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What the State of Social Media Today Means for 2013 Marketing Plans

Two new reports on the state of social media and the internet from Nielsen and Mary Meeker should be required reading for digital marketers. As you plan your digital media marketing strategy for 2013, you might want to consider some of these usage statistics. Think you’ve got a final digital marketing plan and budget for 2013? Well, if your plan isn’t focused on women, tablets, and mobile advertising, you may want to send it back to the draft stage.

Pinterest featue in Metro - 27th February 2012
Photo credit: Great British Chefs

Two important reports were released this week, and both should have digital media marketers thinking about how they allocate their budgets and resources for next year.

Nielsen released “State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012,” which provided some eye-popping growth numbers for mobile and app usage. And, the always-excellent Mary Meeker presented her Internet Trends report at Stanford, concluding that we haven’t seen it all yet – there’s much more to come with tech and mobile companies.

There’s too much in both reports to cover fully, but here are a few line items that I think marketers should include in their strategies for 2013.

  • Mobile Apps

I answered a phone survey the other day that was sponsored by our brand-new, local hospital. They wanted to know if I’d use an app that would allow me to make appointments or pay bills. I hesitated, then said probably not. I don’t plan to be using the hospital that often to justify cluttering my iPhone screen.

But I’m not surprised that the hospital is considering it. According to Nielsen, the time people have spent on apps doubled between July 2011 and July 2012. And Meeker says healthcare occupies the “white space” of the Internet – the spot that’s still largely untapped by innovation and thus ripe for opportunity.

  • Mobile Advertising

Mobile users spend 10% of their time in media, but advertising is just 1% of advertising spend, Meeker says. In more traditional advertising spaces – print, TV, etc. – time and spend should be about equal. Meeker estimates a $20 billion advertising opportunity in the U.S.

If you’re a consultant or an advertising agency, shifting your focus to this specialty could be quite lucrative. If you’re a marketer, this might be a great time to jump in before the space gets very noisy!

  • Pinterest

For any business targeting Generation X women, Pinterest should be a core component of your social strategy in 2013. According to Nielsen, 84% of Pinterest’s audience on the tablet is women, and 37% of the overall audience is between 25 and 34. Further, 27% of users have purchased a product they’ve seen on Pinterest, according to the Social Habit report by Edison Research.

Pinterest, of course, has had phenomenal growth this last year, It’s up more than 1,000% in unique users, and nearly 1,700% for mobile app users, Nielsen says. It’ll be interesting to see if it sustains a similar growth rate. But even if it does slow, the potential for marketing product is high.

  • Tablets

Speaking of phenomenal growth, Meeker highlights the rapid uptake of tablets, with 29% of U.S. adults owning either a tablet or e-reader. This data is current as of January 2012, so we can expect to see another jump in the data in early 2013. One clue as to what the increase could be: Almost half of children have put a tablet or e-reader on their Christmas list.

Whether you are marketing to adults or children, designing campaigns and advertising especially for the tablet should be a core initiative in your 2013 marketing strategy.

  • Location Marketing

Finally, two interesting statistics from Nielsen:

  • 51% of 25-34 year olds use social networks in the office.
  • 32% of 18-24 year olds connect to social networks while in the bathroom.

There’s no marketing wisdom around this last, amusing factoid. I just wanted to include it. Here’s to a successful year of digital marketing in 2013!

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