2012 has been a great year for big ideas — big ideas like big data, inbound marketing and interest graphing. And, there’s certainly no shortage of companies pursuing the tremendous potential of these technologies.
In 2013 there will be growth around trends that have emerged from convergence of social media and big data. These new trends refine the broader big data and social media spectrums with “real” tangible solutions. In 2013, we’ll see a reorientation of how businesses capture the benefits of social media. Here are two consumer-centric trends that will impact social business in 2013:
1) Data Driven Marketing (DDM)
Tools will emerge that harness big data and leverage it in a way that enables brands to gain and build strong customer relationships.
Data is transforming companies and brands in multiple ways. The abundance of social data makes it possible to segment media and target consumers in different ways, and at any stage in the marketing life cycle. The data also makes it possible to measure the effectiveness of campaigns, quickly change strategies (you’ve heard of “pivoting”) and better understand consumer behavior. This data can be used to inform product design, customer relations, and the entire business strategy.
As a result, the digital marketing landscape had changed. It used to be about getting more traffic. Then brands started learning more about acquisition — turning visitors into leads. The focus then shifted from outbound marketing to inbound marketing and brands learned that “influence” resulted in more leads. DDM takes this one step further.
Data-driven Marketing doesn’t mean getting more traffic, or getting more leads. Data-driven Marketing means getting more customers. Data-driven Marketing is not about influence, it’s about relevance. DDM tools will close the gap between analytics and business insights by way of actionable analytics. Data-driven Marketing tools put metrics in context, provide real-time insights on reputation and enable businesses to increase consumer loyalty. With more data to measure and learn from, marketing iterations are shorter and campaigns are more agile. Brands learn how to optimize, and spend less time executing plans that don’t work. Customers become engaged and even passionate brand advocates.
Data-driven Marketing Companies to Watch in 2013:
“Data Driven Marketing” and related terms “Customer Centric Marketing”, “Customer Driven Marketing” on Google Trends
2) Social Merchandising
Tools will emerge that simplify the complexity of social marketing, social commerce, and unlock the potential of social merchandising.
As social media marketing evolved, brands focused on digital campaigns to share messages (ads) across multiple social channels. Numerous social media marketing tools emerged providing ways to share, monitor and analyze multiple social networks. But, the social Web is no longer about posting text updates on Facebook or Twitter.
While the most successful brands are “simple”, simplicity is complex — especially when it comes to social marketing. Social channels have become highly visual and interactive since the emergence of platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Social engagement involves telling a story and listening. Brands have to manage profiles on multiple social platforms that each offer unique advantages and characteristics. Brands are sharing content around specific products, services and events. Social campaigns are used to build momentum around product launches or seasonal events. All of this adds to the complexity and requires an increased level of coordination between marketers, product managers and technical staff.
New tools will emerge that simplify the complexity social marketing, and unlock the potential of social merchandising. These tools will provide integrated solutions that enable brands to involve their marketing and product teams accordingly to impact consumer purchase decisions. Social Merchandising (sometimes called, “customer-driven merchandising”) tools will provide better alignment between products and the consumers that are interested in them. While Social Marketing enables brands to encourage content sharing, Social Merchandising enables brands to encourage content curation, and target consumer based on their interests and product popularity. Social Merchandising will be most apparent in the retail sector, and enable campaigns to be more aligned with the entire business and its’ brand strategy.
Social Merchandising Companies to Watch in 2013:
I’m always interested to learn about new ideas on social and big data. What do you think will be big in 2013? Have you discovered new tools the harness the promise of social media and big data? Share your thoughts.
Carol Skelly is the founder of in1.com, a startup that enables brands to streamline their social channels in one platform. Prior to founding in1, Carol was the founder of Iatek, CTO at Xpresso and has also worked as a technologist at Action Interactive, Digital Equipment Corporation and Lotus (IBM). Follow Carol at in1.com/CarolSkelly