Predicting the future is by and large a
wonderfully futile endeavor. Were it not, Las Vegas would
have to close up shop overnight as we all became perfect
prognosticators of every football, baseball, basketball,
and any-ball game played anywhere.
This is not to say, however, that predictions are without value.
The mere act of contemplating the future removes our day-to-
day blinders and helps us contemplate how the events of the
past and present may shape what’s yet to come. For today’s
marketers, this is a priceless exercise as we live in a state of
constant change—often afraid to look anywhere but forward
for fear that we’ll fall behind our peers and the technology that
seemingly drives our every move today.
And that’s exactly why we ask you to stop and read this
collection of predictions from ExactTarget clients, partners,
employees, and friends. Collectively, they have hundreds of
years of experience as marketers. They understand brand,
audience, technology, data, automation, measurement, and ROI
like Vegas understands point spreads. And while they don’t share
some magical crystal ball that lets them divine the future, they do
share a passion for marketing’s past, present, and future that
lets them spot trends—many of which will be very relevant to
your brand in 2013.
So dig in—think, question, and challenge the predictions you
find within these pages. Do they align with what you’re seeing
within your market? Is there a big trend coming that you need
to prepare for today?
The value of these predictions lies not in their accuracy at some
future date, but in the questions they inspire today. We hope you
find them as thought-provoking as we do.
To an inspired future,
Looking for More
Predictions in 2013?
Visit blog.exacttarget.com for additional
insights from our ExactTarget community
of clients, partners, employees, and
Section I: CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING 5
Section II: EMAIL 11
Section III: MOBILE 15
Table of Contents
Matt Fleckenstein, Microsoft 6
Jay Baer, Convince & Convert 7
Jeff Eden, DEG Digital 8
Christopher Parkin, Adobe 9
Ashraf Montaser, AdInfinity 10
Bryan Wade, ExactTarget 12
Matt Blumberg, Return Path 13
Kristina Huffman, ExactTarget 14
Brent Hieggelke, Urban Airship 16
R. J. Talyor, ExactTarget 17
Section IV: SOCIAL 18
Section V: MARKETING AUTOMATION 26
Section VI: NEW & EMERGING TRENDS 29
Table of Contents
Susan Marshall, ExactTarget 19
Marcus Nelson, Addvocate 20
Mark Schaefer, Blogger, Author, and Business Consultant 21
Phil Szomszor, Firefly Communications 22
Maddie Grant, Socialfish 23
Geoff Livingston, Author, Speaker, and Strategist 24
Andre Bourque, Blogger and Social Media Specialist 25
Stephanie Miller, DMA 27
Mathew Sweezey, Pardot 28
Kip Edwardson, Scotts Miracle-Gro 30
Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute 31
David Berkowitz, 360i 32
Linda Woolley, DMA 33
Jamyn Edis, Dash Labs 34
Christopher Krohn, Restaurant.com 35
Inspired Predictions for CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING 6
Big Data Breakthroughs
Big Data seems to be the “big thing” right now. International Data
Corporation (IDC) recently released a worldwide Big Data technology and services
forecast showing the market is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9
billion in 2015. There’s no denying that companies across the globe in nearly
all industries are investing heavily in big data solutions to drive their business in
new and interesting ways.
While big data continues to grow in popularity, it seems that the majority of use
cases center around improved business and customer intelligence. Respondents
in Forrester Research’s June 2011 Global Big Data Online Survey reported that
the majority of companies (55%) are leveraging big data for business intelligence
and analytics, while nearly three out of 10 (28%) were using big data for ERP
or CRM purposes.
While progress is being made in leveraging big data for CRM (see ING Direct
and Target), it is becoming increasingly clear that in today’s digital world, traditional
CRM approaches fall short. As Forrester analyst Rob Brosnan writes, “Traditional
campaign approaches can’t keep up with pervasively addressable customers
who engage well before and after the point of purchase.” More than ever,
customers create their own paths across channels and touchpoints, bobbing and
weaving as they discover, research, buy, and evangelize products and services.
Existing CRM solutions can’t keep up.
I predict that in 2013, we will see big data solutions extend beyond traditional CRM,
and a new category of real-time, cross-channel digital marketing automation will
emerge. For the first time, customers’ online transactions, responses to (or non-
responses to) digital marketing efforts, and product/service usage behaviors will
stream in real time into advanced, data-driven marketing automation platforms that
sit atop big data solutions.
As in the past, digital marketers will leverage their marketing knowledge and business/
customer intelligence to create a series of interactions that cut across the customer
journey to determine which message to serve to a customer. But once a campaign or
CRM program is launched, real-time marketing automation solutions will take over,
leveraging rules-based personalization and adaptive algorithms/machine learning
to modify and optimize messages to individual users based upon current and past
marketing performance. More than ever, marketing automation tools that are adaptive
and flexible enough to keep up with and respond to customer interactions are critical,
given the amount (and changing nature) of customer data we now have available and
the fact that no two customers follow the same customer journey.
In the past decade, we’ve seen automated, algorithmic platforms revolutionize how
we buy/sell/trade stocks. (In 2010, it was projected that as much as 60% of all orders
on the New York Stock Exchange were fulfilled by automated trading tools.) In 2013,
we will see real-time, cross-channel marketing automation tools emerge and begin a
similar revolution for driving CRM across the customer journey.
Director of Product Intelligence
Microsoft Office and Office 365
Inspired Predictions for CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING7
Youtility is marketing that’s so useful, people would pay for it. If brands do that—
if they make their marketing inherently, truly, astoundingly useful—their customers
will do their marketing for them. They’ll sell more by selling less.
That’s my prediction for 2013. Brands will focus on making their
Viral Breathes Its Last
2013will be the death of “viral” as a marketing strategy. Despite the success of Old
Spice, Honey Badger, Gangnam Style, and other outliers, brands will recognize that
swinging for the fences breeds strikeouts and is wholly unpredictable and unreliable.
In 2013, brands will eschew the strategy of hope and embrace a new strategy of
help—and in doing so, will usher in a new era that diminishes promotion in favor
According to research conducted by Google, in 2010, consumers needed 5.3 sources
of information before making a purchase. In 2011, just one year later, they needed
10.4 sources. In just 12 months, the amount of information needed to pull the “buying
trigger” doubled. Why? Are we less decisive? More risk adverse? No. We need more
information because we have more information. From blogs to podcasts to review
websites to Facebook and beyond, prospective customers are floating in a sea of
data, and brands will begin to aggressively wage this war of information in 2013.
