Written by Baron Manett on December 20, 2012
in Strategic Marketing

I was pleased to be invited to appear on Howard Green’s BNN show “Headline” on December 20 to discuss what’s ahead for brand marketers in 2013.

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It’s clear that some brands and companies are blazing new opportunities, while others are more cautious. Below are 10 of the key trends I discussed on “Headline” – where I see some areas of excitement on the marketing horizon as we look to 2013. I look forward to hearing your feedback on what you’re excited about for the coming year.

1. The 24/7 content consumer
Digital content will continue to grow as the audience demand shows no sign of slowing down. By 2015, the majority of broadband traffic will be mobile. According to Forrester Research, “Brands cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing across mobile devices. They need to build strategies that are heavily rooted in the user’s mobile context.”

Watch for continued growth of online content brands including:

2. Boomer time
About 29% of Canadians are baby boomers (9.6 million), with 15% over the age of 65.  Shifting our focus to our buyers is key if brands are to grow and develop loyalty opportunities.  Are you thinking about this audience yet? You need to.

3.  LinkedIn is in
The coming year will see more brands look to LinkedIn to develop shared opportunities and understanding. Given LinkedIn’s  business-friendly features, continued audience growth and increasing businesses adoption, more brands are expected to link in.

4. Email sending strong message

Email will continue to hold fast as the hardest working channel in the digital marketing toolkit:

  • 37% of consumers open emails on mobile devices.
  • Outlook.com launched in August and now boasts 25 million users.
  • Email accounts far outnumber Twitter and Facebook.
  • Email messages far surpass social network updates.

5. Pictures tell the story
Visual storytelling has been embraced by audiences and continues to grow. In fact, as of August 2012, smartphone users in the U.S. spent more time on Instagram than on Twitter.

6. Retail goes mobile
Retailers will further improve the shopping experience through the integration of mobile and apps.

7. Connecting via backstories

Brands will continue to bolster their storytelling capabilities in order to improve loyalty – increasingly sharing their histories and behind-the-scenes narratives.

8. Big tools for small business

Small businesses and entrepreneurs will have more access to payment processing and e-commerce tools – watch out big brands.

*Disclaimer: An Ariad client.


9. The patient-consumer
Audiences are taking a keen interest in their health and wellness options, and crave information, options and measurement.  According to the Canadian Healthcare Consumer Report*, “54% of Canadians are trying to learn how to prevent health problems and improve their well-being. For example, two in three smokers tried to stop last year and one in three alcohol users tried to reduce consumption.”

New apps and websites will allow us to more pro-actively manage our health information and choices.  Brands can help consumers through recommendations, information and partnerships, on both the patient and doctor side.

 *Source: Deloitte 2009, Canadian Healthcare Consumer Report.

10. Marketing as entertainment
A whopping 80% of Millenial audiences (those born 1983-1999) want, and even expect, advertisers to entertain them – I expect this trend to continue in 2013.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a great holiday season. It’s an honour to work with my colleagues at @ariadcomm and the great clients that collaborate with us to bring our best ideas and work forward everyday. Here’s to a great 2013 filled with happiness, health and success.


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