Conversations Shaping Marketing in 2013

Organizations face dramatic changes in their marketing channels. They are contending with enormous industry changes. They struggle to understand exactly which direction to take. This is not true of just a few companies. Everyone must change and evolve in order to keep their competitive advantage and to exploit boundless opportunity of our expanding markets.

Brands are no longer static emblems: they are perceptions and experiences in the marketplace. Marketing channels and media communications can no longer be controlled from the top down. They are multi-directional conversations, even communities. Brands aren’t owned exclusively by marketing departments. They are shaped and delivered continuously through all functional areas of a business. Walmart isn’t simply a starburst mark and the  Every Day Low Price promise. It is also an employment experience, community impact, suppliers straining to meed compliance requirements and more.

Not all change represents a threat. These are key change-driving trends for marketing in 2013. Approached with agility—strategy allowing for change—they represent tremendous opportunity:

  • Marketing increasingly seen as the leading role through which a business can develop its agility.
  • Business leaders acknowledging the need for agile marketing, proactively confronting the unknown and finding ways to evolve and profit.
  • Nitchification, the proliferation of business models, solutions, channels and creative products and services entering the market— and distinguishing threats from opportunities.
  • Crowd sourcing, crowd funding, and virtual collaboration of all types, across any amount of space — enabled by the cloud.
  • Mobile device ubiquity and the explosion of info and connectivity anyplace, anytime.
  • Big data 2.0: turning staggering flows of data into insight, then into prescriptions.
  • Social media listening and engagement for both B2C AND B2B businesses becoming as important and intimately connected to the overall marketing program as earned media, paid media and grass roots.
  • Brand culture becoming as important as brand image.
  • The job of marketing to change behavior taps aspects of gamification, changing the focus of content from “educational” and “informative” to feedback loops, — specific user data that is clear and actionable, delivered through devices that provide real-time interaction.
  • Marketing mistakes will become accepted as part of the marketing process, a vital source of marketplace feedback, leading to A/B testing with 20, 30 or 40 variants.

Start a conversation about marketing that listens, learns and leads. Marketing that creates competitiveness. Become an agile business beginning with an agile approach to marketing.