Market Like It’s 2013

As we dive into 2013, it’s time to think about where to focus your marketing efforts this year. Not sure where to start? Here’s what thought leaders in the industry are saying about next year’s trends.

Consumers Are Calling the Shots

End users are more empowered than ever to share their opinions — both positive and negative — about products and services via online reviews, social media posts and viral videos. We know online backlash can be damaging to your bottom line, and so does small business owner Merrily Rocco. In her article “Six Ways to Handle Negative Online Reviews,” Rocco explains how she successfully mitigated the damage caused by several disastrous Yelp reviews about her design firm.

Rocco also points out in her article that in the end, your business can do everything right and still receive a negative review. The best thing you can do to combat unfavorable criticism is to minimize its influence and encourage satisfied customers to join the digital conversation.

Measuring Campaigns Is In

Search Engine Journal predicts that “as more social sites emerge, further fragmenting the landscape, having access to and using the right technology to locate, monitor, analyze, and engage your audience will make or break marketing and marketers.”

If you have yet to start measuring your campaign results, it’s as easy as implementing call tracking services and a web analytics program. Tracking results and connecting advertising spending to conversion dollars can put you a step ahead of your competitors and help you form effective strategies in the coming year.

Website Designs Are Adapting to Mobile Demands

According to AG Beat, 52 percent of marketers plan to create mobile- or tablet-optimized websites in 2013, so it makes perfect sense that Smashing Hub’s 2013 web design predictions include responsive web design, creative scrolling formats and huge buttons to accommodate consumers viewing websites on mobile devices.

Take the time to evaluate your website’s compatibility with mobile devices to prevent losing prospective customers.

Content Marketing Is Moving to Context Marketing

While content marketing focuses on making your brand the go-to resource in your industry, context marketing puts your message in the right place at the right time to amplify your company’s value in a natural way that doesn’t alert consumers to a sales pitch.

The Innovative Marketer’s Blog compares the importance of effectively placing your content in context to the popular film “Inception”: “The way a dreamer recognizes manipulation is when characters or events in his dream are out of context. As with your marketing, being out of context has real and terrible results…”

Amazon is a great example of a business that has mastered context marketing. Sending consumers email notices when new titles become available from authors they’ve previously purchased from or online reviews and suggestions about new products consumers might be interested in are classic examples of context marketing. By presenting information that is in line with a consumer’s purchasing decisions, Amazon is more effectively reaching its audience.

Pay-per-Click (PPC) Campaigns Are Going Local

In 2013, the push to refine PPC campaign strategies will be stronger than ever. A new survey from Balihoo Inc. reveals that 91 percent of national brands plan to up their local marketing efforts in 2013. Instead of simply using keyword, device and location information to target consumers, marketers are being encouraged to focus on social and demographic filters to improve their targeting methods.

Local digital tactics such as blogging, social media involvement and the generation of online customer reviews are expected to be top priorities for national brand marketers next year.

Hopefully these predictions gave you a good starting point on where to focus your marketing efforts in the coming year. After you make note of these marketing trends, let us know what trends are on your radar for 2013.