So putting the economic, technology and digital trends together, what can you expect to see emerging from UK marketing departments in 2013?
Marketing and digital specialists will be forging strategic partnerships to begin defining specific digital strategies. Site designers will embrace ‘responsive web design’ and ‘semantic markup’ while usability specialists will be looking at seamless user journeys between intersections, content creators will be focusing on specific channels and marketers will start looking at “second screen experiences” and how online and offline behaviour interact.
Mobile-specific strategies will become core, especially for local and small businesses.
SEO tailored towards Google will continue as it increasingly reveals itself as an ‘answer engine’ able to answer complex questions. While Yahoo and Bing may open up the paid search field.
Businesses will move on from treating social media platforms as noticeboards towards leveraging them as true relationship-networks. “Community Managers” will become a common feature in digital marketing teams and companies will look to ally their brands with social causes.
Mobile and app advertising will continue to offer tantalising opportunities especially for marketers who can meet its unique challenges; meanwhile TV and print advertising will increasingly direct people to their mobile devices.
Users will continue to be ambivalent about data mining and marketers must remain vigilant against a potential backlash. On the one hand, people desire personalised and customised service, but on the other they have legitimate worries about privacy and misuse of their data. In 2013 businesses need to start dealing with the challenge of how to keep the information flowing.