Simultaneous shifts in how, why, and how much information customers consume have
fundamentally altered the success formula for modern business. Brands can’t survive
by shouting the loudest and relying solely on anachronistic, interruption-marketing,
or even wacky videos that they pray will go viral. They can’t send an email every day,
proclaiming that they’re featuring the “biggest sale ever!” They can’t simply rewrite a
portion of the online brochure and hope that Google funnels customers to the website.
Customers are more curious and more suspicious than ever. The only way to succeed
in that environment is to tilt the marketing objective from selling to helping.
If you sell something, you make a customer today. If you help someone, you may
create a customer for life. Brands will take cues from Hilton Hotels, McDonald’s
Canada, Clorox, Columbia Sportswear, and many, many others that have realized the
key to success is to stop being a salesman and start becoming a “Youtility.”
Convince & Convert
Customers are more curious and
more suspicious than ever. The only
way to succeed in that environment
is to tilt the marketing objective
from selling to helping.
Inspired Predictions for CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING 8
The Year of “Omnichannel”
Most organizationsare collecting and using data to drive sales and
help decisions. However, few are truly taking advantage of the opportunities in front
of them to leverage that data for successful, meaningful, sustainable engagement—
usually erring by being too focused on tactics without cohesive lines back to the
Doing this means highly sophisticated data organization and significant analytical
firepower, along with seamless front and back-end systems integration and an
omnichannel approach to marketing. To be successful, this approach must be an
ongoing strategic effort and cultural mindset—not just something you set and forget.
In 2013, you’ll begin to see the most successful marketers creating ever
more sophisticated and effective cross-channel marketing experiences. The
customer touchpoint data that is shared between a brand’s website, email, social
interactions, and mobile will lead to cross-channel content, product, and experience
personalization like never before. This will most certainly manifest itself in both
on and offline experiences.
There will be nearly 140 million smartphones in the hands of US consumers by
the end of 2013, and according to e-Tailing Group Inc., roughly 80% of retailers
have indicated that they will invest in mobile commerce in the coming year. Couple
those figures with the technological advancements in analytics, cross-channel
message delivery, geo-location, and content personalization, and I believe that the
personalized, integrated, experiential marketing portrayed in Steven Spielberg’s 2002
movie, Minority Report, is about to become a reality.
As digital marketers, we couldn’t be living in more exciting times.
I believe that the personalized,
integrated, experiential marketing
portrayed in Minority Report is
about to become a reality.
Inspired Predictions for CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING9
The Millisecond Opportunity
Marketing leaders will accelerate
innovation in 2013 to make sense
of all of these signals and content
to deliver meaningful engagement.
And they will do it in milliseconds.
The explosionin data and content while a challenge to marketers,
is leading to innovation.
We are rapidly moving into a post-PC world of unprecedented mobility, social
connectedness, and content creation. The types, power, and connectivity of
the devices we use is creating an increasing number of signals that each of us
broadcasts—our likes, interests, posts, traffic patterns, etc. These signals aren’t
random acts and facts—they are self-defining choices with meaning.
Powerful devices and social connectedness have also made it much easier for
businesses and consumers to create and distribute quality content.
Marketing leaders will accelerate innovation in 2013 to make sense of all of these
signals and content to deliver meaningful engagement. And they will do it in
milliseconds. By “meaningful engagement,” I mean delivering content and experience
that is so timely, relevant, and personal that it adds value to our customers’ lives. This
isn’t a new concept, but we are just now gaining access to the technology needed to
deliver on the promise of personalization.
To address the last millisecond opportunity, marketing leaders are re-platforming with
new systems that help them:
• Sort through customer actions to find the meaningful signals that help
them understand what they’re doing right now, where they are,
and what device they are using
• Marry those signals with what is known about the customer from all
available sources of data (CRM, social, etc.) to create a more holistic view
• Use this view to predict the most appropriate content to deliver
• Automatically assemble and deliver the appropriate content experience
regardless of channel or device
• Accomplish it all within milliseconds
Consumers have started to experience some really positive engagement experiences
and are thus increasingly demanding it as part of their relationship with brands.
Marketing leaders will innovate in 2013 with newly available technology platforms and
tools to deliver on this customer expectation.
Strategic Alliances Adobe Genesis
Inspired Predictions for CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING 10
True Cross-Channel Marketing Arrives
We can start doing what marketers
everywhere are trying to do—
send each user a tailored message in the
right environment at the right time.
How many timeshave you heard the term “cross-channel” bandied
about? As a marketer, the answer is probably more times than your average political
candidate has been pictured kissing babies—constantly.
What is usually meant is that you can do web and social and email and offline and
mobile separately. Or, you can do it just as ineffectually as you aggregate these bits
of data and try to reach them through a single channel. Either way, it’s not great.
No more. The user will be a single user and each channel will have context of the
user’s state at that moment in time. The technology has been around for awhile and
now “big data” has moved from a buzzword to business-as-usual. We can start doing
what marketers everywhere (no matter the channel) are trying to do—send each user
a tailored message in the right environment at the right time, otherwise known as one-
to-one marketing in many channels.
Real-time recommendation engines are a simple example of this. Used in a checkout
lane and integrated into email receipts, they’ve been around for some time. Display
ads use behavioral targeting in the same way to target messages. The proliferation
of offline and online profiling through social media sites and loyalty schemes, cheap
computing power, and company acquisition/consolidation is all happening. The only
thing missing is the elastic bands to tie them together and a multi-disciplined approach
by marketers. Target was a case study in profiling and targeting (forgive the pun) a
few years ago, and now these tools are cheaply available to all.
The final technology piece is real acquisition modeling, which can account for the myriad
of data noise in all channels. Marketers can move to building campaigns and messages
around context and real time profiling and data enrichment rather than medium.
So the best advice is to go back to Marketing 101:
• Keep it simple.
• Focus on target and message, not medium.
