Four 2013 Predictions for the Marketing Landscape

1. The Empowered CMO

Gartner noted by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. That shift will begin as early as 2013, as marketers continue to wear many different hats and take on more responsibilities in technology and campaign management.

The marketer used to rely on other people to manage and launch their marketing campaigns. But with easy-to-use marketing technology systems, the CMO and marketer can now select the technology and manage the process on their own.

For instance, analytics was an area reserved for data specialists because of the complex, dedicated tools required. But with the proliferation of digital channels and real-time data streams, marketers can no longer afford wait for these specialists to perform the analysis needed to extract customer insights and optimize marketing performance. As the number of communication channels—and the volume of data—will only increase, marketers are empowered with the right tools to effectively leverage Big Data to engage today’s customers. This includes analytics capabilities that don’t require a PhD to use, like campaign targeting, creation, and execution before it, analytics must be simplified and put in the hands of marketers.

In fact, according to a recent survey by Neolane and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 50 percent of marketing departments say they are considering employing Data Scientists to handle the influx of customer data, while the other 50 percent need to empower their marketing team with easy-to-use marketing technology platforms.

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2. The Value of Marketing on Social Channels

Social media will continue to be a prominent channel for marketing in 2013 and marketers will begin to realize its true value.

In an Econsultancy survey released in June 2012 in association with Adobe, just 6 percent report using social graph data for personalization, but 88 percent of those say it has a high impact on both ROI and engagement.

As marketers begin to realize this value, we expect to see increased adoption of social media marketing this year. And while consumers may not be making purchases on social just yet, they are opting into social media apps. This allows marketers to obtain valuable customer data and market to consumers who are interested in their products and services.

Even more, it is likely to be high quality data – for instance, an email from a Facebook account is probably more accurate than one a marketer would gain elsewhere. Facebook may just be the cleanest data warehouse marketers can utilize. Having this data then allows the marketer to converse with the customer or prospect on other channels, enabling true cross-channel conversational marketing.

3. Convergence of SoLoMo and Loyalty

In 2013 we will see the convergence of social, mobile, and local (SoLoMo) and loyalty, with online and offline experiences being brought together.

For example, as marketers leverage Open Graph data on Facebook, brands can better engage and connect to consumers with real-time, location-based offers across a growing spectrum of channels and devices (including mobile). By transparently collecting users’ actions on Facebook (i.e., music listened to, videos viewed, articles shared, and check-ins made), brands can build loyalty by delivering more relevant offers and a tailored experience.

Eventually, mobile will be the bridge between the online and offline experiences for consumers. Marketers will be able to provide more relevant and targeted messages to consumers across all channels.

4. Marketing Consolidation will Continue

Oracle’s recent acquisition of Eloqua rounded out 2012, but in 2013 other CRM players will likely scramble to define their digital marketing offering, specifically in the cloud.

We can expect even more players to enter the fray as the market consolidation continues. CRM vendors including Oracle, SAP and salesforce.com have realized that marketing cloud/SaaS revenues represent a bookings growth engine and through acquisition will try to make up for limitations in their own digital marketing capabilities.

While we can’t say for sure what 2013 will bring, these recent acquisitions have confirmed that more awareness will be placed on marketers’ needs moving forward. As the CMO gains more responsibility and SoLoMo marketing becomes a greater focus to keep up with the real-time behaviors of consumers, we anticipate the market will continue to evolve and expect an exciting year ahead!

Now it’s your turn. What are your predictions for the 2013 marketing landscape? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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