Marketing Trends in 2013

It’s that time of year again where marketers predict what we will see in marketing in 2013. What new tools will emerge? What new technologies and concepts will be developed. Looking back at 2012, I was surprised to see the emergence of social photography. Flickr was the most popular social photography site that started it all a couple years ago but who would of thought that Facebook would have bought Instagram and a little start-up named Pinterest would gain so much traction.

Well, now I’d like to give you my opinion on the 5 things I think will make an impact in marketing in 2013. I’m not sure what to call them. Trends, technologies, concepts, all of the above? Whatever you wish to classify them as, they are going to change things and I can’t wait.

1. Location Based Marketing

Definition: Location based marketing is personalized marketing to an individual person based on where they are located.

This new form of marketing will be of great importance as more and more people adopt smartphones and it will be a critical tool for retailers. Wouldn’t it be great if you walked into your favourite mall and once you entered the doors your phone was able to tell you of the special offers or news of your favourite stores. Of what if you were standing on a street with multiple restaurants and you allowed those establishments to offer you a special offer on a meal in real-time. This is location based marketing and this is the future of how people shop and communicate with retailers.

There are examples of location based marketing tools like Foursquare but to read more about it being used in campaigns, read David Moth’s article ‘Eight great location-based mobile campaigns from 2012‘.

2: Responsive Web Design

Definition: The ability for your website to adapt to a user’s screen that best suits their viewing experience.

As a marketer I’m sure you’ve always asked yourself, ‘To build an app or not to build an app, that is the question!’ We all know that more and more people are using their phones to look at websites and interact with corporations. We are constantly told that we must make our website mobile friendly. Some decide that the solution is to build an app to present their website content, other organizations make a specific mobile site and than their are others that do both. Well what if you didn’t have to do either and still get a great user experience while increasing your SEO ranking. Enter responsive web design. This will be a solution that more and more organizations will begin to adopt as it reduces labour, inefficiencies and cost.

To read more about the benefits of responsive web design, read Al Mackin’s article ‘Why responsive web design is good for SEO‘.

3. Gamification

Definition: The use of game principles in a non-game setting.

This is the trend I am most excited about and has the most potential. Gamification is not new but people are starting to realize that games are no longer for children and teens sitting in front of their Sony Playstation. It is much more than that.

When you were a child, why did you like games? I liked them because they gave me a sense of achievement. They game me a mission, a target, a goal and they were just fun. As you grow up you may stop playing physical games but that doesn’t mean you stop enjoying the elements of game play. Game elements have the power to move and motivate customers to do something and interact with organizations. Gamification is used in social media through Foursquare by earning check-in badges or even through loyalty programs through earning points. You don’t believe in gamification? Let me show you why you should.

Read Tim Ross’s and Stacey Rubin’s article ‘Kellogg, Verizon use Gamification to Build Loyalty‘. Also, read about how The Toronto Hospital for Sick Children took top honours at The Canadian Marketing Association Awards using gamification.

4. Mobile Wallet/Near Field Communication

Definition: The use of your mobile phone as a payment transaction tool at retail locations instead of the traditional plastic card we use today.

Will 2012 be the year where people start throwing away their cards and wallets in favour of having their phone store all of this info for them? Maybe not but we are getting closer. Our phones will start being used for payment transactions at retail locations in 2013 that is for certain. Tech firms and banks are partnering to make this happen. The iPhone 5 introduced Passbook this year and when they launch the iPhone 6, this is when the mobile wallet will take off. We are at the tipping point with this technology and mass adoption is inevitable.

You can read more about the beginnings of a the mobile wallet in Sarah Perez’s article ‘The Beginning of a Usable Mobile Wallet: Target Brings Mobile Coupons to Apple’s Passbook‘.

5. Mobile

For years we have been asking, when will mobile finally reign supreme? When will it be the year of mobile. Every year we keep saying, “it’s almost there” and in 2013 we will say, “mobile has arrived!”. For years the television has been the #1 screen for consumers but I truly believe that the smartphone will take over that position. Now more than ever it is important for marketers to use this technology in their marketing strategies. Chris Breikss presents some fascinating stats in his article ‘Infographic: Canadian Internet Usage Statistics on Mobile, Search and Social‘.

That is my top 5 trend list. Let me know what you think and what your trends are!

Photo Credit: FastCompany

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