Top 10 Smart Marketing Trends for 2013

By Lori Turner-Wilson

Make it your resolution to execute these Top 10 smart marketing trends in 2013.

1. Visual Storytelling – Thanks to image-centric sites like Pinterest and Instagram, 2012 became the year of brand visualization. Visual content is now in higher demand than ever before and brands must step up and tell their story through more than words.

2. Social Responsibility – As socially conscious Gen Y generates even greater financial success, it’s imperative brands help this generation appreciate their social influence as a strategic priority in 2013.

3. Actionable Data – With improved technology came significantly better marketing data in 2012. The key in 2013 is determining how to make this data actionable.

4. Focused Content – 2012 was the year of content marketing with brands realizing the important role it plays in influencing purchase decisions and driving search traffic. However, content strategies had little focus and lacked strategy. Set clear objectives in 2013 to realize the true power of content marketing.

5. QR Codes – Last year, I predicted Quick Response (QR) codes would take off in a bigger way in the U.S. than they actually have, though they are a dominant communication tool in many other countries. QR codes are square bar codes smartphone users scan to be taken directly to a targeted Web page. I expect U.S. brands to fully embrace this technology.

6. Mobile Payments – Mobile is the next frontier, and in 2013, consumers and brands alike will embrace their mobile devices as ecommerce platforms. Mobile wallet providers, which store credit card information for easy payment, are gaining traction. It goes without saying that if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’ll want to tackle that quickly.

7. Social Commerce – Consumers have more access to more information about their friends’ purchase decisions than ever before, thanks to social media. Happy customers can easily tell thousands with their likes, tweets and reviews. Capitalizing on social influence as a way to build your brand will be a key strategy for winning brands in 2013.

8. Repurposed Content – When writing copy this year, consider the various places in which you can share it – website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or your email newsletter. Write adaptable, modular copy that can be used across all platforms to avoid redundancy.

9. Spreading Happiness – Partly in response to a long-struggling economy, many brands found their “happy place” in 2012, with this trend likely to continue into 2013. What can your brand do to bring happiness to consumers?

10. App Attack – About 80 percent of smartphone users spend time using mobile apps. If you can build a useful app around your product or service offering, now’s the time to develop it, as that percentage is going nowhere but up in 2013.

Lori Turner-Wilson is Founder/CEO of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com. Follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).