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Digital Marketing In 2013: Predictions From 86 Industry Luminaries

by Gayle Kesten
Managing Editor
CMO.com

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It's that time again: CMO.com recently turned to its ever-growing array of savvy contributors and colleagues and asked them what they envision the new year will bring for the digital-marketing world.

Among the responses from 86 enthusiastic marketing pros--that's nearly three times the number of people who weighed in last year--are predictions about what's next for mobile (a biggie), content marketing, big data, and customer centricity. And that only skims the surface. Read on to find out what they said we can expect in the coming 12 months. (Responses are arranged alphabetically by last name.)

Rise Of Marketing Cloud
2013 will be the year of a true convergence in marketing analytics--where cloud computing will merge with big data and dashboard tools into something that truly offers marketers a more holistic view of all their consumer touch points.
-- Lisa Archambault, Manager, Display Marketing, Zappos Development, Inc.

Consumers In Control
In 2012 we saw consumers realize the power they have over the buying experience; in 2013 we expect them to seize full control. Take the trend of "showrooming"--trying products in physical stores, but then using a mobile device to check for better prices online. More than half of smartphone owners already engage in the practice, but it is set to explode this holiday season and next year. To deal with showrooming, retail marketers need to get even better at differentiating themselves from online retailers by delivering fully customized digital offers via the right channels at the perfect time. A similar statement could be made for marketers dealing with challenging trends in almost any vertical. We think that data analysis and integration is the key to surviving and thriving with the customer in control, and we expect to see marketers increasingly require automation solutions that enable relevant, multichannel campaigns based on big data analysis.
-- Lisa Arthur, Chief Marketing Officer, Aprimo

At Your Service
More companies will start to address the challenge of integrating digital platforms into their overall customer experience. This will mean using digital media, including social, live, and in-play, to enhance the efficiency and enjoyment of their service experience. In many cases, this will mean changing the way companies organize themselves and engage front-line staff in the use of social media as part of their day-to-day jobs.
-- Mike Ashton, Managing Director, ABCG

Meaningful Metrics
We will see a continued increase in tracking meaningful business metrics, like marketing’s contribution to revenue--marketing as a science, if you will. Campaigns should be built around concrete data, and all efforts should be continually tested, measured, and adjusted. I think we’re going to see marketers get more sophisticated with digital content, too. Dynamic personalization--which has been hugely successful in the email world--is now being used to customize Web site messaging. With Web sites playing a key selling role today, serving up the right message at the right time can really increase conversions and sales. "
-- Adam Blitzer, VP of B2B Marketing Automation, ExactTarget, & Co-founder, Pardot

SMBs Grab SaaS
An increased use of SaaS-based marketing and sales automation technologies by small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Today, SMBs lag enterprises in their adoption of CRM (56% versus 75%) and marketing automation (19% versus 45%), according to a recent study by Forrester and Act-On. And one in three SMBs see digital marketing and technologies as a game changer for their businesses going forward.
-- Atri Chatterjee, CMO, Act-On

Location Goes Mainstream
2013 will be known as the year when location marketing goes from something leading-edge companies do to something that the majority of companies do. Mobile platforms have previously toyed with location and basic radius geofencing, but in 2013 we’ll see marketers using real-world geofences, like familiar neighborhood boundaries, amusement park perimeters, or other predefined areas, as triggers for both push and pull marketing. This added relevance will actually bring with it additional privacy protections, allowing both consumers and marketers to benefit.
-- Darrin Clement, CEO, Maponics

Sales-Marketing Link
I think we’ll see a tighter link between sales and marketing systems, which will lead to a bigger focus on personalized experiences for both inbound and outbound marketing. I also think structured data within the enterprise will be used as sales and marketing tools, both to do better targeting and to gain insight for predictive analysis of customer behaviors.
-- Eduardo Conrado, Chief Marketing Officer, Motorola Solutions

B2B Commerce On The Rise
B2B commerce is going to be a trend in 2013 because direct-to-business sellers are realizing that there’s a huge opportunity to meet the business buyer’s consumer sensibilities and are leveraging some of the best practices acquired from the B2C world. However, companies entering this space also have to take various B2B challenges and contexts into account, including, but not limited to, complex business processes and workflows, unique pricing tiers and rules, multiple buyer permissions, and integrations with legacy systems. On the other side of the coin, we are also seeing B2C retailers starting to adopt some B2B concepts moving forward, including tiered pricing, subscriptions, buyer tiers, and more.
-- Sean Cook, CEO, ShopVisible

From Push To Participative
We’ve seen more brands embrace the value of creating or sponsoring online content that their consumers are passionate about. While this push content is engaging, I believe we will see an evolution toward participative content where a brand’s consumers will be able to interact with other consumers who are also engaging with the content and the brand. Generally, people by nature enjoy experiences more when they are shared. Participative content will emerge as social and other interactive platforms are integrated into the primary content where fans will easily be able to converse in real time with each other, the brand, and the content’s talent on a single screen. I believe participative content will lead to deeper and more memorable consumer engagement with a brand and among the community of the brand’s fans, and it will improve brand affinity, retention, and sales.
-- Steven Cook, CMO, FanKix.com

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CMOs And CIOs Make Peace
When we look back, 2013 will be the year that CMOs declared a detente with CIOs and created a unified front to use technology to bring their customers closer to them in physical locations, on mobile phones, and with powerful, relevant messages that can only be delivered if the two senior execs line up next to each other. Digital will no longer be a descriptor for marketing, just as no one called TV "traditional" until there was something to compare it to. Marketing and technology will be so linked as to be indecipherable from each other. Who wins in this world? Marketers and their agencies who can make their brands "digitally native," just like the consumers and end users they are trying to reach.
-- David Cooperstein, Vice President and Leader of Forrester Research’s CMO practice

Automotive Matters
Few businesses have yet to embrace the power of video. Video offers greater retention and up to five times greater recall than print, according to TubeMogul. Innovators are now combining dynamic content into video, creating super-rich consumer experiences that capture attention. Also, 59 percent of shoppers use their phone at the dealership to access vehicle information about pricing, model features, and dealer inventory. The pace of adoption of mobile and tablet devices requires all brands invest in experiences and marketing campaigns optimized for local content.
-- Stacey Coopes, CEO, Ford Direct

Wither, LinkedIn?
The digital employment system has long been owned by the likes of Monster, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs, and more recently by jobs aggregators like SimplyHired. Then LinkedIn raised the ante by essentially hosting everyone's business credentials online, with the idea that linking people together and fostering relationships would make for healthier business and for great career opportunities. Great idea--until LinkedIn turned itself into a job board in 2012 and "invitations to link" from slimy recruiters became the new business spam. My prediction for 2013 is that LinkedIn users will rebel and brand the social network-turned job board "just another spammer." That's not the kind of crowdsourced digital marketing LinkedIn wants to see, but it's happening already."
-- Nick Corcodilos, Ask The Headhunter blogger, CMO.com

Real Time Meets Reality
Real time moves from hype to reality as marketing technology begins to support unstructured data. Marketers begin fully implementing true integrated marketing campaigns using Big Data as their technology platforms support unstructured data. Customer intelligence is increasingly utilized by marketing professionals, making it less of a domain for CI pros, who focus more of their attention on predictive analytics.
-- Joe Cordo, CMO, Extraprise

Rich To Enrich
As marketers continue to be challenged with connecting and engaging with their target audience, 2013 will see exponential growth in visual media content targeted at enriching the customer’s experience. Marketers will be tasked with leveraging, managing, and distributing a vast amount of rich content across a growing number of channels, while trying to shorten their time to market, remain relevant, protect their brand, and control their budgets."
-- Eric Courville, Vice-President, Marketing and Corporate Development, North Plains

Attribution Modeling
Thanks to digital marketing, marketers are flooded with highly accountable data of online behavior. Conversion data is all tracked accurately, just waiting for ROI calculations. Or is it? In order to understand true ROI in the year to come, marketers need to jump in head-first into understanding and applying attribution modeling.
-- Gabe Dalporta, CMO, LendingTree

Time-Shifting Shaft
Next year will be the year in which consumer sales and agency revenues in digital hit a heretofore unseen stride. One reason is because Millennials and Gen Y have embraced technologies that are outright letting them block traditional television advertising. Time-shifted on-demand media is putting a knife in the back of TV ads, and has been for years. As the 18-24-year-old age group matures, there’ll be exponential growth in the relative ad spend ratio between traditional and digital/social advertising. Some really big conglomerates are going to wise-up next year. It’s going to mean a significant shift in media dollars to digital as ad-ignoring technology evolves even further.
-- Jonathan Deiss, Creative Director, mOcean

3 Paths To Content
2012 showed that for many marketers, content continues to be a bottleneck for their digital marketing initiatives regardless of the channel. Internal traditional content creation efforts simply are not scaling with the pace and breadth of today's online channels. In 2013, I predict that marketers will be forced to go outside of their comfort zone to find scalable ways to produce content that can fuel their marketing programs. Some may try outsourcing content creation outside of their marketing teams. Some may go outside their organization's walls to find content to curate. Others may attempt to crowdsource content creation among their user base.
-- Pawan Deshpande, Founder & CEO, Curata

Dawn Of Digital GRPs
I fully expect the joint industry effort Making Measurement Make Sense to establish the digital Gross Ratings Point (GRP) as the prevailing metric for premium digital media transactions. At the same time, I anticipate a major increase in programmatic buying, which has emerged as an effective way for publishers to monetize data and drive higher CPMs for excess inventory. As programmatic buying expands, I expect advancements in the use of data and machine learning to offer marketers both ease in large-scale, highly targeted media purchases across multiple devices and the capability to dynamically microtarget their messaging. It is at this point that we will reach the promise of always-on marketing.
-- Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO, IAB

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Localize Experiences
The globalization of interactive media is racing ahead at breakneck speed. Yet this high-tech homogeny masks the very real and nuanced differences between media types and cultures. Just as consumers use mobile devices and personal computers for distinct purposes, consumers in China and Hong Kong, or the U.K. and the EU, have different tastes and interests—as well as expectations around content and services. While top-level consumer expectations and behaviors may be similar across borders and devices, in 2013 and beyond tailoring brand experiences will be central to brand marketer success.
-- David Doty, Executive Vice President and CMO, IAB

7-Inch Tablet Takeover
Seven-inch tablets will be making their ascension to the digital throne of first-screen dominance, becoming the companion to everything: TV, travel, shopping, entertainment, etc. It will force us to reframe what we thought was mobile. The phone will become the highly protected inner chamber of human attention, whereas the tablet will be a more welcoming communications device. 2013 will finally define where and when it is appropriate to disrupt or intercept consumer attention. Mobile ads will be the center of this debate, and it will be the 7-inch tablet that will be the fertile ground in which everyone will feel comfortable with advertising and consuming ads.
-- Craig Elimeliah, VP, Director of Technology and Digital Solutions, RAPP

New Marketing Breed
CEOs have become savvy to the importance of digital marketing as a core organizational competency for generating new streams of revenue for their businesses. Thanks to the tenacity of the CMO, who for several years has constantly being challenged to prove the value and ROI of these investments, digital marketing is now very much in the marketing investment mix. As a new breed of marketer enters the fray, the challenge now for the CMO is to weave the ever important fundamentals into these ever-changing channels of communication with consumers.
-- Rory Finlay, head of Global Consumer Products Practice, Egon Zehnder

