According to our calculations, the seventh most popular story on CMO.com last year was “Digital Marketing In 2012: Predictions From 32 Industry Luminaries.” Well, we scoffed at a mere 32 luminaries, and for its successor gathered sage thoughts from no fewer than 86 top marketing professionals from all fields and industries in “Digital Marketing In 2013: Predictions From 86 Industry Luminaries.” We asked them this simple question: “What will the new year bring for the digital-marketing world?” Here are some of the highlights.
“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.
“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.”-- Eduardo Conrado, CMO, Motorola Solutions
“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.”-- David Cooperstein, Vice President and Leader of Forrester Research’s CMO practice
“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.”-- Gabe Dalporta, CMO, LendingTree
“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.”-- Pawan Deshpande, Founder & CEO, Curata
“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.”-- Patrick Dolan, Executive Vice President and COO, IAB
“CMOs are going to miss the big data boat unless they focus on how to turn it into action. The impact can be tremendous.”- Homayoun Hatami, Partner, McKinsey & Company, and co-author of “Sales Growth”
“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.”-- Liz Miller, VP of Operations and Marketing Programs, CMO Council
“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.”-- Chris Parkin, Director of Strategic Alliances, Adobe Systems
“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.”-- Lisa Pearson, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Bazaarvoice
“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.”-- Tony Quin, Chairman, Society of Digital Agencies
“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.”-- Loni Kao Stark, Director of Product, Solution & Industry Marketing, Adobe Systems
“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”
This is just a sampling of what our predictors have to say about what’s ahead for digital marketing. There’s plenty more, and we invite you to read what the other 73 luminaries have to offer. And feel free to add your comments to the piece—pro or con, agree or disagree—because we’d love to hear what you think is in the cards for 2013.