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2013: The Year of Integrated Digital Marketing

the future is integrated and digital integrated digital marketingThe widespread adoption of Internet, social, and mobile technologies has shifted power from the producer to the consumer. In this new “techonomy,” the increasingly sophisticated and highly-connected consumer expects more from brands; he or she wants personalization, relevance, convenience, simplicity, and proximity. To stay competitive, brands need a new approach to consumer engagement and conversion. They need an integrated digital marketing strategy.

To help the reader fully appreciate the importance of integrated digital marketing, here is brief list of the top Marketing Trends for 2013; it represents a mash-up of my own thoughts coupled with everything I’ve been reading over the past year.

1.       The Maturation of Mobile

Over 800 million smartphones and tablets will be sold in 2012 alone. As more people access the Internet via mobile, a company’s online assets (website, social media and online content) will need to play well on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes. As the rush to mobile continues, mobile-first marketing campaigns will become more prevalent.

2.       Social’s Further Integration into Business

In 2013, even the Fortune 500 will have to get social. As people turn to social media to resolve customer service issues and inform purchases decision, brands will use social platforms to offer real-time interaction with prospects and customers. Businesses great and small will have to integrate social into their Web, eMail, and mobile marketing initiatives. Niche trends like social search (Google+), social video (YouTube), social shopping (Pinterest), and social branding (LinkedIn) will continue their march to the mainstream.

3.       Consumers Fully Embrace Social, Local, Mobile

As users fully integrate smartphones and tablets into their daily routine, they’ll use social on mobile while local (I always thought “SoLoMo” should be “SoMoLo). Local-use apps, user-generated reviews, and mobile wallets will complement this movement. When meditating on user experience, brands will have to think convenience, simplicity, proximity, and even real-time marketing (sorry, gang- it’s going to be a busy year)

4.       Content Marketing, Squared

As consumers begin to realize the possibilities of social, local, mobile, they’ll come to demand ever-more personalized content. Brands will have to oblige by creating contextually-relevant content that speaks to the wants and needs of each segment of their target audience. This, in turn, will hasten three emerging trends in content marketing: the widespread adoption of inbound marketing methodology, brands as publishers, and the use of robo content (not kidding).

5.       From SEO to Targeted Discovery

As search engines like Google move to context-based algorithms that favor content over process, SEO will slowly morph into user-intent driven targeted discovery. The proliferation of specific-use social and mobile apps, socially-generated content (user-generated reviews), and predictive recommendations will upend the traditional search process, ushering in a new era of targeted discovery.

6.       The Democratization of Big Data

2013 will see the fruits of big data filter down to SMBs. With ad retargeting, predictive recommendations, and location-based social and mobile marketing, small businesses will be able to employ sophisticated marketing tactics in a cost-effective manner.

7.        Video and Audio Marketing for Consumer Engagement

Viral videos and webinars have been around for a relatively long time. 2013 will see businesses use video and audio as tools for online engagement and content marketing. Podcasts, audio-blogs, interactive video ads, video blogs, shoppable video, and social video productions that blur the line between advertising and content will all become part of the digital marketing mix in the coming year.


As these seven trends underscore, the growing size and complexity of the digital marketing landscape necessitates an integrated approach. Marketing silos must be torn down; communications processes must be re-worked; long-held paradigms must be shattered. Marketing orthodoxy needs to evolve to meet the formidable challenges of the new techonomy.

To respond to the higher sophistication and expectation levels of the hyper-connected consumer, businesses need integrated digital marketing


The philosophy is simple: by establishing a seamless online presence over web, social, and mobile, and conveying relevant messaging promoted on eMail and social, businesses can attract new prospects and stay connected with existing customers.

Your Business Needs Integrated Digital Marketing

Today’s consumers expect personalization and seamless online user experiences. They’re looking for content that informs, entertains, or otherwise adds value to their daily lives.

To stay competitive, you must form meaningful connections with the people who matter most: those who find value in your brand.

You can do this by producing large quantities of original content that is exceptional, personalized, and relevant, optimizing it for any platform or device on which it could potentially be viewed or consumed via social sharing. You must then engage with your audience in real time over multiple channels. Finally, relying on user feedback and data analytics, you need to constantly tweak your brand's message to fit the ever-changing demands of each segment of your target audience.