Emergence Of ‘Participation Economy’
Marketers will create more than functional and emotional benefits. CMOs will look for creating consumer value by allowing upstream co-creation of more products and customer journey design. “Shareworthy” will be the new marketing currency for marketers trying to create return on engagement. The path to shareworthy will be primarily driven from new roads. One new road will be the creation of new, disruptive business models that are markedly different than the business model of the market share leader. The other roads are through an idea or purpose-driven brand strategy. Brands that appeal to a higher purpose will have a meaningful edge that created inherently more sharing.
-- Jeff Fromm, Executive Vice-President, Barkley

The Endless Aisle
Now that the retail experience is no longer confined to brick-and-mortar locations, retailers will continue getting smarter in how they integrate the physical and digital commerce worlds. Consumers are demanding frictionless shopping experiences between the store and e-commerce. Buy online, and pick up in store. Buy in-store and have the product shipped to your home. New media retargeting and geofencing approaches are helping marketers reach the elusive shopper.
-- Rick Gardinier, Chief Digital Officer, Brunner

Customer Experience
The customer experience is a trend that is here to stay and will be especially prevalent in 2013. All businesses looking for future growth should recognize that a company or brand needs to create a unique, defensible customer experience that at least meets the needs of their customers in order to compete and grow in today's marketplace. This certainly includes the digital-marketing world, where the customer experience delivered digitally must be a subset of a recognizable customer experience created in any/all channels.  
-- Lacey Grey, Chief Customer Officer, Customer Value Growth

In-Store Incentives
As the economy begins to slowly recover, we see CMOs cautiously looking for ways to grow their store sales. In 2013, CMOs will rely less on traditional media, like print and TV, and leverage digital media to bring customers back in their stores. Importantly, digital media solutions will provide CMOs the advantages expected online: precise targeting, measurability, and pay-for-performance pricing.
-- Scott Grimes, CEO, Cardlytics

Marketing Automation + CRM
We will see a rise in integrated systems. As the Lenskold Report, 2012 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study, suggests, today’s CMOs face a dilemma. They need to find ways to drive repeatable, predictable and scalable revenue, or seek another career. To get more sales for the business, CMOs need to have the data to assess their lead generation efforts and invest in initiatives that will contribute to the bottom line of the enterprise. This requires a combination of strategy to drive incremental sales and reliable measurement to assess and drive performance. To achieve this, marketing automation must be integrated with CRM.
-- Lou Guercia, CEO, Scribe

TV-Web Unification
The convergence of TV and online video advertising is at hand, opening up a truly multiscreen world for audiences. In 2012, new cross-media ad technologies and measurement solutions emerged to bring TV and online video together. We’re starting to see numerous brands and agencies making significant shifts in their thinking and organizational structures that unify video campaigns across TV and Web. They're consolidating TV and interactive groups across the board, centralizing TV and online media, traffic and creative functions, into one video everywhere world. This trend will continue at a much faster pace in 2013."
-- Robert Haskitt, CMO, Extreme Reach

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Big Data’s Big Deal
CMOs are going to miss the big data boat unless they focus on how to turn it into action. The impact can be tremendous: U.S. healthcare could create more than $300 billion in value every year, for example, by using big data effectively. But don't feel like this has to be a huge investment of time and money. Conducting some initial small-scale but targeted experiments can help a CMO demonstrate the real value of big data relatively quickly.
-- Homayoun Hatami, Partner, McKinsey & Company, and co-author of “Sales Growth

Physical Blurs With Cyber
Watch in 2013 as the real physical world will continue to intersect with the Internet in a major way. People are becoming increasingly comfortable with such a lifestyle. This unfolding will certainly permeate digital marketing, and all aspects of a companies' marketing mix. Also, in general, 2013 will continue to be a year of social media marketing maturation. People will continue to put precedence on products and services that interest their friends, companies that don't hard sell them, and ones with interesting stories and relevant content to the consumer’s lifestyle."
-- Brad Hines, Social Media & Internet Analyst, BradfordHines.com & YumDomains.com

Marketing Art vs. Science
There is no doubt the customer insights and marketing performance data yielded by digital has been powerful. However, when we look to 2013, we see marketers focusing too heavily on the “science side” of marketing. Nearly all of the best digital tactics and tools can be bought for a price; from the consumers’ point of view, it's not the tools that matter, it's the experience that they have. In 2013, when the savvy lead marketer sets his or her marketing strategy, it will be critical to prioritize the art of marketing--the ability to differentiate by tapping into the vast customer intelligence acquired to find better ways of connecting and engaging with unique customer needs.
-- Doug Holroyd, Principal, CMG Partners

Cashing In On Big Data
Marketing departments will focus on collecting more and more big data. Just as unlocking who was viewing what on television helped with marketing spend, and click-stream analysis became a way to unlock the Internet's potential, companies see big data as the Holy Grail to understanding how to reach their customers and an additional way to monetize what they know about their customers. Big data will only tell marketers what, but they will feel comfortable making decisions based on it because it feels so familiar to what worked in the past. The real opportunity exists in developing marketing campaigns that focus on why, support relationship over transaction, and take into account influence.
-- Eric Holtzclaw, CEO, UserInsight

New Org Chart
Lines between different types of brand communication will further blur, disrupting traditional functions and departments. Marketing becomes communications, CMOs become CCOs, and the marketing pyramid is flipped upside down. Academic programs and degrees in specific subjects become more integrated across multiple disciplines to create the communicators of the future. Communications gets a seat at the board room because it has new power to solve real business problems with its integrated approach.  
-- Sabrina Horn, CEO, HORN

