Online Marketing in 2013

February 11, 2013

OMS12_Logo-4cWhile our online experience as Americans began to be personalized in 2008, in this next year the level of personalization will not only be more prevalent, but even more personalized. As marketers we cannot assume that our old school tactics will sufficiently break through cutting edge personalization filters.

As I heard Avinash Kaushik share with the audience at SES Chicago last November, good marketing campaigns used to be judged on how large your bullhorn was and how often you yelled at your customers. Those tactics no longer work. Every one of your customers is being presented with an online experience that, whether overtly or proactively, is personalized for his/her demographic, online behavior, online connections, previous searches; the list goes on and on.

Below are a few elements of personalization that you are, and will be encountering now as a marketer. They will impact the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns with even more ferocity in 2013.

To learn more about how to develop tactics to ensure that your marketing messaging reaches your target online audience, please join my workshop: Understanding your Customer is Key to Getting through the Personalization Filter at the Online Marketing Summit this February.

In 2013, knowing how personalization is impacting the distribution of your marketing will increase the efficiency of your communications programs.

Various elements impact the effectiveness of your marketing message reaching your end consumer. These personalization filters include (but are not limited to):

  • Geography
  • Keywords they use to find information online
  • Social networks
  • Search and online reading behavior
  • Social connections
  • Marketing channels that they frequent and when they frequent them

In 2013, you need to cut through the chaos of multichannel coordination.

Most of us are multitaskers. Seventy-seven percent of us watch TV while surfing on our tablets or phones.

Companies that don’t coordinate their messages cross channel will be at a disadvantage because customers will notice. You can no longer  get away with a lack of communication between the agency you hired to run your TV promotions and the firm that is managing your social media efforts. Those types of campaigns will be ineffective at reinforcing your brand message (and brand recall) with your consumers.

Cross channel coordination includes social media engagement. All brands in 2013 regardless of the industry need a social campaign supporting their online marketing outreach efforts. For instance, every website can benefit from the search engine indexing “bump” that social “like” buttons create on your site, and from the social signals that they generate.

In 2013 you need to earn your customers’ attention.

Have you thought about whether you are providing content to your consumers that would encourage them to follow you? Or visit your website? Or sign up for your email newsletter? Marketers need to think about incentivize engagement; time is a precious commodity. Why should they devote a portion of their limited time to your brand?

In 2013 this includes their mobile phone.

Mobile marketing was actually critical to most industries in 2012, but if you have not yet created mobile landing pages to capture your mobile consumers, the time is now. Google has announced that they prefer to provide mobile landing pages for mobile searchers. Do you know how many mobile searchers are looking for your brand or service?

Remember when TIME magazine’s person of the year in 2005 was “you?” In 2013, it is still all about “you,” but Google will work to eliminate your efforts of proactively crafting that experience. Facebook has already done this by modifying their Edgerank algorithm to only show you information that they know you will interact with.

In the near future the search engines, social media platforms, and mobile apps will know so much about you as an individual that they will predict what you are looking for before you even search. So as marketers, we need to find a way to develop relationships with our customers that will ensure that we are recommended before they even ask for our services.

Come join my session to get a crash course in online personalization and tips for how to narrowly define your customer so that you’ll be recommended to them regardless of their personalization filter.

Katherine Watier Ong works with clients to stay on top of the changing nature of search & social. She has 8 years of SEO and social experience, and is part of the 1 million visitors per month club after taking one of the websites she was promoting from 300K to 1.2 million in one month with an integrated 360 degree promotion program. She is VP, Online Strategy and Market Insights in Ketchum’s online strategy department, and helps manage a team that tracks the online consumer, online analytics, changing online platforms and algorithms, and develops strategies for clients to connect with their online consumer. Follow Katherine at @kwatier, Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn.