Report: Interactive Marketers Need to Brace for Changes in 2013

5 minute read
Katie Ingram avatar

Research and advisory firm, Forrester Research, has released a new report on marketing trends for 2013 which has found that businesses will have to make a few key changes over the next year to appease their consumer base.

The report, "2013 Interactive Marketing Predictions" was complied by Melissa Parrish, Nate Elliott, Anthony Mullen, Jim Nail, Joanna O’Connell,Shar vanBoskirk and Jennifer Wise. Predicted trends for 2013 are centered around cross-channel, omni- and multichannel marketing approaches, targeting and the challenges marketing will face when trying to adapt to these changes.

Marketing Can’t be a One Trick Pony

In order to be a successful in digital marketing, a company can’t merely create a fan page or social media account. They have to be constantly be connecting and engaging with customers, launching new campaigns and updating their social media content.

According to Forrester, by 2016 advertisers will spend US$ 77 billion on interactive marketing, the same amount they do for television advertisements now.Whereas, search marketing, display advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing and social media will take up by 26 percent of advertising budgets.

The company also found that at the end of 2012, the amount of people using the internet multiple times a day from different devices and locations was at 42 percent in the United States.These individuals, referred to as “ultra-connected person” or “the always addressable customer”,are people that a marketer can reach anytime and anywhere due to their accessibility.The amount of customers who fall into this category is growing, so marketers need to look their approach to multichannel usage, targeting, dataand vendor relationships.

Cross-Channel, Omni-channel and Multichannel Marketing

In these interconnected types of marketing, companies will use a combination of channels, such as social media, email and SMS in order to connect with their audience. Although with the conclusion that more customers will be coming ‘ultra-connected’ over the next year, businesses have to change the way they use these mediums. 

By the end of 2013, we predict that nearly half of online adults globally will be always addressable, fueled by the increased adoption and utility of tablets, smartphones, and other,” the report says. “These customers demand personalized, relevant attention, designed around their needs and wants rather than around your marketing channels. If you don’t change the way you think about engaging these customers, you will quickly lose relevance."

Since people will be online more often, businesses can’t afford a delay or snag in communication and have to always be monitoring these channels and responding to customer concerns and questions.

In addition to customer's have access to more desktop and mobile devices, Forrester also notes that more devices will have both offline and online capabilities. Using the Stop and Shop Supermarket as an example, Forrester says the company now uses mobile apps that can help shoppers personalize their experience when in store, while Diaego has digitized its whiskey bottles for Father’s Day, so that those giving the gift could add a personal video message.

Therefore, businesses need to constantly connect to customers in both an offline and online capacity to meet consumer demand.

Know Your Customer

It's not enough for marketers and their teams to be available to customers, they also, according to Forrester, have to form a relationship.

Learning Opportunities

Until now, marketers had to simply guess at the strength of these affinities. But thanks to the always addressable customer’s liberal use of personal technology, marketers can now know, with some degree of certainty, the emotional affinities of their audience,” says the report.” Rather than place ads next to this relevant lifestyle content, in 2013, marketers will begin to demonstrate how they share these passions with their audiences.“

In order to do this, marketers have to know more about a customer than just their name or location, they should also know, for example, a customer's interaction history and favorite product.

According to the report, this approach will lead to a “customer touch-point plan” which contains data insights and customer journey maps which will allow marketers to create a more personalized marketing approach.

In the End It's About Data

One of the last things that the report notes is it’s not just a marketer’s “How-to” approach that needs to change, but their relationship with data. Marketers need to be comfortable with analytics along with newer kinds of data that will be available, like the customer touch-point plan.

Forrester finds that merged intelligence and deployment platforms will create more adaptive responses for marketers, as they will have to start using more attribution tools and data management platforms in order tokeep up with these changes. The data that comes from using these tools will ”drive real-time changes to media campaigns as the links tighten between “intelligence” systems," such as DMPs and “deployment” systems such as demand-side platforms (DSPs).”

Forrester also finds that many big name companies will also try to to ad text analytics to the type of data they collect in order to expand customer knowledge. These analytics will show a business customer tone and intent, something that Forrester findsweb clicks can’t do.

Overall, in order to have a successful 2013 marketers have to take a step back and re-evaluate their stance and approach to digital marketing by reexamining their customer relationships.