In other words, you need integrated digital marketing.



Join The Conversation

  • Dec 11 Posted 4 years ago Dave McEnroe

    Hi Chris, enjoyed the article, it made a refreshing, interesting read and well written. I work for a Digital Agency Londonso was aware of most of the trends mentioned. Like you, I feel like 2013 will be an important year for big data as more and more businesses will have access to be able to utilize it; and as with recent years it appears the influence of mobile is set to grow again. It's going to be an interesting year!

  • Dec 8 Posted 4 years ago Michael Higashi


    Nicely done. "Integrated digital marketing", content marketing or inbound marketing - whatever it's called, you're spot on that "...they’re looking for content that informs, entertains, or otherwise adds value to their daily lives."

    As a creative agency, we evolved when we identified  the "Death of Lazy Marketing" - and partnered and refocused so that we can help fellow B2B marketers "change or die" - great Forbes article by @BrennerMichael about the same topic.



  • Marcellini's picture
    Dec 7 Posted 4 years ago Marcellini

    Great post, Chris, and I couldn't agree more with you. I'm interested to see how more and more businesses are going to adopt Integrated Digital Marketing in addition to jumping head first into social media. I've seen a few businesses use Postano to both monitor and generate content, increase SMM strategy, boost ROI and improve SEO ratings. It's a great integrated digital marketing tool!

  • IraKaufman's picture
    Dec 7 Posted 4 years ago IraKaufman


    Timely and thoughtful post. Four core factors that are challenging the world of marketing-  digital, consumer empowerment , big data  and global outreach. These cant be add-ons; they need to be adopted as a digital mindset in the new social enterprise. Integrated Digital marketing is the soultion .

    As a Digital strategist how do you advise clients to address these challenges.  Like to chat about the work I am doing in this area. BTW spent 3 yrs in Manchester!

    www,  or dm me Twitter:           Ira





  • Chris Horton's picture
    Dec 7 Posted 4 years ago Chris Horton


    Thanks for your comments! I think you make a critical point when you say that, if companies gear up for the demands posed by the 7 trends in this article, there is no reason why they should fail. I really believe that by implementing a well-conceived integrated digital marketing strategy, businesses can take great advantage of all of these changes. Triggering emotion drives deeper connection, which leads to short-term conversion and long-term brand loyalty.

    I appreciate your valuable input!



  • Chris Horton's picture
    Dec 7 Posted 4 years ago Chris Horton


    Thank you for the kind words! Your aforementioned post on Intent-based targeting is an excellent and thorough-going review of the topic; I would highly recommend it to other readers (as a sidenote, I wish more blog articles were written with the level of detail you pour into this one!). 

    All of these trends really do suggest 2013 will be a very busy year for digital marketers!



  • Mary Grace Viado's picture
    Dec 7 Posted 4 years ago Mary Grace Viado

    I must say that this is a well-written article with greatly foreseen huge changes. There have been a lot of changes in digital marketing's direction this year and as a digital marketer, I am expecting more challenging changes in the coming year. Those challenging changes have been discussed here. What businesses need in the future is to meet the more demanding and complex needs of consumers and by gearing up for those demands as early as now, I don't see any reason why businesses would fail. Knowing how to trigger the emotion of your consumer and coming at the scene right at that very peak of that emotion is much needed.

  • Samuel Chan's picture
    Dec 6 Posted 4 years ago Samuel Chan

    Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on the well-written article and I think your take on an integrated digital marketing reality is spot on. The article as a whole has made a refreshing read, considering how I've published a post that argues the same proposition: Intent-based Targeting / Search and Social Advertising Evolved last week.  

    It has to be said, though, that your take on the subject is more all-rounded and comprehensive. The post I've written would make good extension to no.5, where I further elaborate and illustrate precisely how "the proliferation of specific-use social and mobile apps, socially-generated content (user-generated reviews), and predictive recommendations will upend the traditional search process, ushering in a new era of targeted discovery" (extracted from article).

    Saving this for a later read and thanks again for the brilliant work.

    Samuel Chan

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