The truly successful know one thing: Your work is never â€˜done.â€™ Where others lay down their burdens and celebrate, the rest of us are energised to think that every win is just a ticket to the next tournament. The world is spinning faster and faster, you have to keep changing if youâ€™re going to keep up. Itâ€™s no different in Marketing. What worked just a few months ago in 2012 is not guaranteed to work today. Here are ten ideas for 2013 you canâ€™t afford to ignore.
Sure, every year you hear a variation on this theme: This is the year mobile takes over! This year, however, is going to be the year for mobile. 2012 saw the maturation of mobile platforms into something ubiquitous and common â€“ no one is impressed with your iPad or Android anymore, because everyone has one. As people get used to doing things online, theyâ€™re going to expect to do everything online. In the same way folks are ditching old school landline phones for cell phones, theyâ€™re ditching old school desktop and laptop computers in favour of tablets that double as laptops. If youâ€™re going to reach these folks, youâ€™d better have a great marketing strategy and an effective website design that works flawlessly on multiple mobile platforms.
The goal of gamifying your online marketing campaign and web design is to make it fun and engaging for the users, transforming a passive experience into active one. This is going to be a big deal in 2013, By implementing game mechanics in your website, you provide positive reinforcement to the user for each action taken. The possibilities for brand loyalty are also limitless when you blend fun with otherwise serious activities. Moreover, the switch from passive entertainment to active entertainment means customers are engaged from the very beginning of your relationship with them.
Active is the meta-theme for 2013. Inbound marketing, in the form of content that draws potential customers to your site, is going to be vital. People are so marketing-savvy these days they can recognise marketing and avoid it very easily. But give them a reason to come to your site, and the potential for conversion is huge. Consistently offering useful content is another key road to customer loyalty as well.
Speaking of loyalty, this is going to be the name of the game in 2013. Getting eyeballs and attracting new customers is always important â€“ but as many companies discovered last year, keeping them is even more important. Growth canâ€™t happen if all of your customers are one-offs. Your customers are connected to each other in ways that have never existed before, and their opinions rocket around the world. A concentration on keeping existing customers happy â€“ and thus your word-of-mouth positive â€“ will pay off in spades.
That loyalty is creating something else that will increasingly be leveraged in 2013: Influence. Brands that maintain large numbers of loyal customers who chatter about it will be able to have subtle but effective influence on the world. Once youâ€™ve built the loyal customer base the question changes from how to get more customers to what do we do with this community? Engage them is the answer. Customers are no longer an end-goal. They are part of your company, your culture, and your marketing.
Analytics are going to produce some absolutely amazing ideas as people really dig into their data â€“ and some of those ideas are going to be Freakonomics-level counter-intuitive. Donâ€™t be satisfied with a few passive data points. Crunch those numbers every which way and see what sifts out.
Simple has been the watch-word for years now. Sites like Facebook and Twitter with their minimal website design and visual options were a reaction to sites like MySpace that had become visually, well, insane. But there is always another correction around the corner. In 2013 people are tired of these simple designs with no personalisation options. This is going to be the year that visual website design comes back in a big way, and smart marketers are already looking for the next cool visualisation possibilities.
The combination of inbound marketing, analytics tools, and loyalty campaigns means that you can now focus your marketing down to a very local level. If your business is local, it no longer makes sense to blast out wide marketing â€“ you have the ability to narrow down to the neighbourhood level, which not only makes conversions more likely, it also means your marketing budget goes much, much further.
While your web design gets more complex, the concept of simplification is also going to be huge in 2013 â€“ in terms of both the marketing you put out there (because people are tired of overly clever, complex marketing like alternate reality games or user-created commercials) and in terms of helping to simplify customersâ€™ lives. People are, in general, tired of being assaulted every day with endless information and flashing lights â€“ to stand out in 2013, go the other way, and make their lives easier.
Campaigns, where all your marketing is linked by a theme and often an arc of sorts, are the Titanic of marketing â€“ slow to steer, impossible to make nimble. Look at how Twitter accounts for events like the Super Bowl blackout or the Seagulls on the Papal chimney are created within moments of these unpredictable events occurring â€“ thatâ€™s the kind of nimble, in-the-moment thinking that marketing in 2013 needs to have, and a campaign, with its lengthy lead-in planning stage and impossible-to-tweak roll-out is increasingly going to look old and passÃ© long before its finished.