At this time of year, a lot of us in the analysis and strategic research world are thinking about our predictions for 2013. Some of our predictions will be based on data trends; other predictions will be based on gut instinct vis a vis the relationships between marketing developments, tech developments, and the players that can execute on them.
A warm up for our own work has come from CMO.com’s survey of 86 digital thinkers. It’s quite a survey, focusing exclusively on the “detente” that Chief Marketing Officers are finally enjoying with CIOs, as Forrester’s David Cooperstein points out.
The proper and useful application of big data is the focus of many of the predictions (including mine.) Acxiom CMO Tim Suther says that “if 2012 was the year of big data, 2013 will be the year of better data.” Motorola Solutions CMO Eduardo Conrado notes the use of big data will all lead to “a tighter link between sales and marketing systems in 2013.”
But CMOs also need to look beyond technology, too. Brands have been extended beyond single click ads by social media and other channels. So much so that several of CMO.com’s predictors suggest that the real focus will be on differentiated content…again.
“In the last two to three years, the pendulum has swung from brand marketing to an overt focus on analytical marketing to acquire, convert, and retain new customers,” suggests Russell Reynolds’ Deborah Op den Kamp. But “in the coming year, successful CMOs will figure out how to reintegrate great brand storytelling (a priority of old) with innovative analytical marketing to provide an emotional connection that resonates with consumers.”
Content’s importance is also stressed by Society of Digital Agencies’ Tony Quin, who notes “The rise of social media means that brands must now produce a constant stream of compelling content that attracts attention and becomes the basis for an ongoing connection with the consumer. ”
Finally, CMG Partners’ Doug Holroyd suggests that marketers have been too heavily focused on the “science side” of marketing. “It’s not the tools that matter, it’s the experience that they have. In 2013, when the savvy lead marketer sets his or her marketing strategy, it will be critical to prioritize the art of marketing.”
Here’s mine: ‘Marketplaces’ Environment
“The biggest marketing issues and trends in 2013 include use of big data for better targeting of consumers, and matching between consumers and merchants; more personalized offers and services; and better use of social media for recommendations and referrals. All three of these trends are interrelated as part of the new “marketplaces” environment that will boost yield and begin to shift resources (dollars, people and time) away from ad budgets. Mostly, however, they will complement advertising efforts.”