As social, mobile and analytics efforts continue to influence how brands target consumers, digital relevance will reign supreme and will shape the ever-changing ways marketers attract and retain consumers. In this era of the connected consumer, it's more important than ever for brands to be relevant across all mediums, embrace social media, and leverage digital and mobile platforms as a part of their comprehensive and integrated marketing plan.

Relevance across all mediums

Consumers continue to communicate, work, and interact across various channels. It's imperative that marketers strive to do the same. Through the use of Big Data, and by using the valuable information and insights derived from real-time analytics, companies possess the means to target consumers in a captivating and personalized fashion and engage them in compelling experiences. These tailored experiences must be carried out via multiple mediums, and marketers must also seek to understand the context and intent of each interaction consumers make. From mobile to online, and from traditional marketing practices to new tech-savvy digital methods, the different avenues to reach consumers are endless. Consumers are everywhere and companies that understand that consumer relevance is a vital component of their marketing strategy will succeed in the coming year.

Digital is everywhere

As we become a more connected society, new digital platforms continue to become more widely available for marketing purposes. Brands should not overlook these new avenues to reach their audiences, and should be open to the creative ways they can leverage digital and mobile platforms. To truly be relevant across all touch points, marketers must first become well versed in web, mobile, and social media and then move beyond. For instance, as mass-transit authorities work to update technology infrastructure for busy commuters, marketers should be aware of the different ways they can take advantage of the prime real estate and venture into this new digital space. Likewise, digital billboards, posters on busses, and QR codes are all ways marketers can connect with consumers, provide a fun and tailored experience, and even guide the consumer to the nearest place to make a final purchase. This new digital trend is catching on fast, and will become even more prevalent in 2013.

Social media is here to stay

No—it's not a fad. Social media and its influence will continue to grow. However, as social networks continue to develop, new tools are introduced, and we continue to understand the vast amount of information these platforms can provide about consumers, companies must look to embrace social media as a cornerstone of their marketing efforts. As big data becomes increasingly important, social media and its analytics programs must not be ignored. This valuable information cannot remain tucked away in different functional areas. Ultimately, businesses must continue to prioritize social media as not only a way to reach their consumers, but as a way to learn about their consumers, for example, their likes, dislikes, who they talk to, their locations, and preferences. And most importantly how to get them engaged. This information can help shape marketing campaigns, and drive important business decisions for the coming year.

Digital relevance in 2013

Ultimately, brands that put more effort toward leveraging data and analytics to develop integrated and compelling experiences across multiple channels, embrace social media, and are creative in identifying new ways to leverage digital and mobile platforms, will attract and maintain interested and excited consumers. To truly succeed in 2013, marketers must leverage new technologies, pay close attention to customers' behaviors and preferences, offer curated experiences leading to purchases, and use social networks to reach and engage key audiences.