Targeting, Refined
In 2013, marketers will start to seek partners who can help them harness big data in order to drive smarter, real-time marketing strategies and increase the overall intelligence and relevance in digital customer communications. Next year marketers will become even more responsive and nimble when it comes to developing targeted, personalized digital touch points that focus on meeting the needs of their individual buyers. Tools like marketing automation will enable this process as they become easier to use, more affordable, and better integrated with existing sales force automation and CRM systems."
-- Tom Jacobs, President, Jacobs Agency

Native User Experience
In 2013 we will see native advertising grow and evolve as an integrated, in-stream experience that delivers value back to the consumer. The line separating content and advertisements will be drawn as publishers properly define advertorial, and marketers seek scaled native advertising opportunities.
-- Ari Jacoby, CEO, Solve

Content Creation
Brands will invest more in content creation than ever before, effectively forming channels relevant to their audiences on the Internet. Facebook will expand its ad units to be more invasive, and a viable Facebook competitor will emerge. Broadcast TV rates will finally begin to falter due to audience fragmentation, except in live sports.
-- Eric Johnson, Founder & President, Ignited

Digital Infusion
2013 will be the year that marketers get real about digital accountability and just say no to the “shiny object.” Smart marketers will win by moving away from investing heavily in the “if you build it they will come” model to strategically “infusing digital” into the busy lives of consumers and shoppers to drive business impact. 2013 will also be the year that the majority of marketers will discover the power of highly targeted consumer and shopper digital marketing opportunities. These strategically focused opportunities will deliver more relevant messaging infused at key points along the path to purchase to drive shoppers to key retail channels, categories, and products.
-- Jason Katz (photo), SVP Digital, & Kevin Sidell, VP Digital, AMG

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Era Of .Brand
One trend that will underpin all others and shift the thinking of digital marketers around the world in 2013 will be new top-level domains, which will open up vast new options beyond crowded domain name spaces such as .com, .net and others. Savvy CMOs who applied for their brand’s top-level domain will be preparing to integrate their .brand for the benefit of their global audience. In 2013, we may begin to see the world’s leading brands adopting domain name conventions, such as shoes.nike, iphone.apple and creditcards.amex, to bring trust, authority, and intuition into the online space. It will be the biggest change to the Internet since the introduction of .com and the advent of e-commerce."
-- Adrian Kinderis, CEO, ARI Registry Services

Shopper Privacy
2013 is the year that shopper marketing and mobile payments will converge and begin to get some scale among consumers, marketers, and retailers. It is hard to predict who will emerge with the most interesting platform and creative thinking. Also, shopper privacy may begin to approach Internet privacy as a key consumer issue. While consumers have traditionally been relatively comfortable sharing their shopping data—think retail loyalty cards—our industry’s use of data will come under increasing scrutiny, particularly as it moves onto mobile platforms. Watch for the beginnings of consumer backlash and perhaps increased caution by marketers and retailers.
-- Harvey Kipnis, CEO, G2 USA

Dark Social
“Dark Social” monitoring will change the way we measure the effectiveness of social media and other content marketing efforts. In October, the Atlantic’s Alexis Madrical coined the phrase when describing how content is shared via email or a text message. This calls into question metrics driven around Facebook, Twitter, and other social media shares. Dark Social, on the other hand, represents “reader” shares. Measuring Dark Social focuses on measuring specific direct links back into an organization’s Web site (or blog) and validates the value of that content to the audience, the relevance of an organization’s content marketing efforts, and the actual sharing of content vs. the sharing of headlines. This will impact the quality of content marketing materials, how we interact with our customers and prospects via social media, and demonstrate greater value to social media and content marketing efforts within the greater marketing organization.
-- Ty Kiisel, Director of Content Marketing, Lendio

Consolidation Ahead
There will be a massive consolidation in marketing technology companies. There are too many “point solutions” that just make executing and measuring digital marketing campaigns incredible complicated. When one of these companies makes more strategic acquisitions, they can create a potential “one tag” solution that saves marketers money and makes it easier for content producers to do so as well."
-- Kathryn Koegel, COI (Chief of Insights), Primary Impact

Social ROI
Marketers will be better able to directly connect social media marketing activity to impact on lead-generation efforts, therefore tying social media to ROI and validating increased investments across social. To that end, we'll see the rise of Business-to-Community marketing. Further, I predict that in 2013 marketers will be able to quantify the true marketing and business value of a "Like," "Follow," or "Connection." We'll also see the changing makeup of marketing teams headed by, what amounts to, a Chief Technology Marketing Officer (CMTO). As the interest and opportunity in big data explodes internationally, heads of marketing must have working knowledge on how to collect, parse, analyze, and, ultimately, leverage those insights for better business performance.
-- Ted Kohnen, Chief Marketing Officer, Stein + Partners Brand Activation

‘Marketplaces’ Environment
The biggest marketing issues and trends in 2013 include use of big data for better targeting of consumers, and matching between consumers and merchants; more personalized offers and services; and better use of social media for recommendations and referrals. All three of these trends are interrelated as part of the new “marketplaces” environment that will boost yield and begin to shift resources (dollars, people and time) away from ad budgets. Mostly, however, they will complement advertising efforts. "
-- Peter Krasilovsky, Vice President, BIA/Kelsey

ROI Tipping Point
In 2013 consumers will hit a saturation tipping point. Constantly connected to advertising via all the devices they interact with, they will simply tune out. Faced with a resulting decrease in ROIs, brands will be forced to quickly pursue even more personalized and profitable digital marketing tactics lest they become irrelevant. Consumers, despite a continued debate around the risks of sharing personally identifiable information (PII), will continue to offer their information in exchange for enhanced experiences or services. This translates to a choice-driven model that will get marketers closer to that Holy Grail of delivering personalized messages to specific audiences at the right time.
-- Todd LaBeau, VP, Director Interactive, Lindsay, Stone & Briggs

