Bob Garfield

The bold ways marketing evolved in 2013

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2013 has been a year of change. Here are four ways brands and agencies have adapted to the new marketing models.

Brands are acting more like publishers

2013 is shaping up to be the year of content. If this year has taught brands and agencies anything, it's that consumers want to interact with companies in ways that don't feel like advertising. It's no secret that the industry average CTR is dropping. Banner advertising is losing its effect on consumers. Marketers know that their strategies need to evolve to remain relevant and to interact with consumers effectively. Already, brands like American Express, Lowe's, Sears, Kraft, and General Mills are trailblazing really interesting and natural-feeling content marketing initiatives. Brands are looking and feeling more like publishers in the way that they approach advertising. In fact, their approaches don't feel like advertising at all, and that's what consumers like about it. 2013 solidified the idea that content marketing is going to become a standard practice.

Big budgets are being allocated to produce viral videos

From the Carrie coffee shop prank, to Unilever's "Project Sunlight" campaign, 2013 has been a year in which brands are finding themselves in the viral video spotlight. There's no doubt that every brand wants its content to go viral. This year we saw brands funnel huge amounts of money into video productions to achieve long-term brand perception. Short term ROI is great, but brands are sending a message to consumers (and the marketing community) that allocating big budgets and investing in projects that may not see a short-term return are still very valuable. Although online video is not new, brands are starting to invest more capital into creating video content that is interesting, clever, and achieves high views.

Sarah Fay, chairman of the board of governors for dmg events, speaks to iMedia about how brands are evolving into content producers and why it will only grow in 2014.