Although we are only half way through 2013, today’s accelerated pace means that businesses have already noticed marketing challenges in the workplace. Through B2B and B2C 2013 studies from the likes of IBM and UBM, we can already assess that this year’s marketing challenges are comprised of the fresh and the not so fresh. So which new trends and challenges should marketers be wary of in the next six months?
 

Attracting new customers

 
According to IBM’s newest study, 42% of 500 marketing managers from 15 different countries all said that the acquisition of new customers was the biggest challenge to their organisation. This large figure clearly suggests the influence of marketing in times of high business saturation. Businesses are not only competing with each other within a particular country or continent but they are also competing with like-minded businesses from around the world thanks to advances in social media and technology. This leads onto the next point.
 

Maintaining loyalty

 
36% of managers from the same study also said that maintaining the loyalty of newly acquired customers is another challenge which they have faced this year. Whilst multiple social media platforms may be an asset in terms of awareness and accessibility, these numerous sites and devices also make it extremely hard for individual businesses to stand out amongst a sea of colourful graphics, headlines and stimulating content. As a result, businesses now have to inject more offers, deals and engagement efforts into their plans in order to maintain a loyal client base, which can be a detriment to their overall profits.
 

Concentration span

 
This never ending online bombardment has another drawback – lowered attention spans. 2012 statistics (verified by The Associated Press) confirmed this theory. The findings suggested that the average web surfer has an attention span of 8 seconds – 1 second shorter than a goldfish. Some of 2013’s top business trends have somewhat answered these findings. Firstly, picture based social media updates such as memes and infographics are much more likely to be shared and ‘liked’ as opposed to text only updates. Picture based social media sites have also seen a huge influx in users this year, one of the largest being Pinterest. Alongside this, publishers have been working heavily to create video and picture content within text articles to entice viewers.
 

Content quantity

 
Many small businesses are claiming that one of their top challenges in 2013 is creating enough content to compete with larger, more established organisations. Without this huge quantity of content, many small businesses can suffer in terms of SEO rankings. This issue is a big concern for all content marketers across a variety of industries. One way to create more content without stretching your resources to breaking point is to outsource written content by using bloggers with outreach tools to create brand awareness and steer online traffic.
 

Budget

 
Surprisingly, budgets are a concern to enterprises as well as small businesses this year. There could be a few explanations for this. Firstly, marketers within these enterprises may perceive this to be an issue as they would ideally like even more money to work with. If enterprises have become accustomed to working with bigger budgets, they could lose a sense of resourcefulness which is so important to smaller businesses. Another, more likely reason, is that marketers have to go through more channels to get budgets approved which can be counterproductive and eats away at their time.