In my Marketing Predictions post from last year, I did not break any new ground when I predicted that 2012 would be all about social, content and mobile.
I predicted that we would see increased buzz talking about how to become a social business, how to execute content strategy and how to create a more mobile-optimized digital experience for our customers.
I’m pretty happy to see that I wasn’t too far off. I believe that our progress has been too slow but I think I got the topics right.
Where did I fall short? I predicted more CMOs would move to change the marketing mindset from one of promoting products to one of creating valuable customer-focused content. Outside of the very few consumer marketing examples like the CocaCola Journey, I’m not sure I got that one right.
So read on to hear what I think is in store for marketing in 2013…
Marketing Predictions: Content Marketing Matures
Content marketing has become a huge buzzword in marketing lately as people have mastered the mechanics of social media channels but are finding that they aren’t seeing any results. Why? Because you cannot SPAM people on Twitter or Facebook and generate leads or new customers.
Marketers are beginning to understand that the road to success in the social business world is paved with valuable content that customers want.
The “Marketing Equals Promotion” Paradigm Has To Break
As the brave content marketing souls seek to build new content supply chains and content curation models, this is causing one very large problem for the marketing organization: our leaders are asking us to sell, sell, sell.
The concept that marketing and product promotion are synonymous is being challenged by the results of overly-promotional social media content and traditional push marketing efforts.
Email, telemarketing, really any over-promotion on digital channels is causing a backlash as people ignore ads, opt out of emails and watch you throw your marketing dollars out the door.
Taking The Brand Out Of The Story
Content Marketing and Social Business strategy is forcing marketers to come to the realization that we need to take our product and our brand out of the story.
We have to provide value. We have to be interesting, human and trustworthy. We have to answer customer questions without the backhanded used-car salesmen pitch at the end. Customers are looking for what’s in it for them and they are highly skeptical of brands looking out only for themselves.
Branded Content Hubs Publishing Unbranded Content
Because of these trends, leading marketers are creating an environment that allows their customers, employees and partner ecosystems to tell stories. They are not creating branded content they are enabling content that is unbranded or personally branded such as thought leadership, personal stories, or points of view on the topics people are interested in vs. the products companies want to sell.
In 2013, many more brands will seek to become publishers. The smart ones will create branded hubs of content centered around customer content. The rest will see the trend and create content factories of promotional branded content that simply prolongs the slow agonizing death of the static, traditional, corporate website.
Personal Branding and Social Business Thought Leaders
I think we will continue to see the rise of the personal brand, brand evangelists and thought leaders as formal roles within companies.
I also hope that content marketing and social business initiatives reach well outside of marketing and across the social business.
This may have some downsides: I think this will see us continue to create more content and put the pressure on us content marketers to start to focus more on quality.
New Roles Emerge: Content Strategist, Data Scientist, Social Business Manager
My biggest prediction for 2013 in marketing is that organizations will begin to address the gap between the way our customers seek information during the buying process and the gaps in the information we marketers provide.
This will create a greater need for new roles to be created in many more companies. Roles such as Content Strategist, Chief Content Office, Data Scientists (in marketing) and Social Business Managers (Marketers spreading into other departments like sales and customer support).
These roles will help companies to bridge the gaps and address the changing buyer journey.
What’s Your 2013 Marketing Prediction?
So, that’s my list of 2013 predictions and in some cases, wishful thinking. Do you Agree? Disagree? Please tell me what you think in the comments below and follow the conversation on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.
Here are some additional 2013 Marketing Predictions from around the web…
- Content Marketing and Social Media Predictions from the Content Marketing Institute
- 8 Insightful Marketing Predictions from Hubspot
- B2B Marketing Predictions from Search Engine Journal
- 13 Marketing Trends for 2013 from Business 2 Community