• Make the experience spookily personal—not creepy.Ashraf Montaser
Inspired Predictions for EMAIL12
The Year of the First Impression
Vice President, Email Products
When it comes to email,2013 will be all about making that first
impression of the email count, reaching your readers wherever they are, and making
sure your message gets read. The changing landscape for where and how emails
are being viewed opens the door for new innovations in email. Three things in
particular will impact email marketing in 2013:
1. Mobile will become the platform of choice for email.
Handheld devices will overtake the PC screen as the place where consumers read
emails first, making mobile rendering the most pressing issue email marketers face.
Marketers must adapt—literally—with adaptive HTML design using responsive
designs. The @Media rules built into HTML to detect handheld devices versus
C screens will make their way into the mainstream email design standards.
New technologies are making links device-aware (thus allowing marketers to
redirect to a mobile app instead of the web), causing link redirects to be smarter
and more mobile-aware.
2. Inbox organizers will change subscribers’ view of email.
Marketed to consumers as time savers and productivity tools, inbox organizers will
become increasingly popular in 2013 as consumers realize their benefit for organizing
and managing the inbox. Both ISP based-organizers (e.g., Gmail and Yahoo!) and
client-based organizers (e.g., Outlook) automatically organize and display content
based on rules set up by the consumer—essentially changing the way consumers
view emails in their inbox. This technology could be a game-changer in the way
marketers think about inbox preview and rendering.
3. Testing will become the new send wizard.
In 2013, marketers will increasingly allow data to drive their email strategy through
the use of testing. Marketers will devote more time to testing subject lines, images,
content areas, or even entire email layouts to see what drives a higher ROI.
Sophisticated marketers will not only test the emails themselves, but they will also test
which data segments perform best. Testing tools are so easy to use that every email
send will become a test—and today’s winner will become the baseline for tomorrow’s
test. Marketers will gain greater insight into winning subject lines, content, and
layouts—including important information about seasonality or how a campaign may
lose effectiveness over time.
The changing landscape for where
and how emails are being viewed opens
the door for new innovations in email.
Inspired Predictions for EMAIL 13
Consumers Will Fall in Love with Email (Again)
In 2013,consumers will start discovering what industry insiders are already
seeing—email is cool again. For the record, it’s always been cool. But it’s been
a long time since so many new ideas about email came to light. This burst of
new development offers a glimpse into the inbox of the future, and for smart
marketers, it’s an opportunity.
First and foremost, the inbox of the future is a command center. It’s where users
manage social data, schedules, and even other communication channels. Think
of how Rapportive displays contacts’ social media information in a Gmail sidebar;
or how Google Voice via Google Talk lets Gmail users make phone calls from their
inboxes; or how TripIt uses flight confirmation emails to build and manage travel
itineraries. Then there are task managers like MailPilot and ActiveInbox that turn
email into a to-do list. All of this happens in the inbox, and as users embrace and
spur more innovation like this, email will increasingly centralize an array of online
and offline experiences.
The inbox of the future also manages email more actively. It automates sorting
and prioritizes messages with solutions like OtherInbox (a Return Path subsidiary),
Sanebox, and Gmail’s Priority Inbox. It dictates when messages are received and
sent (Boomerang for Gmail), and lets users set reminders (FollowUp.cc) so they
can ignore messages until they’re ready to read them.
Soon, experiences that once required leaving the inbox will start taking place directly
from messages. Consumers will watch video, they’ll read Tweets, they’ll review offers
based on geo-targeted messages. Thanks to widespread industry adoption of security
advances like DMARC, people will even shop directly from the inbox of the future—
although probably not in 2013.
Chief Executive Officer,
As consumers rediscover email’s
coolness and manage more of their lives
from the inbox, they’ll offer marketers
an opportunity to truly engage them.
So as consumers rediscover email’s coolness and manage more of their lives from
the inbox, they’ll offer marketers an opportunity to truly engage them. One critical
factor will separate brands that take advantage of this offer from the rest: intelligence.
Marketers that succeed will know what devices their subscribers read email on, when
they read their messages, what they do with them (move them, forward them, ignore
them)—and use these insights to build highly customized, highly effective campaigns.
Meanwhile mailbox providers will offer an additional incentive: they’ll use some of
these same insights to guide deliverability decisions, further distancing the smartest
marketers from the rest.
Inspired Predictions for EMAIL14
Email Flexibility Unlocks True Creativity
Design Practice Lead
In 2013,designers will stop redesigning the wheel with every email send and
set up flexible email templates so they can increase production efficiencies and spend
more time coming up with new ideas. Ideation and openness to change are innate
to a designer’s nature and training and can be a hugely valuable asset in broader
creative conversations outside of just cranking out emails.
We will all get our heads out of the “Apple tree” and start to recognize Android as the
mobile market leader, accommodating its preview pane and image-blocking when
we design. We will monitor the open tracking data and market share data and make
appropriate, informed decisions for the future of our subscribers. Subscribers are
starting to expect mobile legibility. Clear communication equals good design—
don’t be deleted.
We will stop hoarding and hyper-analyzing all of our competitor’s emails.
Instead, we’ll replace that time with true collaboration between internal stakeholders
to develop and test new, crazy ideas that really speak to the personality and
uniqueness of our business. You sent a Columbus Day sale email,
but can you really explain what Columbus Day has to do with your business?
Be honest and transparent with your subscribers and they will return the favor.
The static, print-inspired email will die. Emails will not look the same in every
email client, whether it’s because we’re using progressive enhancement tactics or
responsive layouts. Content and design will be tailored to subscribers. This means
giving up some control around how an email looks, which isn’t always easy.
Finally, we’ll see socially-ranked and curated content take front and center, letting
customers connect directly with influencers. Customer-curated content is trustworthy
and personal—two aspects of marketing that are the hardest to achieve. It’s a win-
win—influencers are featured, which extends their reach, and marketers receive
thoughtfully crafted content for their communications.
Let's create this future together!
The static, print-inspired email
will die. Emails will not look
the same in every email client.
Inspired Predictions for MOBILE 16
with Kraft Foods Group (now Mondelez) moving 10% of its media budget to mobile. In
addition, the Mobile Marketing Association’s recent MXS mobile study recommended
that marketers in 2013 should spend 7% of their budget on mobile advertising.
In 2013, mobile apps will move from being a brand’s playground to a strategic
• Smartphone users worldwide will download more than 45 billion apps
this year—nearly twice the number of apps that were downloaded in 2011.