App Of Trust
The future of marketing isn't about Facebook sponsored pages, hyperlocal ads, or our tally of retweets and likes. The killer marketing app is trust. Marketers will win the future with fundamentals like transparency in product and pricing and with a relentless pursuit of simplicity, service, and solving the problems of our prospects, instead of just sales. We have to shift to thinking not of touch points, but trust points: interaction not as a chance to provide a message, but an opportunity to listen, provide value, solve a problem, and delight.
-- Amanda Lannert, CEO, The Jellyvision Lab

Hiring: Head Of Mobile
Cross-platform attribution will become increasingly important to marketers to ensure their spend is efficient. For example, if you are a CMO spending money on smartphones, desktop, and tablets, you would want to eliminate waste by not serving an overload of ads to the same person again and again. Also, the growth of mobile and its increasing reliance by marketers will create new job opportunities in the workforce. Look for more Fortune 500 brands to hire for the position of Head of Mobile to focus on the ever-increasing importance of the channel.
-- Kathy Leake, President and Co-founder, LocalResponse

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Real ROI
The small and midsize market will be revolutionized by social customer acquisition at scale. Specifically, new social profiling and scoring tools will allow marketers to analyze and apply custom segmentation logic to their social databases to meet specific customer acquisition and conversion goals. As a result companies will see a tangible social marketing ROI: increase in sales and customer retention.
-- Mike Lewis, VP of Marketing & Sales, Awareness Inc.

Print Regains Respect
2013 will be the year when digital begins to truly appreciate its print counterpart. For years we've been pumping out quick-tip blog posts that are easily digested, but really cheapen everyone's quest for knowledge. Consumers are quickly shifting toward content with more depth -- illustrated, wide graphics instead of stock photos; long-form storytelling over bulleted lists. Just as social media is continually working toward humanized marketing practices, businesses are finally starting to see the value in hiring trained journalists, photojournalists, and illustrators to tell their stories with more heart."
-- Amanda MacArthur, Director of Content & Marketing, BuzzFarmers.com

Digital Smarts
I’m excited about digital marketing getting smarter. The ability for marketers to target customers with increased relevancy and intelligence will drive a better customer experience. Data analysis will allow marketers to continue to move farther away from a shotgun approach and instead toward a one-to-one approach, which will lead to a reduction in wasted marketing spend and a reduction in noise for the consumer.
-- Aaron Magness, VP of Marketing, Coastal.com

Pendulum Swings Back
Blog, tweet, retweet, like, comment, Facebook wall, LinkedIn Group, Pinterest, #FF, #MM … and you call this one-to-one marketing? Sure, these tools are great, but does anybody talk anymore? Late in 2012 we found the market waking up to the fact that you cannot inbound market yourself into prosperity. In 2013, a more balanced approach will win the day as the pendulum swing backs from an unbalanced marketing mix too dependent on black boxes. There will be a refocus on one-to-one marketing.
-- Dan McDade, President & CEO, PointClear

Mobile Ad Aversion
One of 2013’s biggest trends for digital marketing will be cracking the nut on the challenge of mobile advertising. Mobile users rely on their devices to provide them what they want, when they want it, and don't appear to like to be distracted from their content-snacking behaviors. Recent data shows that users reported feeling that mobile ads had zero impact, if not a negative impact, on the advertiser. Bottom line: Smartphone users hate advertisements. This is why mobile marketing needs to grow up. It needs to shift from a carry-over of TV and Web tactics to something new, relevant, and valuable to consumers.
-- Dave Meeker, Director of Emerging Technology, Roundarch Isobar

Mobile: Tough To Crack
Alignment, content, and mobile won't just be the trend--it will be what differentiates the winners from those left behind. Mobile will prove to be the sexiest and toughest to crack. Those marketers that look at mobile as a connected channel that requires a comprehensive content marketing strategy will win. Across all mediums and all locations, mobile will be how consumers live and engage with brands. The true test of 2013 will be if brands will follow suit and leverage all of the stages across a mobile lifestyle, or if they will keep using mobile as a clever push channel to just keep sending out messages or building apps with no content or engagement strategy in place.
-- Liz Miller, VP of Operations and Marketing Programs, CMO Council

Rich Brand-Building
I predict in 2013 the barriers prohibiting a full-scale, digital creative revolution will finally break down, allowing for the rich brand-building that marketers desire and the robust interactivity that users expect. Currently, more than 90% of interactivity in digital advertising consists of a single, solitary click. However, ad units are capable of delivering interactive content, videos, activities, and games, as well as social sharing and more. In the last couple of years, I have seen industry advancements that will bring this dynamism to the advertising mainstream. The disparity between what’s possible and what the industry is delivering is going away—in 2013, we will see an explosion of brilliant, progressive digital advertising.
-- Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB

Big Data's Predictive Powers
In 2013, digital marketers increasingly will turn to solutions leveraging predictive analytics to solve the complex pricing and awareness issues surrounding everything from paid search to SEO to display advertising. Only when predictive analytics are applied to Big Data will digital advertisers stay abreast and even ahead of an ever-more competitive marketplace. This will be the year when this promise is answered and Big Data starts driving real-time decisions for digital campaigns.
-- Jim Moar, CEO, OptiMine

Personalization Progress
Marketers looking to refine their use of the ever-growing array of anonymous metadata made available by digital channels will continue to gain dividends in pinpointing the most valuable pocket of consumers and delivering truly personalized, one-to-one messaging to engage with them. And with the proliferation of Internet-enabled devices --including computers, smartphones, tablets, and televisions--brands can apply these addressable marketing techniques to reach target audiences in environments and situations that they have historically had to rely on more traditional, mass-broadcast techniques. Also, developments in tracking will ensure that the interactions a brand has with a consumer across multiple devices can be assessed and understood, allowing it to measure the interplay between devices and create cross-device creative sequencing.
-- Richard Mooney, Partner and Managing Director, North America, Essence Digital 

