Becoming Responsive in 2013: Adapting to Change

Hello. I am back after a bit of a break brought on by Hurricane Sandy. I have to thank my friends at ClickZ and also you, my readers, for sticking with me over the last couple of months. I live just a bit more than a mile from the glorious Atlantic Ocean here on the NJ Shore. We’re all fine in this home, but for the last couple of months I worked quietly with groups in the hardest hit areas to do things that seemed simple once before. This will continue to be a tremendous journey for so many; so much change, such a need to adapt and respond.

I will be writing a series of articles on the anticipated trends for 2013, and this first in the series touches on the notion of change that has become so familiar to those of us online.

Devices are the new portals and interfaces will keep changing, and they will follow us.

Remember portal wars? Browser wars? 2013 is the bridge of device periods. It is a time where online PC-based screens become more unfamiliar, and those mobile devices and tablets will become more familiar. These changes will have the following consequences for consumers and marketers alike.

  • User: Danger. Your favorite and familiar interfaces such as iTunes, YouTube, Yahoo, or Facebook on your PC will change again and you will change. Maybe you will even adapt and change your behavior.
  • User: Benefit. Your favorite iTunes, YouTube, Yahoo, or Facebook interface on your mobile phone or tablet/pad will look more consistent and familiar. You will get more relevant offerings when the data is done right.
  • Marketer: Danger. Design must embrace responsive design for everything – outbound email, landing pages, sites, etc. This change is also changing privacy policies from places such as Facebook that you might rely on. Facebook has shown over and over again that it will change what the marketer/business tool is – and Facebook and others will continue to make these changes. You are that their mercy.
  • Marketer: Benefit. Audience reach. Regardless of the past, current, and foreshadowed changes, as a marketer, you do have the ability to tie together a lot of email and social information about your subscribers. While raw and changing, the data is there. Work with vendors that make it easy for you to create copy once, and make outbound messages and pages responsive in the sense that it will render appropriately on the right screen and at the right time.

Over my next several columns, I will be discussing some of the trends that will manifest this year and how they will impact your business. As always, I will also offer some tips or tactics on how best to embrace the changes in the marketplace.

Until then, think about how to be responsive in your email design. My former JupiterResearch colleague, Joe Laszlo wrote a great primer on responsive design in this ClickZ column. After these past two months here on this shore, we all have a new definition of how to respond. Learn a new meaning of response for your campaigns across screens on your subscribers’ devices. That will make you relevant and is a necessary component to win in 2013.

Have a great and prosperous 2013! Happy new year!

Until next time,

Possible image on home page via Shutterstock.

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