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Digital Marketing Trends Coming in 2013

Last week a great article from Entrepreneur.com was written on what the top 10 digital marketing trend predictions were for  2013. Many things have been bubbling to the surface in 2012, and now it is time to take a look at these various tools and leverage them more fully in 2013.

I’ve included a summary below:

1) Mobile: No longer is it enough to have a mobile site. Users are finding your site on mobile, now you must figure out what they need from you via mobile and provide them true value. If you don't, they will look elsewhere.

2) Attribution Marketing: In order to fully understand the effectiveness of your marketing spend, you can no longer only look at your “last click”. Users are touched by multiple marketing pieces across many marketing channels. Every industry is different, but it is important to learn how valuable each marketing channel is to your business, and evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing more accurately by counting how each piece is adding to your sales and leads.

3) Gamification: We all know that people love to play games. But how can non-game companies use game concepts to engage users and produce more revenue? This is the question for marketers to answer in 2013.

4) “Free” Inbound Marketing: We have all heard the term, “content is king”. And content marketing is a large part of inbound marketing, which is the ability to use unpaid methods to drive traffic to your website. While you still need to pay someone to write content, this is the method where content is created, and then people are driven to the website with the compelling content, to engage in conversation with the company or with each other, and/ or share the content with their networks. All of these are organic methods to generate traffic that builds value for a brand and website's SEO value. It takes time, thought, and a sound strategy, but that is all well worth it because builds long-term value.

5) Data Visualization: As companies, we all want our prospects to trust us, right? One of the ways to convey knowledge and gain trust is by sharing data that proves a point. However numbers and 1s and 0s are boring — the ability to take data and let it tell a story in a compelling way is a challenge and an opportunity for marketers.

6) Loyalty Marketing: We all know that it is more expensive to gain a new customer than to keep an old one. In 2013, loyalty marketing will become a larger focus across the board for companies, as they focus on delighting their customers to create fans that will talk about their experiences, as well as come back as repeat buyers.

7) Brand Social Influence: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs — where are conversations occurring about your brand? Find out, go, and participate — add value to the conversations there, in addition to starting conversations of your own within social networks, and adding content and value to your fans there. In this way, you become a part of users’ everyday conversations and your brand stays top of mind.

8) Marketing Analytics: It is no longer good enough to just understand your website analytics. Optimizing your website is the last mile. In order to truly get the most value out of your marketing dollars, you must also understand the effectiveness of your marketing channels and activities, and optimize your spend accordingly. See my presentation from DD13 on The Metrics That Matter for a introduction into what this means and how to get started.

9) Design: We have always known that first impressions matter a lot, and that holds true online as well. Digital / graphic design is a skill set that has been growing tremendously over the past few years, both in the numbers of people available with these skills and the various tools that are available. If you have not invested in true design resources, 2013 is the time to step up your game.  This applies to web, social, print, in-store pieces, etc.

10) Local Marketing: Local businesses now have a variety of tools available to to them that are effective and affordable, and 2013 will bring even more. There are also more portals that are focusing on Local and these are becoming more popular with users, such as Google+ Local, Yelp,, etc. Leveraging online as a marketing channel is new to many smaller local businesses, and they will need to figure out how to leverage online to drive customers through their doors. The ones that figure it out first will be able to put themselves ahead of those that do not.

Source: The full article is available here

Views: 612

Tags: 2013, Automotive Marketing, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneur, Magazine, digital, marketing, predictions, trends

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Comment by Albert Carrasco on January 12, 2013 at 3:55am

I recommend taking Kevin Werbach’s course on Gamification when it opens up again through coursera, and no, it’s not about creating a virtual game for your customers, again the reason why mobile apps lend themselves to this new paradigm.

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 11, 2013 at 7:14am

Comment by Vickie Gibbs on January 10, 2013 at 1:19pm

Thanks! And great to meet a fellow data geek :) ... Good suggestion on the Responsive Design post idea. We'll have to think about that one!

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 10, 2013 at 1:00pm

Thanks, I appreciate the break down! Agreed on all points and good explanation, in my opinion.

Responsive Design deserves its own thread or blog post. How and why to do it. Forget when and where, it's now.

"Data geek", you say...? You and I are new friends! Throw subjectivity out of the window and introduce logic-based decision making.

*tips cap

Comment by Vickie Gibbs on January 10, 2013 at 12:53pm

@Alexander - Let me address some of your questions/ comments. I'm including some more specific comments below. First of all, I want to say that I totally agree that these are high level statements more than tactical or even strategic "how-tos" ... The main purpose of the article and my summary was to get people thinking out of their comfort zone, and realize that for some of the things that we've been hearing about, this may be the year to start testing and experimenting with some of these things (if you aren't already) ... Before you get left behind by others that are working in these areas and learning and growing as a result ... The article and summary are also broader than just automotive, but I think there are many things that auto dealers and those in this industry can leverage to grow their businesses.

