By Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa (Founder & Creative Director, PixInk)
Some people say that 2013 will be the year of de-tech, but with so many technologies taking off, I tend to think that marketers will want to stay plugged in. From marketing tools to consumer behavior, reports continue to roll in predicting what will be hot this year.
Here’s a roundup of some trends I think will be significant in 2013.
#1 – Social media will be more important than ever as a marketing tool.
Social media is already on the radar, but more companies will use this tool to build brand equity, according to CMO.com. They will also deploy more measures to capture and leverage data for overall marketing and advertising direction.
Additionally, CMO.com expects the number of social platforms consumers use to communicate with companies to grow. For example, Facebook is no longer an option – it’s a given that companies are expected to use. This year, they will better leverage its power.
#2 – Media spending will transition from display to paid/sponsored content.
As things move from traditional to digital, media spending will focus on more targeted forms of advertising. It will shift away from display ads to sponsored content in an attempt to create more value for consumers.
#3 – Watching TV will go social.
Mashable insists that the second-screen revolution will arrive in 2013, but it certainly has already landed. In 2013, consumers will engage online even when they are watching a show. Call them social couch potatoes, if you will. Moreover, TV will become a hybrid of social and video components as well, analysts say.
#4 – Social influence will go beyond hitting ‘like’ to incentive-driven promotions.
Companies will draw upon consumers who enjoy interacting with brands online, giving these brand ambassadors incentives for engaging. For example, share something on Facebook and you may receive a coupon or loyalty points. In other words, marketers will reward consumers that promote their brands in the social space. Mobile loyalty apps are also poised to thrive.
#5 – Mobile will be defined.
Smartphones and tablets are nothing new, but they are typically lumped together when it comes to gauging use. Savvy marketers will begin to separate users based on the devices they use. For instance, hotels now know that more people research travel on tablets, while those booking rooms often do so from smartphones. That trend of using tablets for research and entertainment, and smartphones for tasks has opened up a new space from which to glean more in-depth data. And speaking of mobile, expect click-to-call to grow.
#6 – Apps will be customized.
Apps are already an established advancement, but their use will move beyond games, media and GPS. They will advance to more task-oriented and personal apps. These apps will track, remind and make suggestions to users because they will better know users’ preferences. The apps will be better targeted and customized for the user, offering a more personalized experience.
#7 – Presumers will emerge.
We’ve talked a lot about technology, but you can’t mention its relation to the marketing arena without knowing about consumers and how they use it. In the past, we thought of targets by age bracket, behavior, occupation, and the like. But there’s a new type of consumer that marketers are noticing.
It’s the age of the consumer, but today’s consumers are involved in products and services before they launch. These pre-launch consumers, or presumers, know what companies have on the horizon before it hits shelves and they want to be a part of the entrepreneurial process. Presumers are on the lookout for the next best thing, whether they are helping to test a product or fund something new – these perceptive consumers stay ahead of the game.
Women 2.0 readers: What trends do you predict will shape this year? Let us know in the comments!
About the guest blogger: Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa is Founder and Creative Director of PixInk, a San Francisco-based digital design microagency serving a macro niche: businesses marketing to women, who drive over 80% of purchase decisions. She nurtures emerging brands and strengthens iconic ones through powerful design, insight and a deep understanding of the female consumer. PixInk’s microagency structure works extremely well for Apple and Facebook, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @ayeshamathews.