The Ins and Outs of MarketingThe consumers are getting wiser and more connected and as we move into the New Year, we as businesses continue to compete for their attention, loyalty and trust. While it’s easy to be on par with the current technology, the real value is on the cutting edge- anticipating the changes and meeting opportunity in the future. It’s all about finding new ways of creating, cultivating and harvesting value on a global scale with the individuals in mind. Here’s what’s in and what’s out, and how you can use the upcoming trends and technologies to your advantage.

IN: Mobile A recent report by Morgan Stanley stated that “91% of people keep their phone within 3 feet, 24 hours a day.” The same can’t be said for mailboxes and television sets. The phone and table phenomenon is quickly creating a channel of communication unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Customers are constantly using their mobile devices to connect with people, places and things and they are engaging the brands who compliment the offline experience with social and local relevance.

OUT: Outbound In 2012, for the first time ever, internet marketing drove more sales than direct mail. This change highlights the death of interruption marketing and the reign of opt-in. While advertising and traditional marketing will continue to remain important, businesses are moving forward and adjusting  their marketing messaging towards permission and digital channels. The companies that get inbound marketing are making gains that will sustain into the future as consumers shift to digital natives.

IN: Analytics Businesses are looking to spend smarter. The growth of the internet and digital media has caused an explosion in relevant data regarding customers and prospects. Companies like Google, Amazon and Netflix are already leveraging wildly complex algorithms to mine vast quantities of data to profitably predict and serve their customers’ needs. For the average business, CRM and analytics software is challenging them to think about tomorrow’s market and how to most effectively meet and grow customer demand in light of global competition. As a result, spending on Big Data is expected to top $50 billion dollars in the next 4 years and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

OUT: Daily Deals 2012 was the year of the Groupon. For customers, daily deals have been a wonderful way to get products and services at steep discounts. Sadly, the return on investment just isn’t there for businesses because of two main reasons: For one, the people attracted by steep discounts are bargain hunters and the price anchoring changes their intent on paying full price in the future. Secondly, the businesses have to front the cost of the promotion and the fulfillment which can cause serious cash flow and supply chain disruptions. The model just doesn’t work and businesses are now looking towards more intelligent marketing solutions.

IN: Content Testing Not every blog post or funny picture is going to be well received, especially across so many different marketing channels. Like utilizing A/B testing for landing pages, smart marketers are using the scientific method to see what works and what doesn’t for content marketing. From Facebook to Pinterest, in each channel the customers are inherently different- It’s only through proper testing and observations that the buyer personas can be identified. While “write-once publish often” is still a good rule of thumb, the information needs to be refocused for the different users across the web.

OUT: Gaming SEO It’s important to realize that the adolescent search industry is still moving towards utopian relevancy. That relevancy is based on hundreds of signals including inbound links, social data, and keyword context. If you’re still keyword stuffing and paying for backlinks, then prepare to be made example of. Google has already thrown down the gauntlet for those that try to game SEO and the company is known to be quite unforgiving. While some cheaters are still slipping through the cracks, the risks of cheating are too costly. Instead of gaming the system, focus on the customer needs and how to incentivize their viewership. For the short term, if you want to be at the top and you didn’t earn it, then PPC is your best bet.

So what’s your marketing focus going to be for 2013?

Orinally Posted at Mr Ryan Connors Blog