(Gartner, August 17, 2012)
• Mobile apps are a $6 billion market today, growing to $55.7 billion by 2015.
(Forrester, February 13, 2012)
• Consumer spending on mobile app stores and digital content will increase
from $18 billion this year to $61 billion by 2016. (Gartner, July 12, 2012)
And now with push messaging, apps have a direct voice with all of their best
customers and can reach out anytime, any place—without the app even being open.
Push establishes direct-to-consumer communications with the future potential to steal
advertising budgets from other channels as brands find higher response rates and a
much lower cost—for example, sending Rich Push videos versus having TV ads being
skipped over on DVRs. And there’s already growing evidence that push messaging is
a primary reason that consumers keep some apps on their smartphones.
In 2013, location will become apps’ trump card. Apps will leverage location to offer
more value and innovative features to users. Location insights will enable apps to
attain an unprecedented level of messaging precision—not only knowing where you
are right now, but where you’ve been…where you live, work, and play.
In 2013, we’ll see mobile advertising spend grow at an increasing pace. We’re not going
out on a limb to say that mobile ad budgets will at least quadruple in 2013 as brand
advertisers seek to be where consumers are. We’re already seeing evidence of this
Mobile Apps Become a Strategic Imperative
It’s probably time for us to just agree
that this is the decade of mobile.
The fact is that mobile changes things
more than anything we’ve ever seen.
Let’s just get this out of the wayand proclaim 2013 as
another “Year of Mobile.” In fact, global PC sales were outpaced by total smartphone
sales starting in 2011, so it’s probably time for us to just agree that this is the decade
of mobile. The fact is that mobile changes things more than anything we’ve ever seen.
Inspired Predictions for MOBILE17
The most advanced marketers will determine ROI based on market segment—or
individual. ROI by segment (or individual) will show that different channels work for
each consumer, each purchase path and each marketing goal.
In 2013, marketers will create simple to complex marketing campaigns that start,
continue, and end on a mobile device. Accountability for mobile investment is coming
in 2013, and the data is there. Where will this new ROI lead you?
Mobile ROI Takes Hold
2013will be the year of the mobile return on investment (ROI). Marketers have
already invested the resources into experimenting with mobile. In 2013, they’ll use
data to prove what works, and what doesn’t.
No matter the sophistication level of a mobile program, marketers can calculate its
ROI. And the good news with mobile marketing? The data is there. Clicks, opens,
mCommerce conversions, coupon codes, in-app conversions... it’s a dream field of
marketing data that can be used to quickly calculate the ROI of a mobile marketing
investment. Doing so will lead to a number of shifts in 2013.
Marketers solely adopting mobile will recognize their mobile email open rate (some
marketers are seeing mobile opens over 30%; others, over 50%!) and refine
templates and practices for conversion on the handset or tablet. Seeing its return
on investment, marketers will decide on how best to incorporate SMS and push
messaging into a lifecycle marketing program, or whether to stick with transactional
use cases only for those channels.
More advanced marketers will integrate advertising, email marketing, SMS/text
marketing, and push messages into the ways they promote their apps and mobile
websites. In calculating the ROI for a mobile website or app, marketers will abandon
disparate marketing programs and go with fully integrated cross-channel programs
that result in higher ROI.
Clicks, opens, mCommerce conversions,
coupon codes, in-app conversions...it’s
a dream field of marketing data that
can be used to quickly calculate ROI.
R. J. Talyor
Vice President, Mobile Products
Inspired Predictions for SOCIAL 19
Slimming Down, Shaping Up, Getting Organized
It sounds likea New Year’s resolution that could easily go awry, but it
sums up what will likely be a rude awakening for many marketers. Quality of fans
and followers will matter more than quantity, and savvy marketers will begin to find
creative ways to leverage social to drive more relevant, higher performing interactions
with their customers.
1. Community Curating
In an effort to eliminate unnecessary noise, people will continue limiting their friends
on Facebook and hiding content in their newsfeeds to only see what’s most relevant
to them. Since most people are not emotionally connected to brands, we’ll also start
to see people “unlike” and “unfollow” brands that aren’t adding any value. Brands will
need to think carefully about the creation of relevant, timely, and valuable content to
ensure they aren’t curated right out of the picture.
2. Social Re-Org 101
Many organizations haven’t figured out how to staff for social media, but they’ll have
no choice in 2013. You’ll either see brands outsourcing community management or
staffing adequately in-market and-in region to ensure conversations are authentic and
local. This will require support from executives—which means that the champions
will need to prove why social media is critical to all areas of the organization, not just
marketing and customer service.
3. Offline/Online Social Advertising Experiments
As networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest look for new
and imaginative ways to expand their percentage of the advertising revenue pie, we’ll
experience some in-your-face bloopers that people will readily reject. We’ll also see
creative uses of hashtags and conversation starters on TV, in-store, and on the radio.
Senior Director, Product Marketing -
Social Product Line
Quality of fans and followers will
matter more than quantity, and
savvy marketers will begin to find
creative ways to leverage social to
drive higher performing interactions.
4. One World, Many Voices
We all know that social media enables communities to freely connect, mobilize, and
swiftly make decisions. This is what’s so powerful and amazing about social media!
These growing connections across regions will forge powerful social and economic
relationships, resulting in new businesses, fairer trade, and community activism.
What’s more, video will bring us all closer as we get to “know” our customers and
vendors without travel.
Inspired Predictions for SOCIAL20
It’s usually not a matter of employees not wanting to share content about their
company. Typically it’s that they either don’t know what to share, or they don’t want to
say the wrong thing and get in trouble. So instead, they do nothing at all.
This can be easily overcome by putting syndication systems in place to distribute
content and drive success toward your company’s key performance indicators.
Internal metrics will no longer be just a luxury, but an absolute necessity. In addition,
consideration for acknowledging and crediting your newfound evangelists will also be
necessary to assist in supporting, rewarding, and perpetuating the behaviors you’re
looking to encourage.
Without consistent recognition, your employees will likely lose interest and drop off.
Even so, the greatest challenge marketers will have is organizing and creating
authentic content your employees feel is worthy of being shared.
