Depending on where you live, there are 33-34 days until 2013 arrives.
That doesn’t leave much time to dawdle as 2012 draws to its close, but marketers still have plenty of time to read up on the key trends that will affect their industry next year. To that end, below are 10 important trends lead-generation marketers should pay attention to so they’ll be prepared to tackle the new year with all they have.
According to John O’Hara, president of Pitney Bowes Software, 2013 will be the year when marketers dedicate their attention to the quality of email communications to convert prospects, keep customers and avoid opt-outs.
“To do this, marketers are going to need to adapt and find new ways to increase the relevance of each and every communication they send,” O’Hara says. “Ultimately, this will help increase campaign ROI and improve the strength and longevity of customer relationships.”
Marketing agencies will double in number
The rise in the number of point solutions available to manage, measure and report on all online and social activities means companies are looking to digital marketing agencies to help, according to Doug Wheeler, CMO of Optify.
“The unprecedented demand contributes to the increase in digital marketing agencies — from owner-operated agencies to consultants, all the way to creative agencies offering more online services, the number of digital marketing agencies is only going to grow.” Wheeler expects the number of these agencies to double in 2013.
Mobile’s continued rise in importance
“While ‘social media’ is the buzzword tactic for lead gen, mobile is rapidly becoming the top platform many marketers use for their lead-gen efforts,” says Jon Jackson, CEO of Mobile Posse. “The ability to reach a consumer anywhere and the flexibility of action available — whether it is a phone call, app download or mobile form sign-up — allows marketers a flexibility and level of engagement beyond a ‘like.'”
Jackson notes that mobile is already playing a big role in lead generation, as it offers marketers high engagement levels and the flexibility to drive specific actions. These benefits will propel mobile’s role in marketers’ plans for lead generation, he says.
“The personal attachment consumers have with their mobile devices and elements such as location-based services give marketers a distinct platform to broadcast themselves,” says Projjol Banerjea, vice president of marketing and sales for SponsorPay. However, he reminds marketers that a unique platform needs a unique plan of execution. “A desktop campaign cannot simply be ported from online to mobile,” he says. “There is much higher sensitivity to friction on mobile, so elements such as mobile-optimized landing pages are a must.”
Engagement-based lead gen
Banerjea notes that the copious amount of time spent on mobile devices, especially tablets, opens up the door for engagement-based lead generation. “For example, integrated campaigns that combine a video with a post-view interaction such as a registration form or discounted purchase link are an effective way to generate leads. The strategic placement of the call to action after the video can drive extremely high click-through and conversion rates.”
Personalization will also continue to be an increasingly important arrow in marketers’ quivers in 2013, according to Wheeler. “User experience is becoming a major part of every website, and personalization is in its core,” he says. “Whether it’s cookie-based, login-based or machine-based identification, personalization will grow, and services that offer the ability to personalize experiences will emerge as well.”
Content marketing and curation
Content marketing will continue to grow in prominence in 2013, according to Pawan Deshpande, CEO and founder of Curata. The continued rise of content marketing will be tied to the consequent decline of traditional marketing tactics, such as print, radio and TV advertising,