The R.O.A.D to a marketing edge in 2013

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There has never been a more exciting time for digital marketing. Brands can interact with audiences more immediately and on a deeper level than ever before in 2013 and beyond. Blah, blah, blah etc.  Okay, to cut to the chase. The four elements that marketeers will need to truly get to grips with are: real-time, open API’s, access to coding and data (Big Data). Yes, I’ve turned it into an acronym – it’s all about mastering the R.O.A.D.:

1. Real-time is what we see everyday on Twitter and other social media platforms, the ability to interact and share things with your audience at speed and scale.  In 2013, real-time will be being used by brands to actually solve problems for whole communities as they arise, rather than just to listen and respond on a trivial level.  Low-cost sensor networks will be increasingly adopted by brands to constantly feedback on product usage and brand interactions, allowing greater insights and responsiveness from marketeers.

2. Open API’s are when software can be accessed and used by anyone. For example, instead of playing with a Barclays’ Football app on your mobile, you could actually change and develop the app with Barclays’ blessing.  In 2013, brands will start to let developers get their hands on brand properties more and more; and effectively do the R&D on them.  This way brands will be able to innovate rapidly without employing huge teams, simply by stimulating and liberating the knowledge and skills of the “crowd”.  For example, eBay has APIs that allow developers to access their database so they can create new and innovative ways to buy and sell merchandise.

3. Access to coding entering the mainstream as a top trend for 2013, means brands will be offering up APIs that in a few years even kids who have been brought up using resources such as, will be able to use basing coding skills to develop and resell.  What this creates is fans working with brands (and for brands) all across the world because of the joy and utility of being granted open access.

1. Data, or rather “Big Data”. This is the phrase for all the gazillions of pieces of info that are collected on us everyday by brands and businesses; an overwhelming amount of data to do anything useful with, until now.  With more data now recorded digitally, new tools and specialist analysts rising up through the ranks, brands are finally able to sift through the mounds of data for actionable insights that are being used to:

  • create controlled experiments to predict the impact of business decisions
  • better tailor products and services more precisely to different customer demographics
  • drive new product innovations based on concrete data-driven feedback

Has your brand got the necessary talent to harvest the benefits of big data? It better start acquiring them in 2013, as according to McKinsey Global: “we estimate that a retailer using big data to the full has the potential to increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent”.

For more of this chatter on what 2013 holds, checkout the Inkling 2013 Trends Report:


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