Rise of the Amplified Employee
The 2012Edelman Trust Barometer revealed the rise of credibility amongst
regular employees in social media. The sudden rise in credibility was the greatest
increase since 2004—one that should serve as a wake-up call to leaders and
Consider for a moment that in aggregate, your employees have an entirely different
audience than your brand channels. It could be argued also that an enormous amount of
intimacy, influence, and trust exists with these personal accounts vs. corporate channels.
Anecdotally, ask any person whether they’d rather talk to a logo or a real person on
social media, and you’ll have a better understanding of how important placing faces
amongst your brand can become.
To capitalize upon this trend, marketers will be required to think long and hard about
putting together thorough training programs, conscientious social media policies, and
inspired content that employees would want to share as brand advocates.
Ask any person whether
they’d rather talk to a logo or
a real person on social media.
Co-Founder and CEO
Inspired Predictions for SOCIAL 21
2013: The Year of Instagram!
One of the biggest social media trendsis the emphasis
on visual content, and new research from The Social Habit seems to confirm that the
photo-sharing site is poised for a breakout.
Of the Americans surveyed who currently use a social media platform, only 18%
currently have a profile on Instagram. That’s paltry compared to Facebook (94%) or
Twitter (47%). But here are five reasons why Instagram could explode in 2013:
1. Of those who have a profile, 61% have used it in the past 24 hours, an
adoption level only surpassed by Facebook (at 84%). So those currently
using Instagram are pretty voracious users.
2. Of ALL social media users surveyed, 48% declared they are using Instagram
more often. This blows the other major platforms out of the water.
3. Of those who have an Instagram profile, 83% use it at work—again surpassing
even Facebook and YouTube by a long shot. One reason could be that sharing
on Instagram requires no typing. You just snap a photo and post in seconds.
4. Today, 67% of Instagram’s users are under the age of 34. I project that
there could be a huge upside across demographics because everybody
loves sharing photos. And it’s so easy to use, even the non tech-savvy
can master it in minutes.
5. Since Instagram is a mobile-only application, its adoption will increase
as the trend toward smartphones continues in 2013.
How do you capitalize on this for your business? There’s an almost voyeuristic quality
to Instagram that is lacking anywhere else—similar to the appeal of gossip magazines
and reality TV shows. Can you show the “insider’s view” of your company in an
entertaining way? Follow some journey or event in a realistic way?
Instagram is a natural outlet for any business that can offer stunning visuals—think
travel, exotic locations, celebrities, animals, news events. Instagram is also red-hot with
teens right now. If this is your target market, get to know this photo-sharing community!
Remember that Facebook acquired the 11-employee, non-revenue-producing
Instagram early in 2012 for $1 billion. It was a defensive move, but at some point
there will probably be a move to more closely integrate Instagram and the one billion
people on Facebook. Something to consider.
In 2013, think “visual” communication and think Instagram.
There's an almost voyeuristic quality
to Instagram that is lacking anywhere
else—similar to the appeal of gossip
magazines and reality TV shows.
and Business Consultant
Inspired Predictions for SOCIAL22
B2B Social Media Comes of Age
Head of Business and Digital
A recent eConsultancy surveyfound that 67% of marketing
decision makers agreed that social media is integral to their marketing mix (and only
11% disagreed). But when I speak to B2B marketing and PR leaders, the received
opinion is that social media is a “consumer thing.” Why is this?
There are 10 million people on LinkedIn in the UK—that’s about a third of the working
population. A similar number of people use Twitter in the UK, while another survey
found that companies that blogged more frequently closed more deals.
2013 is the year that B2B social media will start to see its potential. But to do so,
we need to overcome a few objection points. Here are the top three things
I keep hearing:
“Hardly anyone watches/reads my content.”
First up, with B2B social media you have to get over the numbers barrier because
the universe is smaller. We’re not trying to make a “Gangnam Style” viral effect
with B2B content. And that’s not a bad thing. Success in B2B looks different—if it
helps to create a lead, it’s worth more than getting a bucketful of views. The key
is not to create content for the sake of it and (it has to tie in to the marketing mix)
measure its effectiveness.
“The purchasing lifecycles are too long for social media.”
Yes, you’re going to spend a longer time selecting a new piece of accounting software
to roll out in 50 countries than you are to buy a new digital camera. But to me, that
means that an organization needs to spend more time building up trust. You can’t
spend all that time face-to-face with your prospects, but social is an excellent way of
building on the relationship that you begin offline. And as the lines between personal
and professional lives blur, social media can add to the client relationship.
“People aren’t using social media for business.”
Why would business people only want to get their news in print or via traditional
broadcast channels? The answer is, they don’t. And why are videos, blogs,
infographics and podcasts increasingly popular? Because they’re interesting (ok,
maybe not in all cases) and easily consumed in bite-sized portions.
There are 10 million people on LinkedIn
in the UK: that’s about a third of the
working population. A similar number
of people use Twitter in the UK.
Inspired Predictions for SOCIAL 23
Social Gets Infused in the Business World
We’re in a transitional periodin which companies are struggling
to integrate social into their business processes, and it goes way beyond marketing.
Those that confine social activity to specific sales or marketing “channels” will soon be
at a huge disadvantage to those that can incorporate the human-powered principles
of social media throughout their organization.
Our employees expect more transparency, more change, more experimentation,
and more clarity. Smart organizations should start taking a close, hard look at their
existing cultures and begin considering some different (less hierarchical) ideas of what
“leadership” means if they are going to successfully adapt to this disruption.
How do we know this? We conducted a recent survey of 500 individuals and asked
them questions about how their leaders are leveraging social media for organizational
results. Of those surveyed, 84% agree that leadership involvement in social media
gives their company a competitive edge, and 84% agree that communicating core
values via social media is integral to leadership—yet 44% are concerned about the
lack of involvement by their leaders in social media.
So why is this important for marketers? Because marketers understand story.
Infusing social media into an organization requires communicating those core value
messages and the authentic brand story throughout the organization—which is a
challenge for traditional leaders, as evidenced by their hesitance around social media.
Author and Social Strategist
Smart organizations will start taking a
close, hard look at their existing cultures
and begin considering some different
ideas of what ‘leadership’ means.
Marketers know how to tell the stories—and they also know how to experiment, test,
and learn from different kinds of messaging. It’s time we started applying those skills
to building leadership capacity, rather than just marketing. For leadership to spread
through an organization—as social media demands—we need to change our culture,
and marketing can play a vital role.
