You may have already seen my post on my top 5 marketing trends for 2012 but for me, there is nothing like looking ahead so I have been thinking about 2013 and beyond and here are some of my marketing trend predictions looking beyond next year.
1. The Social Enterprise
I have spoken about this innovation in a recent post and I believe we will see a dramatic increase in companies embracing their own internal social networks. Technology providers such as Microsoft, Cisco and SalesForce already have or are working on enterprise grade solutions to help us work smarter and more efficiently within a social environment. If your company has multiple offices, a disparate workforce or a high number of employees, you should think about starting the planning process for this now.
2. Hosted Content on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc…
In my opinion, the future of successful marketing lies in the hands of social media and the well established social networks. Our customers (on the whole) are social, so we must be also. I believe the traffic to our websites will reduce as we host more content on the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and perhaps our own social networks. This will enhance distribution and sharing possibilities and means we can influence on platforms that blend our target audience’s work AND personal time. The advancements in Ruby and Java based apps will make it easy and cost-effective to design rich, multi-media applications on these platforms, and leverage the scope of the 000’s of millions of users they have already.
3. Goodbye E-Mail (well, almost)
As the Facebook generation starts cementing itself in our workplace, the use of traditional communication tools such as e-mail will undoubtedly reduce. The use of e-mail declined last year for 12-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 year olds with an increase only evident for the 55-64 and 65+ age groups. Video as a communication tool will become the standard, supported strongly by social channels. Mobile networks will be equipped to handle video calls and Cisco claim that every endpoint they sell will be video enabled by the end of 2013 and that 85% of all internet traffic in 2015 will be video. This means we will see an increase in video events, video collateral and a more collaborative workforce.
What’s more, smartphone adoption will continue to grow, predicted to account for around 90% of all mobile phones by 2013. Location based marketing, combined with innovations such as Google Wallet are set to transform the way we as consumers source, buy and review our product choices. They will also greatly improve the visibility of campaigns and in some instances will speed up and improve response rates.
I appreciate that all 3 of these trends are heavily biased towards social media but can anyone really envisage growth in traditional marketing channels past 2013? There is and always will be a time for Direct Mail and Trade Shows and I believe they should still form part of multi-channel marketing strategy. At the same time however, the growth, reach, scalability, cost-effectiveness and adoption of social media is one that simply cannot be ignored. I can’t help but think that our use of social media will saturate as time goes by, there are as we know, still only 24 hours in a day and managing our social communities is a time-consuming task.
One last thing to consider… We cannot underestimate the technology companies when it comes to trends. Just 3 and a bit years ago no-one even knew what the App Store was, yet now there are nearly 500,000 apps to download and more than 10,000 new ones submitted every month, and that’s not including Android or any other platforms.
Be sure, they will re-write the rule book once more before the end of 2015…
What do you think will be the next big marketing trend?