2013 is a brand new year and it’s time for us marketers to decide how to spend our budget and what strategy is best suited to reach our customers. Email has been the best performing channel in recent years, with an ROI of over $40 per every $1 spent and is a basic element of the marketing mix in most companies. You should take into account the important trends that develop in 2013 when considering ways to increase revenue in a constantly evolving environment.

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Here are our top 3 trends which are not to be missed in 2013:

Big Data – unleash the power of data       

Following on from 2012, big data will be a prominent topic for digital marketing as an industry. As people from all over the world produce more information, opinions and statistics, this will leave enormous amounts of data that can be utilised by your marketing departments.

According to market researchers IDC, the total volume of digital data worldwide already topped the zettabyte barrier in 2011 (1 billion gigabytes of data). They also predicted that before the end of 2012, the ‘digital Universe’ would explode to 1.8 zettabytes of data, effectively doubling in size! For marketers, this data explosion brings opportunities as well as challenges, but one thing is for sure, there is an immense revenue potential in that multitude of available information. Smart use of big data enables you to have a significantly more targeted and effective sales approach, and with that you are able to conquer a completely new dimension of customer communication.

There are enormous hidden treasures of data in all companies, and no marketer can afford to not use them if they are aiming to increase revenues in the future by increasing the personalisation of their communications. At the same time, the technical possibilities to collect user behaviour on all levels permanently grows. A main challenge is to turn these unbelievable amounts of data into real resources and answers that can be used for effective, customer-centric marketing activities.

Cloud – this technical infrastructure is the key to success

The cloud has great potential. The huge amounts of data available must be adopted for use in the digital industry and especially in email marketing, both strategically as well as technically, as the times of batch and blast marketing are over and now in the shadow of big data and improved personalisation. Well-structured handling of these vast amounts of data offers you the chance to gain the benefits of information that already exists, target it effectively and use it selectively to reduce your costs.

You need large databases to be able to provide this detailed information. The fastest and most effective solution to these needs is cloud infrastructure; data architecture where you can save different kinds of information, from different sources, in different formats, linking all this data and making it applicable for online marketing. Successful business models which are built up on the handling of mass data, like Facebook, Google, Amazon and so on, have already been using cloud infrastructures effectively for a long time.

The same applies to email marketing – with the idea of a marketing cloud. Large amounts of data will become infinitely usable, independent from IT, formats and sources. This opens up a unique opportunity for email marketers, using intelligent relationships of information - buzzword “Related Data” – to create a new quality of customer communication never reached before. The use of cloud data management results in a rise of personalisation and relevance, and a decrease in campaign response time.

360° Customer Experience – Multichannel communication must be the concept

360 degree customer experience over all channels and personalised customer lifecycle messages will be crucial in 2013. The knowledge about the customer, which is basically making use of all available customer data, will be essential for all email marketers. This is why marketing decision-makers have to aim for creative, automated and most important of all, integrated concepts for communication as close to the customers preferences as possible.

The consumer should always be kept in focus, forcing marketers to direct their complete communication to the individual needs and desires of the recipient. Using triggered message programs for automation and uncomplicated standard integrations within all relevant marketing systems is the next logical step. However, segmentation, automation and borderless compatibility is not everything. Instead of push communication the new maxim should be an intelligent, well-targeted and active integration of your channels and communication. The key to success is combining very dynamic tools; faster, better targeted and more effective messaging by using real-time reporting and ad hoc reactions to actual and individual user behaviour, advanced email analytics and extensive, automated testing methods. Multichannel abilities are crucial. You can only effectively reach your consumers by offering a consistent user experience throughout multiple channels and devices. Extensive data usage, integrated planning (especially for content and layout optimisation) central control and analysis of campaigns and truly integrated marketing management are the key factors for the best efficiency possible.

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