Inspired Predictions for SOCIAL24
2013: The Year of Clicks and Mortar
The big shift for social media in 2013has little to do
with technology evolution or new social networks that we'll see. Rather, it will revolve
around how brick and mortar businesses—in particular, stores and entertainment
venues–integrate social into their physical brand experiences.
Some folks dub this trend “clicks and mortar,” the integration of online into our
everyday physical whereabouts.
Recently, I attended the Ivy League Sports Symposium and, whether it was MLB
or the Tough Mudder franchise, everyone was talking about the live fan experience
from a participation perspective.
It's not just sports, either.
Burberry recently invested significant dollars to bring the online experience into its
flagship London store. The effort includes some creative use of RFID chips to show
video content about clothes that have been brought into changing rooms.
Business owners realize the rise of smartphones and tablets has wrought a new
revolution in marketing. People can explore products and experiences on-the-go
wherever they are. Geoff Livingston
Author, Speaker, and Strategist
As 2013 progresses, the innovators—
both local and forward-thinking
chains—will move to encourage
Smart store owners and entertainment venues will seek to cater to the wired customer
on site. That includes making inventories available on the web, providing great
wireless access in-venue, offering connected flat screens that amplify what customers
are saying about the store or in-house entertainment, and of course, looking at the
increasingly popular mobile deals that have become prevalent on networks like
Foursquare and (to some extent) Facebook.
In-store interactions represent a huge opportunity for business owners. Whether they
offer in-store deals or easy access to peer reviews and customer service, real-time
on-site interaction can make or break store deals.
As 2013 progresses and stores ready for the 2013 holiday rush, the innovators—
both local and forward-thinking chains—will move to encourage in-store interactions.
Similarly, entertainment venues will add additional content engagement and feedback
loops to extend and better their live customer experience.
The pervasive will expand, making live experiences a balance of clicks and mortar.
Inspired Predictions for SOCIAL 25
Beneath the Surface: Storytelling in 2013
For years, Seth Casteelphotographed dogs leisurely floating in pools
and playing in water fixtures. It wasn't until one of these animals lunged for a toy and
dove into a pool that he captured an entirely new and revealing perspective on an
otherwise ordinary event. It turns out, there's a whole lot of activity beneath the
placid surface of a pool's water.
Following business trends, speaking with clients, publishing articles, and hearing
stories at internet marketing conferences throughout the year, I've discovered a
similar phenomenon. It turns out, there's a whole lot of consumer activity happening
beneath the surface of business as well. For marketers, advances in social media are
simultaneously forcing and enabling us to look beneath the surface of our businesses.
What's happening with Casteel's canines is happening with our consumers, and good
storytelling is what brings these remarkable experiences to surface.
One of the most extensively distributed and widely read articles I wrote this year was
a story about Pinterest and a mom-and-pop company launched by the social media
darling. What makes it so compelling is that it pairs the power of social media with
the power of a single voice. A lady pinned a photo, an enormous amount of interest
ensued, and a company was launched.
It's been said that content is the currency of social media. Good stories make up
the higher value legal tender. In the content marketing world, that means creativity,
investigation, articulation, and ultimately, engagement. Many of these stories dwell
beneath the surface of the obvious. My Pinterest story and others like it are the kind
of remarkable content brands and business need to find, articulate, and share to drive
their reach in the social sphere.
So dig deep in 2013, and pull all your good stuff to the surface.
Andre Bourque, MBA
Blogger and Social Media Specialist
For marketers, advances in social
media are simultaneously forcing
and enabling us to look beneath
the surface of our businesses.
Inspired Predictions for MARKETING AUTOMATION27
Technology Optimized to Serve Customers
VP, Member Relations
DMA Email Experience Council
Technologywill not drive digital marketing innovation in the coming years.
Smart marketers will. To be precise, smart marketers who use smart technology
will drive the most innovation. But don’t get cocky, now. Marketers are not in
Marketing automation technology has advanced to unlock the mysteries of consumer
data so that marketers can help enable and encourage fantastic and customized
consumer experiences. The days of “set it and forget it” are over. One size fits all
marketing programs—built in January and left to run through June—are no longer
going to meet consumer expectations.
The best tool in our arsenal is great strategy—driven by consumer need, choice, and
behavior. Consumers know that we have data about them, and they expect us to use
it responsibly and respectfully. This creates a forced collaboration between marketers
and their customers—with industry bloggers, analysts, and journalists chiming in too.
This is the year of the great omnichannel marketing strategists.
Now, those brilliant strategists of the future look familiar because they are you and me
and those folks down the hall who really get data analytics. Smart marketers will think
outside the channel. Although most of our data today comes from email marketing
interactions, we won't work from email data alone. Instead, smart marketers will
analyze and utilize most (or all) of the data they have to consistently present
messaging that reflects customer interests and passions. Yes, the technology is
important (essential!)—but it doesn’t alone ensure engagement.
Now that the data is manageable and accessible, we marketers have the chance
to stand up for our customers’ satisfaction. Smart marketers will put the customer
needs first (and really first, not just first after the product needs). Driving response and
revenue. I predict that marketers make this their mantra in the coming year. No one
will do this because I predict it--they will do it because it’s what works.
As Uncle Ben said to Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Marketers, this is your year to use your big data technological power for the good
of customer satisfaction.
Marketing automation technology
has advanced to unlock the
mysteries of consumer data.
Inspired Predictions for MARKETING AUTOMATION 28
Early Adopter Window Closing
Pardot – an ExactTarget company
If you're searching for a solid way to increase marketing engagement rates, look
into marketing automation—and doing it sooner than later. Early adopters have
already proven the advantages, and big gains are still there to be had by the next
wave of companies adopting marketing automation.
The sizeable increase is directly tied to marketing automation’s ability to track
individuals across multiple marketing mediums and keep a central database of their
actionable, individual history. The history is then used to dynamically personalize
marketing efforts to each person across any medium, at any time. This allows
marketers to be infinitely more relevant to each person, increasing engagement.
These abnormally high gains will not last forever; however, they will continue for
the next year or two. The next wave of adopters to marketing automation will be
the early majority. These adopters will see the tail end of the largest returns from
marketing automation. We should expect to see adoption creep into the mid-to-
high 20% by the end of 2013.
