Are you up for a challenge? The following B2B marketing predictions for 2013 list is not one that includes mega-inventions and new technology. Rather, this list gives B2B marketers a chance to jump ahead of the competition and make a name for themselves–for their brand–by getting on board with the marketing trends that will move companies past the same old this year.
I challenge you to read the following 6 marketing predictions and devise a strategy for how you will implement them during the next 12 months.
Here’s your road map:
1. Online marketing budgets will increase
Whether small or midsized, business owners–specifically B2B owners–will let go of heavy print advertising and direct mail budgets in order to increase online marketing budgets. The great news about this? Online marketing can be measured and tracked in ways that were never possible with print ads and direct mail. Online marketing budgets will also include additional resources such as staff, writers, consultants or designers–a team of brand ambassadors to help spread your message online.
2. Integrated content will rule the scene
It’s not enough to have a stand-alone newsletter or a website. Nor is it OK to think one Facebook page will push your organization into the world of social media. 2013 will be all about integration and how to strategically create stories around brands that speak to your audience wherever they are. Integration isn’t new, but it can be tricky–2013 will lead to more strategies around full integration.
The stories can’t all be the same. Integrated content includes not only various channels–social, video, print, TV–but a change in creation and emphasis depending on the chosen channel. Brands who integrate content wisely and effectively across multiple channels will make waves this year.
3. Social responsibility will be a necessity
Consumers will continue to put the pressure on when it comes to social responsibility and community support. Social responsibility will be something that is continuously asked of individuals and brands, but should not in any way be seen as a marketing ploy. Consumers can smell the B.S.; make sure to be legitimate when it comes to your company’s social responsibility.
4. Measurement will drive decisions
Companies that want to prove success to their C-suite and consumers will continue to find ways to measure, analyze and repeat. Businesses that did not track ROI for social media posts, online engagement, blogs or even direct mail will win over the competition by setting KPIs (key performance indicators) now and comparing over time. All content that is produced will be evaluated in order to make additional marketing decisions, place online ads, rate PPC (pay per click) return or justify new means of communication.
Businesses that develop ways to measure the immeasurable (or, what was thought to be immeasurable) will find that they are able to move quickly and swiftly with new marketing tactics as related to these measurements. Less red tape and push-back from the higher ups.
5. Content marketing will be embraced with full-scale strategies
The concept of content marketing remains, but 2013 will see an even bigger push for companies to integrate all their communication channels and measurement tactics into a streamlined content plan. Businesses that choose to set a plan at the onset to include content strategy, brand voice, content calendars and measurements for success will soar above those that send out an occasional newsletter or off-handed blog post.
6. Companies that “get it” will win big
The final prediction is about wrapping up in to a nice, neat package, the previous five marketing trends for 2013. These strategies and predictions will not come without help, time, planning and a flexible budget. Companies who get this will beat out the competition. The business leaders that invest in their brand by shifting to an online focus and a content strategy that involves conversation and inclusion of consumers will see a return on their investment that far surpasses those that are still stuck in the direct mail game.
Now, what are you going to do to make 2013 a success?