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9 Trends That Will Upset Your Marketing in 2013

Today’s guest post was written by Amanda F. Batista, a freelance writer, editor and content developer. As the former Managing Editor of DemandGen Report, Amanda covered the latest technology, trends and development in the marketing automation technology space, as well as the sales and marketing strategies central to demand generation.

The role of marketing is evolving to incorporate creative and corporate tasks once relegated to other organizational personnel. Moreover, the demand for quantitative and qualitative ROI, coupled with changing budget conditions, creates the need for consistently developing, strategically flexible blueprints.

They say the times are changin’ — so should your modern marketing strategy. We showed three trends that shaped marketing in 2012. Here are 9 trends with critical effects that will likely upset your marketing in 2013:

1. Social media distribution is booming
According to the 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends Report, content distribution is increasing on social media channels.  In 2012 87% of marketers used social media to distribute content, as compared to the rate of 74% reported last year. Marketers will need to rethink their social strategies to connect the dots of campaign initiatives with emerging channels, such as Pinterest.

2. It may actually be the “year of big data”
Particularly with the enhanced focus on social media and the various digital marketing vehicles, there is an unstructured abundance of data that marketing teams must be effectively and efficiently analyzing. It’s critical to determine the best way to harness the data that’s most meaningful, and use this information to maximize all communications and marketing messaging.

3. B2B mobile is still lagging behind
According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, a large percentage of businesses don’t have a mobile-friendly web site. While many marketers have developed applications, both brand and ad-hoc, the majority of B2B marketers are stuck at the starting gate of mobile adoption. In 2013 more businesses will use responsive design to launch mobile optimized version of their sites for smartphones and tablets. Don’t get stuck in the dust!

4. Code is the new king
Digital marketing is the new standard, and shifting roles have ensued for marketers as a result.  Marketers will be increasingly challenged to have a working knowledge of the code behind the web and apps – HTML, CSS and Java – to fuel innovative marketing efforts.

5. The rapid emergence of content creation services and software
Because content has become a primary focus point of all marketing and demand generation activity, in 2013 marketers will be tasked with managing a host of new software and service solutions for content creation, syndication and curation.

6. Direct mail is set to make a return
While marketing organizations have shifted to primarily digitally-focused strategies to keep up with the “information-inundated, smarter” buyer, it’s getting noisy out there. Progressive marketers will harness the power of direct mail in conjunction with online marketing programs to differentiate their service offerings.

7. Marketers will carry other sales-oriented responsibilities
The expansion of lead generation responsibilities in B2B marketing requires marketers to wear a plethora of hats — including those for sales tasks. Increased visibility and involvement into key asks such as lead qualification, inside sales team management and sales operations will be critical for marketing teams.

8. Internet marketers are abandoning PPC tactics
While progressive, budget conscious organizations move to embrace more cost-effective online paid search marketing avenues, PPC will be on the decline. This means that marketers will also have to revisit corporate paid Internet marketing activities and strategies.

9. Engaging user experience (UX) expectations are transpiring to B2B
Social, mobile and usability are no doubt significant engaging points for any marketer, but B2B marketing teams need to rethink their interactive strategies to reflect the elements of effective B2C messaging, focused on ease-of-use, entertainment value and recreational functionality.

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