Now that SEO, SEM, and social media
are standard marketing avenues, the
next wave of innovation for marketers
is in the field of automated marketing.
The modern digital marketingrevolution has spawned new
marketing mediums and techniques such as SEO, SEM, and social media. The early
adopters of these technologies have seen the largest gains for taking that initial risk.
Now that SEO, SEM, and social media are standard marketing avenues, what’s next?
The new wave of innovation for marketers is automated marketing. Leading B2C and
B2B companies and increasing marketing engagement through behavioral-based
tracking and dynamic messaging are deploying marketing automation worldwide.
Currently, marketing automation is used by less than 15% of all companies in
the United States. Despite its slower adoption rate, that 15% comprises leading
companies like Restaurant.com. Some companies who have implemented this
technology have reported an increase in revenue of over 300%.
Inspired Predictions for NEW EMERGING TRENDS30
Get the Picture(s)!
Director of Digital Marketing
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
As a fanof the Cleveland Browns and the Minnesota Vikings, I’ve been wrong
more often than not when it comes to predicting the future. If I was right, my teams
would have at least five Lombardi Trophies apiece. And I never did marry Drew
Barrymore like I told everyone I would. However, I’m feeling pretty good about this
one: Brands will find themselves spending more on original photography.
That’s “original”—meaning it originated from the brand. Brands are becoming
better storytellers–look at a campaign like “We Speak Mom” from Fisher-Price or
“Jess Time” from Google Chrome. Campaigns like these are part of a movement.
Successful brands are telling the stories that their consumers want to hear—and
share. Combine that movement, or shift in advertising, with the popularity of photo
sharing online via social sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr and you begin to
see a real change in how brands express themselves. And let’s not forget the billions
of photos uploaded and shared daily on Facebook.
According to Blogher, 47% of online consumers have made a purchase based on a
Pinterest recommendation. Instagram gets over five million photos a day and has over
15 million users, while Facebook boasts 2.5 billion photos uploaded every month.
PG’s campaign for the Olympics, “Thank You Mom,” did a fantastic job using
stunning images to tell the story of inspiration behind the athletes that inspire us.
(No, not Adrian Peterson’s mom—although he would make an awesome Olympian.)
General Electric is using Instagram to tell the GE story—go check it out and maybe
the light bulb will go on for you. (See what I did there?)
We all want to increase our likes, pins, shares, and opt-ins, but are you interesting
enough to be pinned, followed, or subscribed to? Are you telling good stories, and
are you giving your brand advocates something to share? You should, and you should
rethink the photography on your site, in your emails, on your Facebook timeline, and
on your Pinterest board.
We all want to increase our likes,
pins, shares and opt-ins but are you
interesting enough to be pinned,
followed, or subscribed to?
Inspired Predictions for NEW EMERGING TRENDS 31
The Rise of the Chief Content Officer
Author and Founder
Content Marketing Institute
2012 was the yearcontent marketing came to life in North America.
According to research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs,
approximately 90% of all marketers use some form of content marketing. This means
that now, when we say that marketers are publishers, it's a true statement. In addition,
budgets for content marketing now surpass 28% for both B2B and B2C companies
That's a lot of content!
But just because marketers can and do use content marketing, doesn't mean they do
it well. Actually, there's something quite amiss with content marketing. According to
the same research, just one in three marketing professionals feel that their content
marketing is effective. Now this is a real problem, especially when more than half of
these marketers are planning to invest more money into this area over the next 12
months. (Could this be the definition of insanity?)
So these marketers know that they need to be creating valuable and compelling
information in multiple channels to attract and retain customers–but it's a struggle.
After all, most marketers weren’t trained as journalists and publishers.
And now, to the inspired predictions for 2013:
1. The Rise of the Chief Content Officer. More and more organizations (such as
Kelly Services) will hire a dedicated chief storyteller to work with marketing and
public relations departments to create a cohesive content strategy and unified
customer experience around content.
2. The New Home for Journalists. In 2013, more journalists will be hired by
non-media companies than by media companies.
3. Content MA. Google started acquiring smaller media companies, such as
Zagat, over a year ago. In 2013, we'll start to see big brands in all industries start
to purchase media companies. While many will still opt to build, many will just
buy the media brand and talent as part of their content marketing initiatives.
Less than 5% of organizations have a written content marketing strategy. How can
you develop winning content without a vision of what that content is supposed to do?
My advice for 2013–find your content marketing mission statement.
My advice for 2013: find
your content marketing
Inspired Predictions for NEW EMERGING TRENDS32
3D Printing (The “D” Stands for Disruptive)
In 2012,3D printing started to migrate from the lexicon of techie tinkerers to
the business trades. By the end of 2013, marketers will need to engage in serious
scenario planning to assess how 3D printing may impact their businesses.
Two companies that best exemplify the disruptive potential for 3D printing are
Makerbot and Shapeways. Makerbot designs and sells 3D printers which allow
consumers to upload designs that print durable, tangible goods. The “ink” in this case
comes in spools of plastic. While Makerbot’s printers sell for $2,000 now, that price is
bound to drop. Case in point, in 1987, Hewlett-Packard’s first inkjet printer cost $1,400
($2,850 in today’s dollars). But now, better ones are practically free. It’s not hard to
envision a model in the coming years where the printers are basically given away and
the profit comes from the “ink.”
Shapeways is more akin to crafts marketplace Etsy, where anyone can upload their
designs and sell products. Shapeways fulfills the order, with objects printed in a range
of materials such as plastics, ceramics, glass, and sterling silver. Expect to see more
products “powered by Shapeways,” where consumers customize and personalize
design templates that are then printed to their specifications.
Vice President of Emerging Media
By the end of 2013, marketers will
need to engage in serious scenario
planning to assess how 3D printing
may impact their businesses.
Both approaches facilitate a new form of peer-to-peer commerce, where
customers buy goods directly from designers, cutting out many middlemen such
as manufacturers, retailers, and transportation. A colleague who owns a Makerbot
once used it to print shower curtain rings from a design he found online. Meanwhile,
someone at Shapeways told me it’s as easy to fulfill an order for 10,000 of the same
product as it is to fulfill 10,000 individualized items from a vendor.
