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Most Exciting Digital Marketing Opportunities In 2013 [CHART]

In case there was any doubt about our priorities...

Presented with a list of digital-related opportunities and asked to name the three most exciting for their organizations this year, 43% of digital marketers pointed to mobile optimization, according to a new Econsultancy study produced in association with Adobe.

Mobile optimization – which the report refers to in part as the need to make every digital experience work well on any device in any location – took top honors from last year’s leader, social media engagement, which tumbled from 54% to 35% of respondents.

Targeting and personalization, a new option this year, actually tied with social media engagement for second place on the list, with 35% seeing it as top-3 exciting digital opportunity this year.

While a couple of areas besides mobile optimization moved up the excitement scale among marketers this year – content marketing (30% vs. 18% in 2012) and marketing automation (23% vs. 11%) – several dropped off. Those include content optimization (27%, down from 37%), brand building/viral marketing (18% vs. 27%), video marketing (18% vs. 24%), and social media analytics (14% vs. 19%). 

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Tags: 2013, Econsultancy, Mobile Optimization, digital, marketing, opportunities,


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Comment by Joe Schwartz on January 29, 2013 at 6:41am

Well put, Alexander.

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 28, 2013 at 5:59am

This is all the stuff Facebook has been trying to do since Day One. They obviously get it, but I don't think they necessarily executed well on all of it. Joe is right, it is one of the key drivers.

To further elaborate, this is WHY HTML5 will win and beat out native apps, eventually...

Here's why the Apps-vs-HTML5 debate matters:

  • Distribution: Native apps are distributed through app stores and markets controlled by the owners of the platforms. HTML5 is distributed through the rules of the open web: the link economy.
  • Monetization: Native apps come with one-click purchase options built into mobile platforms. HTML5 apps will tend to be monetized more through advertising, because payments will be less user-friendly.
  • Platform power and network effects: Developers have to conform with Apple's rules. Apple's market share, meanwhile, creates network effects and lock-in. If and when developers can build excellent iPhone and iPad functionality on the web using HTML5, developers can cut Apple out of the loop. This will reduce the network effects of Apple's platform.
  • Functionality: Right now, native apps can do a lot more than HTML5 apps. HTML5 apps will get better, but not as fast as some HTML5 advocates think.

Comment by Joe Schwartz on January 25, 2013 at 2:26pm

Tom's great point about optimization notwithstanding, the real answer there is "self-describing" content.  That is one of the key drivers behind HTML5 adoption.  The content specifies in its metadata how it should be rendered, or optimized, for each device.

Comment by Joe Schwartz on January 25, 2013 at 2:20pm

I would add that with contextual targeting and pattern matching technology based on the user's graph and browsing patterns that the need to maintain big data goes away.  In other words, as the network FINALLY becomes intelligent, we can focus on rich content creation and delivery, across all channels contextually if that makes sense.  To be efficient, we will need to put extra thought into our content strategies. Being responsive is something that the network, or as I guess it's called now the "cloud," SHOULD provide.  

Comment by Tom Gorham on January 25, 2013 at 2:02pm

Ralph, when they talk about targeting and personalization, it seems simple.  But when you talk about, "PERSONALIZATION is the killer web app of the future for automotive marketers, and the more that Responsive Web Design can be used to deliver optimum personalization to each site visitor, the more effective that dealership's website will become.", it's different.  When you personalize a web experience, based on big data, that's a different experience than targeting ads and emails.  I agree with you 100%.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 25, 2013 at 12:27pm

Great discussion, but let's make sure that everyone is aware that "Responsive Web Design" is neither a new concept, nor are the technology capabilities that facilitate it. I see this happen a lot in the auto industry... A supplier grabs onto an existing technical capability, enhances it and then creates marketing campaigns to sell products to dealers featuring this "New Capability", which is actually not new, and is also not exclusive or specific to any individual supplier.  When I worked for The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, the group which has evolved into Naked Lime offered a product sold as "Brand Protect" to multi-franchise dealers which was a responsive web design based on the visitor's referring source... If the customer was coming from a Ford branded referring site, the dealer group's site displayed Ford vehicles, if from a Chevy referring site, Chevy vehicles, etc. Many suppliers have incorporated adaptive technology that senses the device the visitor is using and then loads up a site design optimized for their mobile, tablet, wide-screen PC, etc. In my opinion, Responsive Web design has and will continue to be a standard requirement for all automotive website suppliers.  Beyond the device sensing basics, what will differentiate one supplier from another is how their sites are able to respond with design optimizations based on other factors... For example, responsive design that is tied in with the same data tracking that Behavioral Targeting uses for Online Display Advertising (ODA) creative selection and frequency would optimize the appearance of your dealership website to raise the conversion rate of visitors into floor traffic, phone calls, chat sessions and lead forms by displaying known vehicles of interest as "specials" and using design elements similar to the sites most visited on a repeat basis by the user/customer.

PERSONALIZATION is the killer web app of the future for automotive marketers, and the more that Responsive Web Design can be used to deliver optimum personalization to each site visitor, the more effective that dealership's website will become.  This ability to "customize on the fly" based on data sets collected and tagged to each visitor will also reduce the need for extensive microsite networks in order to achieve optimum overall conversion rates.

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 25, 2013 at 12:10pm

This is an interesting conversation and I see both POVs.

My point, sites can be designed so they do display what you intend the user to see on all browsers, devices, shapes, sizes, etc. Responsive Web Design isn't going anywhere and sites should respond to their environment. 

Whether you love it or hate it, responsive design is bound to go mainstream in 2013. Every business is embracing responsive design as the wave of the future, and more websites are popping up on every device with an internet connection with conforming layouts.

You can keep designing separately for desktop, tablet, hand-held devices, etc., but in the long run, it's going to be a lot smarter (cheaper) to have your web designers / developers (or 3rd parties) create one cohesive site that is 'responsive'.

Comment by Tom Gorham on January 25, 2013 at 11:28am

Really an interesting conversation.  I do believe Responsive Websites are a good practice but true design takes place in creating a site for the device intended.  In the past, it was difficult enough to design for different browsers and screen resolution on PCs. (Am I dating myself?)  I really agree with Chip that tablets and smartphones, although both are mobile, are separate categories.

In my home, we have three tablets, three smartphones, two laptops, and two PCs.  We use them all for different purposes, sometimes in tandem and with the TV in the living room.  It's not enough to design for size, one must design for use or purpose.  Calls to action can be different depending on the type of connection.

What really interested me in the chart above is that targeting and personalization are new.  What is new about that???  Content optimization is down and content marketing is up.  Why are they not equal? And how in the world can conversion optimization be down?

Where are social media marketing and reputation marketing?  I believe them to be two of the most important developments taking place for short-term and long-term marketing.

Ah, but this is a poll of marketers, yes?  Doesn't necessarily mean that these are the true realities.

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 23, 2013 at 4:14pm

'Responsive' is the way to go if your site is smart enough to make itself display well on mobile level. Why complicate things by requiring different sites for different resolutions and devices? One site; one set of code. Blue Train Mobile designs mobile sites alone through their platform offering and I'm not exactly sure their POV reflects best practices, agenda-driven.

Comment by Chip Dorman on January 23, 2013 at 8:22am

I'd like to see Mobile broken down into two catagories, tablet and smartphone. They really are two completely different users with different objectives. Tablets are really being used as an alternative to PCs or Laptops and lumping them in with phones muddies the waters.

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