January 2013
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Top three trends for 2013

Trends to watch for 2013 that will drive your business

Manny MandrusiakManny Mandrusiak
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

Contributing Editor
 



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This past year has been one where the world saw the true embrace of social media and just how quickly mobile technologies have been adopted. We saw how social media was used by President Obama to effectively gain enough votes to win a second term in office.  We saw how viral marketing was used by a Korean rapper named PSY to get the entire world dancing “Gangnam style”. More importantly we watched companies like Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft rock the computer landscape with the explosion of tablet technology. 

What does this mean for marketers creating plans for 2013?  It means that consumers are becoming eager to try new technologies, and will be looking for new ways to shop and review products. Savvy marketers are going to have to align with these new trends in order to capitalize on every opportunity to continue to drive sales and expand their customer base.  Here are my personnel three picks for trends to watch in 2013:

  1. Tablets are exploding in the marketplace and are very quickly overtaking the sale of desktops and laptops. This is mainly due to their portability, ease of use, and the ability to enable users to access information rapidly.  For marketers this means that consumers now have the ability to spend more time on web pages and opened the opportunity for them to view content no matter where they are almost 24 / 7.  This means that websites need to be optimized for viewing on tablets and mobile devices.  They need to be clean, and the message needs to be clear and effective.  Consumers are now empowered with the ability to quickly move through websites and their inboxes with simply a swipe of their finger. Clear, clean and concise messaging that is tablet friendly will be a key to continuing grow customer bases.
  1. Cloud- based services are quickly becoming very popular with consumers.  This can be attributed to the explosion of mobile technologies, and in my opinion a desire by corporations to improve their bottom line.  Let’s face it, software upgrades are expensive and time consuming.  What if a company did not have to worry about purchasing new licences and new software every time a sales force grew, or a new version of software is released?  This is why companies choose to use services like salesforce.com.  A subscription based CRM that can be used on any platform simply through an internet browser.  Microsoft has embraced this concept with the new Office 365.  Office 365 is a cloud-based service that positions itself as helping businesses reduce overhead by eliminating the need of an IT department.  This becomes an extremely appealing prospect for small businesses.  Simply pay a monthly fee, and never worry about upgrading software again.  For marketers this means that they need to take a look at the products and services that their company offers and decide if there is any angle to leverage as a cloud-based service.
  1. Reliable Controls Social Media Focus Groups to keep customers engaged.  The true power from social media comes from the instant satisfaction of the individual feeling engaged.  McDonald’s has been running effective campaigns throughout 2012 that promote the ability for McDonald’s customers to ask questions about their food http://yourquestions.mcdonalds.ca/. A highly effective way of gathering data from their customers about their eating habits, purchases, and potential new menu items.  I have used Facebook to gain advice from my friends and associates when I was putting together a bid for a marketing contract with a nail salon. I got a ton of responses from the wives and girlfriends of many of my buddies giving me some of the greatest market research I could have ever asked for to complete the bid.  People want to be engaged, and in 2013 that desire will only get stronger.  Marketers can capitalize on this by effectively using social media platforms as an open channel to engage their customers, make them feel valued, and increase their brand awareness. 

When I was writing this article I try to select three trends that would have an impact on the Building Automation industry.  These are three trends that I feel marketers in the industry can effectively utilize to drive sales and increase the loyalty of their customer base.  2013 will prove to be an extremely exciting year for marketers as technology continues to move forward and social media continues to integrate itself into all of our lives.  I am excited to see what new and creative ideas these trends will inspire from marketers in the industry in the upcoming year.


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