2013 marketing round up in five hot topics


As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to take stock of some of the topics that captured our attention this year in the context of five “hot topics” we focused on.

Marketing Analytics
Marketing AnalyticsMarketing Analytics is near and dear to our hearts, among other reasons because we’ve had a chance to highlight several ways we “drink our own champagne” in marketing at SAS. This year, my colleagues Matt Fulk, Mary Betts and Antionen Scott posted ways that we’re improving our own marketing using our SAS Customer Intelligence solutions.

Digital Marketing
Digital MarketingWith so much of our lives being lived online, it should be no surprise that digital marketing was also a major topic of this blog in 2013.

To get a good summary of this topic in just one post, go no further than this post by my colleague Jon Moran: “Integrated marketing management: orchestrate, then interact.”

Multichannel Marketing
Multichannel MarketingThe explosion of channels means that multichannel marketing and related topics, such as omni-channel have been a big part of our conversations. One of the most challenging, and therefore intrigueing, has been the mobile channel, which I fully expect will continue in 2014 and beyond. Check out these two posts for a quick, broad view of multichannel marketing:  Strategy shift: How CMOs are leading data-driven marketing and Four marketing lessons from Microsoft’s BingItOn campaign.

Customer Experience
Customer ExperienceThe customer experience and ways to manage it certainly figured prominently this year with numerous posts tagged with that topic. We were fortunate this year to work with Brian Solis, who articulated how the future of business is closely tied to the shared experience. We captured his views in a series of five posts based on his keynote address at Integrated Marketing Week in New York City.

Big Data in Marketing
Big Data in MarketingBig data also loomed large as a major topic among marketers, even as it has evolved from understanding what it is, to exploring the best ways to approach it.  Two good places to start for best practices on big data in marketing include Why big data and small data both matter to marketers, by Charles Randall, and A marketer’s journey through the big data archipelago, which is a series on our SAS thought leadership blog by Tamara Dull.

One sub-plot to the big data issue in marketing is the whole question of privacy. I fully expect the issue of privacy to continue into 2014.  For a starting point, I’d suggest you take a look at this post based on an interview this year by AllAnalytics.com with the CEO of the DMA Linda WoolleyBalancing consumer privacy and effective marketing

The close of the year is also a good time to express my appreciation for your following this blog. We’ve grown since our inception four years ago to one of the most followed and commented-upon blogs at SAS. We’re always open to your ideas and thoughts and look forward to your continued engagement in 2014.


About Author

John Balla

Principal Marketing Strategist

Hi, I'm John Balla - I co-founded the SAS Customer Intelligence blog and served as Editor for five years. I held a number of marketing roles at SAS as Content Strategist, Industry Field Marketing and as Go-to-Marketing Lead for our Customer Intelligence Solutions. I like to find and share content and experiences that open doors, answer questions, and sometimes challenge assumptions so better questions can be asked. Outside of work I am an avid downhill snow skier, hiker and beach enthusiast. I stay busy with my family, volunteering for civic causes, keeping my garden green, striving for green living, expressing myself with puns, and making my own café con leche every morning. I’ve lived and worked on 3 contents and can communicate fluently in Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and get by with passable English. Prior to SAS, my experience in marketing ranges from Fortune 100 companies to co-founding two start ups. I studied economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and got an MBA from Georgetown. Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on LinkedIn.


  1. As we collect more and more data about our customers privacy and security is only going to become more important. Information breaches can ruin a company, look at what's going on with target! We want to collect all this data and store it, manipulate it, analyze it, but if we can't protect it nothing else matters.

    • John Balla

      Very true, Pat! Data security is so important for two reasons - it's a strategic asset for the company, but it's also personal information for customers. All companies that collect and use customer data have to implement processes and safeguards to protect data, but also foster a culture where data is recognized as something that needs protecting. I plan to explore the theme of privacy more this year - I hope you'll share your views again.

      Thanks for following!

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