To ring in the New Year, Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTCT) is predicting what is coming in 2013 for small business marketing. With the economy still knee-deep in recovery mode, more small business owners are recognizing the value of cultivating loyalty, with the assistance of social and mobile marketing tools, to bolster their bottom line. The emergence of SoLoMo (the integration of social media, local merchants using location-aware technology, and mobile device usage) is increasing the ability of merchants to tailor marketing efforts – like content, deals, and offers – to individuals, greatly increasing the opportunity for engagement.
“We live in a world that’s more social, more ‘all-the-time’ and interactive than ever before. That’s both good and bad. On the plus side, the new tools we have at our fingertips, coupled with the predisposition of our audience to engage, presents a fantastic opportunity for small businesses. On the flip side, standing out from the crowd and respecting the relationship with your audience is more important than ever,” said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact. “2013 will bring innovation that integrates marketing channels and helps small businesses market like the big guys. It will be easier than ever to get engaged with your audience and drive real, measurable results. Consumer mobile adoption will require even the smallest small business to mobile-optimize and enrich their online presence to get easily discovered, consumers will demand personalization like never before, and new measurement tools will help small businesses see the value of engagement marketing.”
Following is a roundup of small business marketing predictions for 2013:
Successful email marketing = socially-integrated, permission-based campaigns
While many have predicted the untimely death of email, in reality, email is expected to grow, meaning more people will have an email address in 2013 than in 2012. It will remain the preferred method of communication among consumers, and continue as their preferred marketing channel because they have control over it: they can choose to act on it, ignore it, delete it, or opt out of it. It's non-intrusive. That said, email recipients will become even more discerning when it comes to what they allow in their inbox. If email is sent on a haphazard schedule, looks amateurish, or regularly contains content that doesn't interest the recipient, they'll opt out and never return.
- In 2013, the power of video in emails will continue to grow, as will integration with social channels. (tweet this)
- If email isn't truly permission-based, it will be harder than ever to make it to the inbox. (tweet this)
Mobile search on aggressive upward trajectory
Mobile search continues to aggressively trend upward, with millions of Americans shopping by browsing hundreds of directories, web sites and mobile apps that provide local business info. In fact, for the first time, mobile storefront views surpassed web views, according to a recent study of more than ten million storefront views from SinglePlatform from Constant Contact in the fall of 2012.1 Small businesses have no choice but to embrace mobile search, distributing their information across the most popular apps, and featuring mobile-optimized websites so potential customers can view their information easily. The restaurant category has been ahead of the curve on this front but expect to see other small business categories follow suit in the coming year.
- 62% of @SinglePlatform NYC storefront views (menus, products, services) in fall 2012 viewed on a mobile device. (tweet this)
- @SinglePlatform: top locations for viewing menus both online and on mobile devices include NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and LA. (tweet this)
Events as gateway to engagement marketing
In-person and online events will play a more prominent role in driving customer engagement, with their full impact no longer limited to what happens on-site. Small businesses and nonprofits are increasingly looking at their events with a wide lens, bringing into focus the role they play in their overall marketing efforts.
- SMBs leveraging social and mobile strategies to use events as catalyst for ramping up social influence. (tweet this)
- Mobile influence growing w/SMB events planners; 81% plan to increase mobile use for events in 2013 says @ConstantContact survey. (tweet this)
2013: year of the local merchant deal done right
2012 saw all too many small businesses get “had” by deals that just aren’t designed for their success. Fortunately, we’ve learned from those mistakes and rather than run screaming from the category altogether, small businesses have learned how to make deals work. Chief among the learnings: the power of controlling the deal.
- Social sharing and 3rd-party endorsements will make loyal customers best advocates for deals in 2013. (tweet this)
- Consumer targeting of deals will evolve beyond city and basic demographics to tailored personal preferences. (tweet this)
Social media marketing as a business-critical activity
Over the past five years, we have witnessed small business attitudes towards social media evolve from dismissive passivity to cautious curiosity. Despite larger brands’ exuberant embrace of social engagement, most small businesses have been slow to implement social as a primary channel in their marketing mix. In 2013, there will be a significant transition as small businesses approach social media marketing as a business-critical daily activity. Small businesses will begin to see the value these channels bring to their businesses, and learn how to measure it.
- By end of 2013, more SMBs than not will be using social media marketing to drive business results says @ConstantContact. (tweet this)
- Expect to see social content everywhere you turn thanks to proliferation of social media tools. (tweet this)
About Constant Contact, Inc.
Constant Contact wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ – the new marketing success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. More than half a million small businesses, nonprofits and associations worldwide use the company’s online marketing tools to generate new customers, repeat business, and referrals through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, local deals, digital storefronts, and online surveys. Only Constant Contact offers the proven combination of affordable tools and free KnowHow, including local seminars, personal coaching and award-winning product support. The company further supports small organizations through its extensive network of consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises and national associations.
Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.
1 Storefront view data was pulled from a sampling of SinglePlatform storefronts across the publisher network between October 19, 2012 and December 2, 2012.
Erika Tower, 781-482-7039
Jeremiah Sisitsky, 339-222-5740
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