#3 Gamification: I did not mean to imply that I think someone should run out and create a game for their customers to sell cars. What I do mean is that there are elements that make games engaging. We can learn from what makes games successful and incorporate some elements into our marketing and programs to attract and engage customers -- things like competition, limited times, unique experiences and prizes, etc. In addition, there may be local games in our areas that we could participate in as a sponsor to get promotion to a certain type of audience within our target demographic.

#4 Content is King: Good content will drive engagement with users. As business people, we must learn to create compelling content for our users and place that content in places to reach a large number of users that are interested in the content and a part of our target market. What I mean by "free" is that posting content on blogs, on YouTube, etc is not a paid form of advertising where you are paying for impressions or clicks. You make a great point that unless it is good content, it is not going to anything to add value. I would add to that point and say that if you have great content, and you don't put it in places where your target market will see it, it will also not do anything to add value. Creating content is something you need to be focused on doing well, and it takes some time and effort to do it correctly so that it does add value.  But unlike a paid advertising campaign that is off once you stop paying, content will continue to build value over time.

#7 Brand Social Influence: I completely agree that this is dependent on the type of business, and what a popular clothing brand can accomplish or even what an OEM brand can accomplish is very different than what a specific dealer group or auto dealer can accomplish. That said, the definition of "success" is part of the key to the question. If you are at a dealership that is in a tech savvy market with a young demographic and your dealership appeals to the younger demo well, social might be a great way for you to reach your target audience, with some contests, partnering with local charities or other businesses, etc. It all goes back to using the different tools in the best way given your set of variables.

#9 Design: I think you and I are both in total agreement with your point here. I think we have just classified things differently. Anyone who has seen my presentations or knows me, knows what a data geek I am and what a proponent I am for behavioral targeting, responsive design, right message to the right customer - however you want to define it. I tend to bucket that type of stuff in the area of analytics and targeting. Making things look great is step 1. Figuring out what works for your customers is what it is really all about. I don't think you can do "Responsive Design" justice in part of a blog article touching on the subject. It really takes the days of A/B and split testing and personalization to the next level, and is truly the next phase of how we will interact with everything digital. It sounds like this may be an area of your expertise, so I would be interested to learn more about what you may have to say on the subject.

Thanks for your comments!

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 10, 2013 at 12:27pm

I'm not so sure these are predictions per se. Most of these points have already been proven to work. Yes, I see these are short blurbs on "trends" but please break them down, this is too vague.

Forgive me if I sound rude or crass, but #3#4, #7 and #9 - WOW!, there's a lot more to their execution, than just those catholic statements.

  • #3 - Honestly, how many dealerships are going to spend $15K to $20K on having a customized game designed (risky to say the least)? That's about your average cost for custom game design and if it's mobile app-based, it's more. What's the business intelligence behind it?
  • #4 - "Content is King" - so sick of hearing that statement. Every college marketing grad and their mother states that crap and few execute on it correctly. If it's not the right content (engaging / compelling), written in the right style / tone and using keywords that have been analyzed, it'll fail to to convert. Placing back links and content at irrelevant sources is going to do nothing for you (in fact it'll hurt you now). What do you mean "Free" exactly? Publishing on social networks, blogs, Article Factories or PR sites or what exactly?
  • #7 - Ambitious. Everyone knows this but it's much different executing on it (spending the money on a dedicated and qualified resource, not your nephew). Plus, it's business model dependent and that has to be taken into consideration. What works for a Bar & Restaurant isn't going to necessarily work for a Car Dealership in terms of promoting discussions and publishing content.
  • #9 - Design - what about user testing your designs, applications, web interfaces, etc. for better conversion results (A/B, Split, Multivariate testing tools)? Continuously measuring this through time (heat maps, etc.) and adjusting accordingly. What about throwing a bone for 'Responsive Web Design'?
Comment by Caz Bielen on January 10, 2013 at 10:23am

This is great information, but worthless if the dealers do not get off their butts and start doing at least some of these. Hit the Road Guys, Get out on the highway, get your motor running....

The key to mobile is video, the key to local is Local Video, because the person on their device is real and in the showroom just down the street. How about that, they saw you on TV, Tablet, Phone, etc and now they can actually see you in person. The Trust is already established, now Sell!

Comment by Roosevelt Gist on January 10, 2013 at 9:45am

Google didn't recently provide free public wifi for the city of Chelsea, NY for the fun of it.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 10, 2013 at 9:38am

As much as I like the 10 areas described, I am starting to realize that in many cases these so called "predictions" are actually guidance on where we SHOULD be focusing our attention...

Comment by Joe Schwartz on January 8, 2013 at 6:34pm

Nice post, Vickie.  Each the trends represent significant marketing discipline challenges, and of course there is the technology dimension.  Good stuff - lot's of food for thought.

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