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Rise Of The Marketing Technologist
As the ownership of technology shifts to the domain of marketing, 2013 will see both clients and agencies re-evaluate the structure of their teams, resulting in the emergence of a new breed of practitioner, the marketing technologist. The marketing technologist will act as the digital conductor, ensuring that the marketing cloud of channels, media, Web sites, apps, CRM systems, campaign automation platforms, and analytics work in harmony to deliver integrated campaigns that not only provide consistent brand experiences across multichannels and devices, but consolidated datasets that enable the single view of the customer and real marketing attribution. For many organizations the marketing technologist will need to be homegrown, with the younger digital natives often best placed to step into the role that will change the face of the traditional marketing team forever.
-- Rob Morrice, Managing Director, IAS B2B Marketing

Big Data Under Control
For the last few years, marketers have been vigorously discussing the harnessing of Big Data and evaluating possible solutions. Based on the feedback we’re hearing from our clients and our teams in the field, Big Data is moving from being mysterious and petrifying to something that is inevitably manageable that can potentially yield tremendous results. Starting in 2013, the most successful marketers are going to be those who take the best control of their data universe and leverage it to their benefit at every phase of their marketing process.
-- Bill Muller, CMO, Visual IQ

Social Web Sites
For maximum effectiveness, Web sites themselves have to become social. A new social solution
“next” to your Web site doesn’t deliver the same results. It must be holistic and reside on your site to maintain mindshare of your customer. Today and throughout 2013, social must deliver monetary results to stay relevant and stay in your budget.
-- Navin Nagiah, CEO and President, DotNetNuke

Marketing: The New Sales
Cloud-based services and solutions have impacted the entire life cycle of how vendors must manage their customers from acquisition to retention. The bar of expectations for servicing the customer at every touch point has been raised. This means that marketing and sales need to be more integrated in order to understand where to monetize in the customer life cycle, drive business effectively, and go to market faster. This combination of marketing and sales will open up new opportunities to understand the customer, as one may hear or see things that the other may not.
-- Michael Ni, CMO/SVP, Products and Marketing, Avangate

Return To Stories
In the last two to three years, the pendulum has swung from brand marketing to an overt focus on analytical marketing to acquire, convert, and retain new customers. The shift has created marketing departments with more analytical skills--PhDs and statisticians--and fewer brand marketers. In the coming year, successful CMOs will figure out how to reintegrate great brand storytelling (a priority of old) with innovative analytical marketing to provide an emotional connection that resonates with consumers who are becoming increasingly immune to sharper-edged analytical marketing tactics, like retargeting and couponing.
-- Deborah Op den Kamp, Executive Director, CMO, and Digital Consumer Practices, Russell Reynolds Associates

The Millisecond Opportunity 
The explosion in data and content while a challenge to marketers, is leading to innovation. We are rapidly moving into a post-PC world of unprecedented mobility, social connectedness, and content creation. The types, power, and connectivity of the devices we use is creating an increasing number of signals that each of us broadcasts—our likes, interests, posts, traffic patterns, etc. These signals aren’t random acts and facts—they are self-defining choices with meaning. Powerful devices and social connectedness have also made it much easier for businesses and consumers to create and distribute quality content. Marketing leaders will accelerate innovation in 2013 to make sense of all of these signals and content to deliver meaningful engagement. And they will do it in milliseconds. By “meaningful engagement,” I mean delivering content and experience that is so timely, relevant, and personal that it adds value to our customers’ lives. This isn’t a new concept, but we are just now gaining access to the technology needed to deliver on the promise of personalization.
-- Chris Parkin, Director of Strategic Alliances, Adobe Systems

Relationship Focus
In the coming year, marketers will make the connection that shaping reputation and promoting sales within a fundamentally more dynamic and complicated consumer journey requires a stronger focus on relationship-based, customer-centric programs. Structurally, the balance of marketing budgets will begin to shift from purchased media and advertising toward earned media, social sharing, and word-of-mouth content generation. Technologically, the blurring of the online and offline worlds means that content will need to bridge the social, local, and mobile channels. And at a process level, simple “social listening” will give way to data analysis and insights that turn customer knowledge into operational improvements in areas that include not only marketing and communications, but also customer service and product development.
-- Lisa Pearson, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Bazaarvoice

RTB To Drive Retargeting
We are going to see more media inventory made available to online advertisers through real-time bidding. The recent announcement from Federated Media shows that more publishers look at real-time bidding as a more efficient alternative to a direct sales force. This will create more opportunities for advertisers to increasingly combine their first-party with third-party data. This will drive a more targeted buy and will increase the performance of online advertising campaigns. Retargeting will benefit from a larger pool of data and access to more media.
-- Ben Plomion, Director, Marketing & Partnerships, Chango  

Mobile Sales Leader
Mobile will continue growing its influence over consumer shopping, particularly among younger, digitally native shoppers integrating their favorite phone and tablet applications with their favorite retailers and brands. By the holidays next year, mobile (tablets and phones) will exceed 30% of e-commerce sales in some segments, potentially becoming the leading sales source for many brands and retailers. Marketers also need to make sure they’re ready for integrating social commerce and social CRM into their strategy.
-- Paul Price, Chief Executive Officer, Creative Realities LLC

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‘Frictionless Sharing’ Gains Momentum
While the concept was introduced last year, barriers to sharing content in social media continue to vanish. An increasing number of media partners are realizing the benefits of Facebook’s open graph, which results in more individuals automatically sharing media consumed directly to their respective Facebook Timelines. And while Twitter became natively embedded into iOS 5 a year ago, the same has happened with Facebook and iOS 6, which means sharing content on one’s mobile device is becoming all the more effortless with the single touch of a button. For brands, this means greater opportunities for their advocates to generate valuable branded social impressions through lightweight branded interactions with content versus costly, gimmicky "one and done" custom apps.
-- Mike Prouix, Co-Author of “Social TV” and SVP & Director of Digital Strategy, Hill Holliday

