by Joanne Gore
It’s definitely that time of year again. You can’t go online, read a paper, visit website, or even watch TV without someone making their 2013 predictions. Being a marketer, my inbox is full. So I’ve compiled my list based on the following:
Numbers: Facts, statistics, reports
History: What has failed and what has thrived over the last few years
Gut: There’s something to be said about that feeling you get when you just KNOW something is going to be a hit or a miss. But it has to be balanced with both the Numbers and History for support… So here goes:
The rise and subsequent adoption of 3D printing will disrupt many traditional manufacturing and purchasing trends. Imagine being able to cut out the middle-men, including manufacturers, retailers, warehouses, transportation, etc. while at the same time receiving customized products made to the buyers unique specifications. What will this do to tool and dye producers? What will this mean for the smaller businesses who will no longer need to purchase volumes of product? Although this technology is still young, its disruptive nature is already making companies stand up and take notice.
Content will play an ever-important role as companies become more sophisticated in their marketing efforts. And marketing automation tools and platforms will continue to drive the need for more targeted and relevant material. According to Google, in 2010 consumers needed 5.3 sources of information before making a purchase. In 2011, it grew to 10.4 sources. What does this mean? People have more resources at their fingertips and this will only continue to grow. Ensuring that you have the right content being delivered to the right audience at the right time in the sales cycle will no longer be an option…but a necessity.
3. Social Media
Do we need to beat this drum? I think it’s fair to say that Social Media is here to stay. It is no longer a passing fad; it has become a relevant component in the marketing and, dare I say, sales mix. And people will continue to become more diligent in companies they like…and subsequently un-like. They will expect to see content that’s relevant to them (see point #2), and become strong advocates for brands they value and which value them in return. Social Media for B2B will also, finally, start to make its mark. And while most organizations are still figuring out how to staff and budget for social media (no…it’s not exactly free) more and more will realize that it’s not just about marketing’s latest whim, but rather a critical aspect to every area of the company that requires strong leadership buy-in. A recent survey by SocialFish indicated that 84% agree that leadership involvement in social media gives their company a competitive edge and that communicating core values via social media is integral to leadership.
Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and of course Facebook are all popular photo-sharing sites. Instagram gets over 5 million photos a day with over 15 million users. Facebook has 2.5 billion photos uploaded every month. According to Blogher, 47% of online consumers have made a purchase based on a Pinterest recommendation. No longer are consumers limited to granulated images from their smartphones, as they now boast upwards of 12mp image-quality. Add to the the camera manufactures, such as Canon, who have developed cameras with instant sharing capabilities, and it’s easy to see how this “trend” has become a part of doing business. If you’re not planning on leveraging the power of the visual image, you will be left behind.
As mentioned in #2, people have more resources at their fingertips and this will only continue to grow. Merely differentiating features won’t cut it. Marketers need to be master story tellers. We need to draw in our audience, and engage them. We need to evoke emotion. We need to dig below the surface…deep below and get that compelling snippet that turns an otherwise “me too” effort into an “I have to have it now” driver. Steve Jobs got it. He was a master storyteller and the success he brought to Apple is the legacy that most marketers can only dream of. Going back again to #2, smart companies will invest in master storytellers, such as journalists and authors, to deliver cohesive and compelling content.
In 2013 I believe that in order to truly thrive, we need to nurture all the resources in our midst. We need to continue to engage and understand our customers. But we also need to embrace our employees. We need to foster great leadership. And we need to drive success. Organizations such as Shopify get it. They were selected as Canada’s smartest company by PROFIT magazine. Employees receive annual allowances to dress up their office spaces as they see fit. Staff also get health club memberships, catered gourmet lunches, $250 a year to spend on sports gear (the “Sportify” program) and a maid service that’s dispatched twice monthly to clean employee homes. Every staffer is eligible for monthly bonuses based not on rank or job title but on how helpful they are to customers, partners and fellow workers. They get it. And in return? Virtually zero attrition—just two employees quit in the past two years—compared with 30% average annual turnover for Silicon Valley companies.
Let’s face it. We know the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. And most of us start the year off with the resolution to lose weight, or get fit, or eat better, or quit smoking. And most of us break that resolution within the first 30 days. But does that mean all is forsaken? I predict that if we gave ourselves permission to indulge a little, then we would be much more successful in achieving our own personal goals. Give yourself permission to smile. Give yourself permission to laugh. Give yourself permission to forgive. And give yourself the tools to embrace change, make change and drive change. Caffeine will continue to fuel all of us, whether it’s in the form of coffee, tea, colas, redbulls, or chocolate (my personal favourite), our energy will be supplemented by this liquid drug. But make sure you get outside for a walk in the fresh air every now and then. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Is big the new small? Big honking headphones are replacing tiny earbuds. Smartphones barely fit in your pocket. Tablets (are they small laptops or big smartphone wannabees?) are everywhere and in fact I recently heard of a “mega tablet” which equals the size of 12 tablets and designed to drive human social interaction by playing popular boardgames (although, personally I’d rather spend $19.99 on an old-fashioned boardgame). And although the iPad Mini contradicts this trend, it seems like Big is in.
9. Security and compliance
To quote a line from “SpiderMan”: With great power comes great responsibility. Well, the same can be said with our bloated online lives. Security breaches plague the largest of companies, who must not only deal with big data, but with the trend in BYOD (bring your own device), the necessity for social media integration, and an ever-growing mobile and virtual workforce.
The average person manages at least 15 passwords. And although we all know that they should be unique and incorporate symbols, numbers and letters let’s face it…most of us recycle the same ones over and over. And hackers count on it. Chip-encoded authentication cards, credential brokering, or using your bank credentials to access Government online services are no longer enterprise solutions, but available in the market today from companies such as SecureKey Technologies (client). And although there will still be Nigerian email scams, we have the ability to thwart these attacks by arming ourselves with information and keeping our eyes open. If it looks too good to be true….it unfortunately probably is.
From a marketer’s perspective, the world is becoming our oyster, so to speak. Mobile marketing has matured, and mobile apps have become a strategic imperative. According to Gartner, Smartphone users worldwide will download more than 45 billion apps this year and that Consumer spending on mobile app stores and digital content will increase from $18 billion to $61 billion by 2016. And Forrester predicts that this $6 billion market will grow to $55.7 billion by 2015. Additionally, NFC technology is being built into devices from laptops to smartphones, which will see an explosion in true multi-factor authentication for payments, and identity management.
And there you have it. My Totally Random Top 10 Predictions For 2013. I want to wish you all much success, good health, prosperity and positive energy for the coming year.
About Joanne Gore
Joanne Gore has nearly twenty years of marketing and communications experience, including corporate and small office environments. She is a talented and creative marketing professional, always positive and able to see the big picture. She possesses the organization/prioritization skills which allow her to manage multiple projects from inception to implementation, meeting deadline demands and budgetary constraints.
A true mentor, Joanne marries her passion for marketing with clear, creative feedback and inspiration. Joanne develops lead generation and conversion programs, re-brands product lines, implements social media strategies, manages PR and media relations campaigns, overhauls websites, develops highly targeted marketing campaigns, and delivers results.
Joanne graduated as a Graphic Designer and, prior to joining the corporate world, worked in the print industry as an art director, typesetter, and printing consultant. Joanne is a marketing geekette by day, a fitness instructor by night, and a mom 24-7.