed in great detail and all kinds of insights can be gleaned from this analysis. The tools for this kind of work are available.
2013 is likely to be the year when Big Data moves from being something that was only focussed on by huge corporations to much smaller companies. Big Data moves from something that was the preserve of entities such as IBM, Google and other data crunching giants to something that can be applied by smaller businesses.

Content marketing no longer a buzz word
For a while now Content Marketing has been a buzzword in the marketing space. Now it has evolved to a fully-fledged discipline that is spawning a whole new area of not just marketing but business itself. It is now something that can no longer be ignored by business. Brands have to integrate content marketing into their business and make sure that the information they share with customers is not only relevant but timely and compelling as well.

Brands have been marketing content in one way or another but in 2013 content marketing comes to the fore as one of the key areas to focus on in marketing. Brands will need to devise content marketing strategies in line with the overall marketing strategy. Content schedules will need to be crafted showing when that content is generated and shared. Brands will need to decide how much they put in creating content. The performance of the content that is shared across a Brand’s platforms will need to be analysed regularly to check performance. Corrective action can then be taken.

Automated marketing on the agenda
In a highly competitive business environment, brands need to be as effective and efficient as possible in generating leads. For instance the number of people who visit a website are a source of potential leads. Automated marketing involves using tools such as welcome campaigns and mails on online platforms.
Automated marketing will help brands take advantage of the various touch points with potential customers. This information that is picked up from the web site can feed into the Brand’s Sales Funnel and actioned by the sales team. To this end Brands will need to invest in the relevant tools which have not only become cheaper but more accessible.

Marketing campaigns starting with Mobile
Even with the explosive growth in the mobile, marketing on mobile platforms has not only been top of mind. Much of the time it has been an afterthought, with most of the action happening on other platforms such as social media platforms. This year could see what was once the tail becoming the head.

It is estimated that 800 million smartphones and tablets were sold over the ca. These are not numbers to trifle with and businesses need to take full advantage of this. More and more people are accessing the internet via mobile devices presenting marketers with greater opportunities and possibilities in this space.

Moving from Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to targeted discovery
It’s a case of Goodbye quantity and welcome quality when it comes to Google’s approach towards SEO. With more updates to their search algorithms than before, Google is favouring original and relevant content over sites that focus more on back links and other processes to ensure high rankings in search. It’s becoming less about SEO Tricks and processes and more about engaging, compelling and relevant content.
The evolution of SEO is set to continue with user-intent driven targeted discovery. This means users are becoming more empowered in terms of what they actually see on the digital platforms they use.

In conclusion 2013 is set to be an exciting year with the Rise of Big Data, content marketing, automated marketing, mobile marketing campaigns and the evolution of SEO. Will Brands be innovators or followers in these areas? Only time will tell.