Your Digital Cheat Sheet for 2013

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Deepak Narisety



digital-cheat-sheetIn 2012, marketers focused heavily on creating seamless customer experiences across devices and across channels. Companies evaluated their websites with fresh eyes, taking more time to prioritize and develop comprehensive content strategies and implementation plans before embarking on a web or mobile initiative. Multi-device strategies such as responsive design and hybrid mobile apps were also hot topics throughout the year.

As you rethink and enhance your digital marketing strategy for 2013, keep in mind that your users are increasingly looking for more customized, personalized interactions with your brand. Your strategy should always include investing in the systems, processes and tools that help you to provide the right content at the right time through the appropriate channels based on your users’ preferences and needs.

To stay organized and ahead of the game when launching new products and services (both B2B and B2C) in 2013, keep this digital checklist handy:

Desktop Experience: The days of flat, static websites are over. Keep messaging and branding consistent on the desktop, tablet and mobile sites, but add engaging and dynamic experiences that are differentiated from your mobile apps and websites.

The New Tablet Experience: Offer an experience unique to the tablet that plays up its swipe, touch and additional native features.

Social Messaging: Focus your social messaging and branding efforts to platforms where your audience is more likely to interact with you. That may be Facebook, Google+ or visual platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr. The key is to always stay abreast of audience trends so that you’re not just following but instead leading the way.

Social Alerts: Save social alerts for Twitter, where they’re more likely to spread quickly.

Social Comments: Ensure consistency by working with customer service and social media teams to develop guidelines and specific responses to comments and questions they receive on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Social Syndication: If you don’t have them already, set up channels to collect and distribute specific types of content: YouTube for videos, tutorials and how-to’s; Foursquare for location; Pinterest for photos; and Reddit for content curation.

HTML-Based Email: Grab your readers’ attention with beautifully designed HTML-based email templates, and design them responsively to ensure they appear properly on mobile devices. Be sure to offer text-based emails for audiences who prefer them.

Native iOS and Android Apps: If you are going to provide an offline experience that is interactive, go native. HTML5 apps can still be beneficial to companies if there are not a lot of transitions or animations. However, with smart phones and devices getting faster and faster, interest in HTML5 apps will subside in about a year. The industry is moving fast, and so is technology.

The New Windows 8 Tile Apps: Windows’ new tile apps, which launch by touching an image linked to the app on your screen, are live tiles that provide a small amount of information about the application — messages that you can update any time, not just static icons. If you want to reach Windows users, you have to develop a tile app.

Interactive Banner Ads: Following the advice around unique tablet web experiences, create full-page ads that deliver experiences users want to engage with, not ignore. Due to the incompatibility between iOS and Flash, build your banners in HTML.

Audio Ads: Very few companies consider creating audio ads, but given the popularity of Pandora and Spotify, the distribution potential and reach are huge. Keep branding and messaging consistent between your audio and banner ads.

Big Data: As a marketer, you are accountable for the success of your programs and projects. If you can’t track and report on the results of your marketing programs, don’t launch them. The focus on big data will continue to grow in 2013, so be prepared with a comprehensive analytics strategy.

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