4 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2013

Agency JWT recently released its eighth annual Trends Report, which forecasts some key trends that marketers can expect to see in 2013. The study used qualitative, quantitative, and secondary research to provide insights into the impact of new technologies and business cultures on marketers and consumers alike.

The report outlines the top ten trends for 2013 as follows:

  • Play As a Competitive Advantage
  • The Super Stress Era
  • Intelligent Things
  • Predictive Personalization
  • The Mobile Fingerprint
  • Sensory Explosion
  • Everything is Retail
  • Peer Power
  • Privacy Hacking
  • Health & Happiness

While all of these are important predictions for the marketing industry, we’ve picked out four of the most relevant for B2B marketers and included a further look at what they mean for you:

1. Play As a Competitive Advantage

Amidst time spent pursuing specific goals, marketers are beginning to realize the value of unstructured time. When left to our own devices (without the monotony of meetings and scheduled tasks), we tend to come up with some of our most innovative and creative ideas. In 2013, we’ll start to see marketers recognizing the value of returning to our roots — in this case, childhood. Playtime. Corporate cultures that encourage blowing off steam with games and fun. The “work hard, play hard” mentality will see a resurgence as companies realize that culture can actually be a competitive advantage.

“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage completely within the control of the entrepreneur.” – David Cummings, co-founder of Pardot

2. The Super Stress Era

The JWT report claims that we are entering an era of super stress, where stress will finally be recognized as a medical condition that employers and governments have the responsibility to try to reduce. This ties directly to point number one. When employers recognize the benefits of fostering an environment where “playtime” is both accepted and encouraged, employees will find that they have an outlet for their stress. In 2013, expect to see more companies taking the initiative when it comes to controlling the stress levels, health, and wellness of their employees.

3. Predictive Personalization

We’ve entered the era of big data. That much has been widely acknowledged. With the amount of consumer data at marketers’ fingertips, it’s becoming more and more possible to predict the needs, wants, and behaviors of consumers. Personalization of marketing messages will not only become easier, but will be expected. Consumers expect marketing messages that pull them in with tailored, relevant messages, rather than the canned messages that have been pushed on them in the past. Take advantage of tools like marketing automation that can help you create more personalized experiences for consumers using analytics data and more dynamic content.

4. The Mobile Fingerprint

In 2013, mobile phones will eclipse PCs as the most common web-accessible devices (Gartner 2012). We use our mobile phones for everything ranging from music to shopping, and the continuing increase in mobile usage means that marketers can no longer afford to ignore mobile when it comes to their marketing strategies. With the ability to research products and services on the go on mobile devices, consumers are changing the way that the search industry works. This means that marketers need to be aware of their online presence. Optimizing for mobile will soon become an important marketing initiative at companies where it isn’t already.

These are just a few of the 2013 trends that we picked out. If you’d like to read a more in depth description of all ten predicted trends, check out Fast Company’s article on the study.

Are there any other trends you think we will see in the marketing industry in 2013? Let us know in the comments!