Content Marketing Decisions
As the demand for more quality content becomes primary to all corporate social, SEO, and demand-generation objectives, CMOs will start to look at the "build vs. buy" scenario of content marketing. That means, do they develop, from scratch, content platforms like American Express, Cleveland Clinic, and others have done, or do they go shopping and purchase established media brands the way Google did with Zagat? I'm betting a heavy dosage of both, but the media itself will be surprised as the new M&A players in the publishing arena become the corporate marketers.
-- Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute & Content Marketing World

From Marketer To Product Developer
If 2012 was the year that marketers embraced content as a path to customer engagement, 2013 will be the year that marketers drive their content toward deeper utility. (Yes, that means getting even more mobile.) This will emerge as marketers begin to truly collaborate with their colleagues in product development, customer service, and technology to create marketing that answers a real customer need. If in 2012 marketers began to act like publishers, 2013 should be the year of marketers acting like product developers.
-- Jeff Pundyk, Founder, Rebound Media, & Digital Disruption Blogger, CMO.com

Predictive Analytics
The first trend I see in 2013 will be applying predictive analytics in revenue marketing. The past two years have seen a big transition in marketing from a cost center to a revenue center, with many companies deploying marketing automation to help fuel this change. This top part of the market is beginning to mature, and now just reporting on marketing-influenced revenue in the rear-view mirror is no longer good enough.  Like a VP of sales, the CMO now is looking to forecast the impact in revenue in upcoming periods. The second trend I see is the amount of attention the enterprise CMO will be paying to digital marketing.  Given the rise of the digital economy and resulting importance of the Buyer's Journey, they can no push this part of the strategy discussion down to lower parts of the organization.
-- Debbie Qaqish, Chief Strategy Officer, The Pedowitz Group

Content Rules
In 2013 content will be king, queen, and court. Content has always been important, but now more than ever the defining difference between brands is the content that tells its story. The rise of social media means that brands must now produce a constant stream of compelling content that attracts attention and becomes the basis for an ongoing connection with the consumer. Marketing automation technology, which also relies on content, will be another huge factor in the coming year, as brands integrate these powerful consumer intelligence and automation tools into their consumer-decision journey strategies.
-- Tony Quin, Chairman, Society of Digital Agencies 

Buyer’s Perspective
This will be the year that marketers learn how to develop content that targets the questions, and answers, that their buyers are asking. Marketers will learn how to listen to buyers before they communicate, or the buyers will find somewhere else to get the information they’re seeking.
-- Adele Revella, President, Buyer Persona Institute, and author of “The Buyer Persona Manifesto”

Visual Storytelling
The technologies on which everyone is consuming content are optimized for visual communications. As a result, 2013 will burst with visual storytelling. Videos, whiteboards, and infographics will be digital communicators’ tools of choice. The challenge will be how to keep your visual story short, simple, and concrete. Illustrations--the kind you might draw yourself with stick figures, numbers, and whimsical icons--will rule the airwaves. Marketers will need to figure out how to tell their story in this way if they want to reach their audience using these new technologies and enable their salespeople to have better conversations.
-- Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Corporate Visions, and CMO.com Blogger

Reading Pictures
For the last few years, marketers have been scrambling to understand the content of conversation in social media to help gauge the effectiveness of their digital marketing. But just think about how many more “words” there are in understanding what is happening in photos. Is your brand in the photo? If so, what are people doing, where are they, who is with them, and, of course, how many “likes” does it get? So my prediction is that in 2013 there is going to be a rush for digital marketers to find a way to understand the content of images posted in social media; it is a natural next step. "
-- Lisa Joy Rosner, CMO, NetBase

Leveraging Technology
Content, data, and technology will continue to dominate in 2013. Marketers are getting savvier, leveraging more technology to do what they do with more reach. This drives the need for content, and I don't see this subsiding anytime soon. Marketers will need to learn to scale in terms of content creation to keep up with the demand. At the same time, use of multiple channels will continue to create oodles of data, useful for marketers if they can get their arms around it. As a result, 2013 is the year that marketers have to solve for proactive management of their datasets in order to leverage them to their maximum.
-- Maribeth Ross, VP Of Marketing, NetProspex

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Standout Performance
More direct marketers will embrace performance display. They will weave it into their marketing plans, and they will find success generating new customers. From a performance standpoint, the model that will make this successful is through programmatic buying (DSPs), remarketing, and the emergence of Facebook as a marketing channel.
-- Suzy Sandberg, President, PM Digital

Reconnecting With The Customer
With all the exciting technological advances of recent years, organizations have been consumed with talking about themselves through email, content marketing, video, and social media. This has created a marketing culture that is more about reaching customers than responding to them. In 2013, marketers will realize that technology doesn’t really add value unless it adds value for the customer. Leading companies will embrace technology as a tool to help build customer relationships and create enduring connections.
-- Joellyn “Joey” Sargent, strategic marketing consultant and principal, BrandSprout Advisors

Mobile Rules
As more shoppers start to use mobile for more and more interactions at physical stores, this will have the potential to rewrite many marketing—and, for that matter, retail—rules. Marketing will know where the customer is and when, along with potentially a list of every product that they are even thinking about buying (as indicated by a barcode, QR code scan, or NFC connection). They’ll have the ability to zap a promotion to that specific customer for a different brand of milk, for example, while that customer is still in the milk aisle."
-- Evan Schuman, Editor & Publisher, StorefrontBacktalk.com

Video Content
In 2013, more employees will be equipped with video cameras on their phones and tablets, which will open the door to more use of video in marketing. An entire additional tier of video content will arise--not the perfect, national TV commercial or home page video type--but, instead, the authentic, personalized product demonstration, the one-on-one customer support video, or the customer or employee testimonial video.
-- Matt Singer CEO & Co-founder, Videolicious

Year Of Adoption
Over the past few years, rapid innovation has given way to changes in consumer behavior, requiring advertisers to nimbly respond to new digital marketing mediums and strategies. Because of this, my prediction for 2013 is that it will be the year of adoption. Of what kind? Mobile as a primary screen, increased campaign data mining, and a consumer social media timeshare shift from many to a few.
-- Catherine Spurway-Hepler, SVP, Strategy & Marketing, PointRoll

From Presence To Purpose
Being seen at all of the top social hangouts and most coveted ad spots won't cut it. Digital marketers will need to tie their Web, mobile, and social presence to purpose--whether it is real revenue or lead generation. The approaches to brand and demand marketing will converge as the former looks to become more measurable, and the latter tries to cut through the email and coupon clutter. Digital marketers also will need to focus more on what happens past the first click as the digital space becomes ever-more hot, flat, and crowded. The explosion of ad spend and content elbowing for the same bucket of customer attention will drive the ultimate price of first-time visits through the roof. This will force marketers to fortify their chest of content downstream that creates that first and ongoing impressions that make visitors crave more and give them a reason to return. 
-- Loni Kao Stark, Director of Product, Solution & Industry Marketing, Adobe Systems

Mobile In The Middle
Mobile will increasingly become the fulcrum for multichannel digital marketing. Social, search, display, video, and other content formats will all increasingly intersect via mobile. The challenge for marketers is to understand this evolving intersection and deploy measurable advertising, content, and other purpose-built experiences that are relevant across devices, form factors, networks, etc. In addition, we have entered an "age" of Digital Brand Ecosystems. Every brand now has a digital ecosystem: Web site(s), micro sites, social platforms, social apps, mobile apps, email, SEM, SEO, integrations into third-party sites, digital content platforms/syndication. The key for marketers is to optimize and control these ecosystems and develop technology-enabled contact strategies in order to achieve "targeted ubiquity" and optimize outbound and inbound demand.
-- Tom Stein, President and Chief Creative Officer, Stein + Partners Brand Activation

From Big To Better Data
2012 was the year of big data. 2013 will be the year of better data. Digital advertisers will more profoundly use their own customer data to target … and not just digital data. They’ll use first-party data of all kinds--purchase and service history from traditional channels, promotion and response history from other media, and statistical models, based on cross-media, cross-channel data that optimizes time, place, and message. In 2013, better data, not just big data, will be the key to advertising performance."
-- Tim Suther, CMO, Acxiom

Attribution Improvement
All boats will rise with better attribution. Figuring out what message or offer "made the difference" when a customer ultimately buys is always going to be a challenge. That said, we're seeing significant strides right now in the ability to track “non-linear” paths from ad to purchase (e.g. Facebook's new View Tags), and the convergence of social/mobile technology infrastructure is allowing for much better cross-channel visibility. I think we're going to see a significant rise in the role and capabilities of cross-channel attribution solutions next year, and that will be good news for social marketers seeking to quantify the impact of their efforts.
-- Kevin Tate, CMO, ShopIgniter

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PEO Joins Forces
Convergence of paid, earned, and owned media has arrived. Consumers don’t make distinctions between channels. In 2013, programs that shine will require ideas that freely float between media types and channels. To be successful, brands need to rethink the alignment of their internal marketing organizations and agency partnerships to best take advantage of this convergence and the new engagement habits of consumers.
-- Dick Thomas, Founder and CEO, Tris3ct

Mobile Experimentation
As the mobile device market keeps changing, brands have struggled to find effective ways to advertise; current strategies are not working and need to change to fit the medium. Going in to 2013, brands and advertisers will try a lot of different tactics, including rich media, geolocation, and push to see how they can make advertising more effective. Digital marketing in the mobile space is still nascent, and I think 2013 will be ripe with experimentation.
-- Michele Turner, CMO, mBlox

Mobile ROI
2013 will be the year that marketing organizations learn they need to take charge on measuring the ROI of their mobile marketing initiatives. Companies will bring measurement and analytics for this channel in-house (while still keeping their agencies busy). They’ll hire experienced contractors to analyze mobile marketing campaign data to ensure they have a solid understanding of how it relates to the company’s overall marketing initiatives.
-- Katja Wald, Director of Global Marketing, Aquent

Analytics Goldmine
Digital marketing provides marketers with an exponential source of channels with which to communicate and engage customers. While this seems like a goldmine for marketers, it requires much more sophisticated analytical capabilities. Digital marketing will hasten the trend toward more numerically oriented, quantitatively knowledgeable, and methodologically strong CMOs. Left-brain CMOs are in demand, and the explos of digital marketing is one other factor that will increase the need for data-based marketers.
-- Kimberly A. Whitler, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Social Media’s Soft Side
Social networks’ treasure trove of rich data and their pursuit of viable business models will benefit marketers’ demands for high ROI. In 2012, social networks such as Twitter started provided brands with more tools to target their tweets based on demographics, such as gender, location, device type, and more. In 2013, marketers will develop highly tailored content that takes advantage of this information–and demand even more targeting tools to ensure that their efforts make an impact. The popular social networks are eager to prove their financial worth and seize on lucrative third-party users of their information. In turn, they will natively offer brands insights into users that exist beyond basic demographics and move into psychographic and sentiment data, such as moods, values, and specific lifestyle interests.  
-- Sandra Zoratti, Vice President of Marketing, Ricoh, & Author, “Precision Marketing”

Source: http://www.cmo.com/articles/2012/12/17/digital_marketing_in.html