While a small fraction of homes and businesses will own 3D printers next year, and
Shapeways is a long way from rivaling Amazon, marketers should take a long view as
to 3D printing’s potential. Those that find ways to adapt to and incorporate the shifts in
technology and business models will be in a far better position once 3D printing goes
Inspired Predictions for NEW EMERGING TRENDS 33
Regulatory Threats Rise Up
Linda A. Woolley
Acting President and
Chief Executive Officer
The economic turmoil of the past four years
has deeply affected the marketing industry. Yet, of all the changes I’ve observed,
perhaps the most significant has been the evolution of marketing data as a highly
effective driver for bottom-line growth.
According to “The Power of Direct Marketing—2011/2012 Edition,” data-driven
marketing investment (as a portion of total advertising spend in the Unites States)
stood at over 52%. What’s more, data-driven marketing produced 8.7% of US GDP.
As businesses increasingly rely on information for marketing capital, the regulation of
personal information will take on new importance. Politically naive data use policies,
combined with growing consumer demand for more relevant marketing will ignite a
global privacy debate which could threaten responsible data-driven marketing.
The emergence of consumer preference for more personalized advertising has fueled
the shift from mass marketing to highly targeted customer outreach and interaction.
• According to one study, published by the UK Direct Marketing Association, more
than seven in ten US consumers prefer to receive promotional offers that reflect
their likes and dislikes.
• Another study, published by RSR Research, indicates that the vast majority of
global retailers say that customer-centric marketing opportunities such as better
targeting through more detailed customer preferences (97%) and delivering
real-time personalized offers to consumers (97%) are either highly valuable or
somewhat valuable to them.
While the ability to mine and analyze data to drive strategic marketing decisions
increases, so too does the threat to our ability to use it.
• Congress wants to put an end to the collection and use of consumer data.
• The Federal Trade Commission is telling tall tales about marketing practices
(like consumers who buy deep-fat fryers online will be denied health insurance).
• Activists are using scare tactics, saying, “Consumers are being pinned like
insects to a pin board,” by marketers.
• The press is slanting the story, reporting that marketers who collect personal
consumer data are worse than the FBI or the IRS.
The regulation of personal data use will have far-reaching implications for the marketing
economy of the future.
While the ability to mine and analyze
data to drive strategic marketing
decisions increases, so too does the
threat to our ability to use it.
Inspired Predictions for NEW EMERGING TRENDS34
The Automobile Ascends
Founder and CEO
As the evolution of consumer engagement
moves from web to social to mobile, we'll see an increasing desire to leverage the
latest innovations. The amusing thing is, a lot of that will be right under our noses—
everyday objects. Some people call this the “internet of things.” Others call it
“physical computing.” In plain English, I’m referring to everyday interactions with our
surroundings at home, on the road, and at the office—objects that will be increasingly
filled with cheap sensors, ubiquitous connectivity, and screens for apps and data,
be it in a thermostat, a fridge, or a car.
With 230 million vehicles on the road in the US and 120 million personal cars, there's
already a material installed base to support innovation. And cars are clearly an
important part of our daily routine, with an average of 10,000 miles driven per year
and $10,000 running costs. But little is known at a granular, data level about the
driving experience, outside of macro-level surveys or traffic-flow analyses.
Imagine being able to understand
which consumer is driving in
which car, with whom, with what
purpose, and what destination.
Now, for the first time in marketing history, sensors in the car, paired with smartphone
sensors, ambient information about road journeys from third party APIs (e.g., weather,
traffic, playlists), and the social profile of drivers, we can paint an amazingly vivid
picture of what we do on the road—and why.
For marketers, that data is a goldmine—not only to reach and engage drivers, but
also to direct targeted and measurable campaigns. Imagine being able to better
understand, at any given time of day, on any given stretch of highway, which
consumer or household is driving, in which car, with whom, with what purpose,
and what destination. And then consider the broader time and location-based
spectrum; whether for marketing insurance, leveraging a local merchant platform,
or for dynamic advertising billboards.
Just as Nest helps your home become smarter and Nike Fuel tracks your physical
activity, this new vision of the car is becoming a reality.
Inspired Predictions for NEW EMERGING TRENDS 35
A study by M2 Research predicted that the $100 million spent by corporations
on gamification in will rise to $2.8 billion by 2016. Gartner estimates 70% of Global
2000 businesses will be gamified by 2015. Those numbers indicate that gamification
is more than just a fad, but rather a true innovation that savvy marketers should
capitalize on as early adopters.
2013 Means “Game On” for Gamification
Marketing fads and gimmicks come and go—
from sock puppet ads to Second Life virtual stores. Every now and then, however,
true innovations emerge that revolutionize how marketers engage with customers.
From where I sit, 2013 will be the year in which “gamification” moves from the
periphery to the core of the cross-channel marketing tool set.
Marketing innovations tend to move through a classic product lifecycle curve:
introductory phase, early adoption phase, late adoption phase, long maturity phase,
and eventually decline. For cross-channel marketers, gamification is now entering in its
introductory phase—but many are unsure if it is a true innovation or just another fad.
The rise of gamification doesn’t mean every brand will (or should) launch its own
version of Farmville on Facebook—far from it! Cross-channel marketers should
understand that gamification applies certain aspects of games to non-game
applications, capitalizing on behavioral psychology to reward customers for changing
their behaviors. The ultimate goal is to generate greater lifetime value and higher
profits. When properly applied, gamification techniques have been shown to increase
customer retention, social sharing behaviors, user content generation, acquisition
campaign ROI, and online retail conversion rates.
Gamification works because humans are innately wired to compete—even if it’s just
against themselves or a neutral “progress bar”—and game structures are an effective
tool to get them to do so. The underlying mechanism here is dopamine, a powerful
neurotransmitter and behavioral motivator that acts on the reward-seeking system of
the human brain.
By providing the right rewards at the right time, a properly structured gamification
program can prompt dopamine releases in the customer's brain and thereby incent
and reward desired customer behaviors. Even more attractively, many of the best
rewards like leader boards, leveling up, achievement badges, and social recognition
awards are non-monetary, creating highly attractive ROI scenarios for gamification
marketing. And best of all, it's engaging and fun!
Gamification works because humans
are innately wired to compete—
even if it’s just against themselves
or a neutral ‘progress bar.'
Cross-Channel Marketing Automation
The Future of Marketing
Deeper engagement through a single point of interaction.
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