Corporate Eye

5 Brand Marketing Trends for 2013

new year 2013As 2012 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the brand marketing trends that emerged over the past 12 months that will not only carry over into 2013 but become critical components of brand marketing strategy and tactics.

I spent some time going through all of the brand marketing articles I wrote for Corporate Eye during 2012 in search of articles that discussed topics that are here to stay. Looking at those articles only, here are the brand marketing topics that will keep us talking, thinking, and strategizing in 2013.

1. Data, Data, Data!

Data was the big buzz topic in 2012 and it will remain so in 2013. However, there are many companies and brand marketers who haven’t yet figured out how to effectively collect, analyze, and interpret data. To those companies and brand marketers, data is still the missed marketing opportunity. The trick is to learn how to move beyond data paralysis in marketing and find ways to use big data to optimize marketing results. Data should be a brand marketing priority in 2013.

2. Behavioral Targeting Is Hotter than Ever

The past 12 months have been filled with brand marketers seeking ways to target consumers using behavioral data collected from their online activities, particularly their activities using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. In October 2012, word got out that Facebook was allowing brands to see fans’ “likes” in an effort to lure more brand marketing dollars to the site. At the same time, consumers and privacy groups rallied against the availability of behavioral data. You can bet behavioral targeting will continue to be a hot topic for brand marketers in 2013.

3. Mobile Marketing Opportunities Exist

In 2012, we learned that mobile advertising results were gaining momentum with four out of 10 mobile device users reporting that they have clicked on mobile ads. However, mobile shoppers want more from brands than they’ve been getting. Research found that prioritizing email in mobile marketing strategies is a big opportunity that many companies and brand marketers aren’t effectively leveraging. More people view email on mobile devices each day and email marketing should capitalize on that fact.

4. Social Media Marketing Budgets and Threat Tracking Should Follow

Consumers use social media tools, and in June 2012, research found that two out of five consumers recommend brands that they like or follow online. However, the debate between social media marketing and advertising continued even as brands secured higher social media marketing budgets than ever. Despite those growing budgets, companies have invested little time or money into social media threat management. Research in 2012 found that only one out of four B2B brands track and follow up on social media complaints and fewer than half of companies are prepared for a social media threat. Without a doubt, social media threat management should be a top priority for brand marketers and companies in 2013.

5. The Invasion of Multiple Screens Will Not Go Away

2012 was the first year where brand marketers faced the widespread problem of multiple screens deteriorating audience attention. Research found that tablets and smartphones were stealing eyes from TV ads and younger audiences led the movement with Generation C redefining media consumption. As 2013 nears, online content consumption shows no signs of slowing down. Brand marketers need to plan for the rapid spread of multiple screens as more consumers purchase smartphones and tablets and use simultaneously.

Image: Billy Alexander

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.