The customer service industry was created by mistake.
It’s been effectively outsourced by many companies (intent only on cost containment) for the past decades, and since the advent of the consumer internet has often been woefully ill-suited to meeting customer needs.
Facebook and other social networks are re-organising how consumers experience the web, centring it on their personal connections and activities.
This is blurring the lines between branded content, paid advertising, and consumer conversations.
Marketers therefore need to integrate owned, paid and earned social media strategies.
As always, there was lots of comment-worthy developments in the world of digital marketing this year.
Here's my summation of 2013 in quotes, from changes at Google, to acquisitions and mergers, and developments across social networks.
Got other quotes worthy of inclusion? Do leave them in the comments section below.
Here is my 'expert' opinion are the best Vines created by brands in 2013.
Although seeing as Vine has only existed for approximately 11 months, here are the best branded examples from the entire existence of the service. That sounds far more impressive.
What makes a good branded Vine? Well, I'm glad you asked...
Predictably John Lewis currently retains the highest social engagement for Christmas ads, but for how long?
As of 10 December 2013, the John Lewis ‘The Bear and The Hare’ ad has achieved 10.3m views, and just over 1m engagements (likes, shares or comments).
However, its engagement-per-thousand-views (EPM) has dropped to 101, from 393 in four weeks.
This seems logical. The more popular and ubiquitous a video is, the less likely that people will bother sharing it as they feel they’re just adding to the noise of what we’ve already seen.
Interestingly though, this viral complacency may lead to a pre-Christmas upset.
Beyoncé’s self-titled new album, Beyoncé (I feel like I didn’t really need to say that), has destroyed the internet this weekend in a pre-Christmas gamble which has seen the ex-Child of Destiny installed as the new monarch of pop.
Picking the penultimate weekend before Christmas goes against all traditional new album release logic. Mid-November to Mid-January is a barren wasteland of Susan Boyle, greatest hits compilations and swing albums by nice young men your mum likes. Nobody good releases new music at this time of year. Nobody.
But then the Carter family rarely have been ones to stick with traditional record release logic, just look at Jay-Z who released his last album Magna Carta Holy Grail through a mobile app earlier in the year. (Read more about that in six musicians embracing app technology)
Over the past week I've been asking a bunch of content marketing folk about the trends in their industry for 2013, the best examples, and looking ahead to next year.
Here, I've asked about the most effective formats for content. In 2012, it could be argued that infographics were king, but I think the sheer volume produced has diluted this particular tactic.
Other formats are working well though: video, immersive storytelling, slideshare, scrolling sites, and good old blog posts.
The Oreo super bowl ad is often held up to be the perfect example of agile marketing in action.
In truth there have been a number of similarly effective and timely tweets from brands but Oreo grabs all the plaudits for some reason, probably due to the fact that it coincided with one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
Adidas is one example of a brand that consistently produces effective marketing tweets that give the impression of being off the cuff and reactive to events, even though they were clearly planned ahead of time.
For example, just last night Adidas’ UK marketing team tweeted an image congratulating Andy Murray on winning the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics we saw last week.
Statistics include Christmas shopping, eBay's referral traffic, mobile marketing, content marketing and how millennials use social.
For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.
Amazon has the most shares of its products on Pinterest than any other US retailer, though it seems to put less effort into curation than most of its rivals.
According to SearchMetrics, products from Amazon.com currently generate the highest average number of pins per week (16,360) on Pinterest, followed by Walmart (5,778) and Apple (3,871).
So is Amazon doing anything especially well on Pinterest, or is this due to the sheer ubiquity of its products?
For larger retailers, is it worth the effort, or should you let your 'fans' do the hard work?