LONDON: Anti-business sentiment, the evolving path to purchase and broadening definitions of social media are among the main issues now facing marketers according to the Toolkit 2013 trend report, released by Warc and Deloitte.

The Toolkit 2013 is a guide to the biggest challenges confronting the global marketing industry in the year ahead, and follows on from the Toolkit 2012, which was one of the most read pieces on Warc last year.

Based on Warc's database of best practice and new thinking, plus the experience of Deloitte's Marketing and Insight Practice, the 2013 report highlights four key priorities for brands.

The first of these is gaining an increasingly in-depth understanding of changing consumer expectations, as hard-pressed shoppers take their anger out on major corporations in difficult times.

Companies must show they are making a positive difference by focusing on areas like values, ethics and authenticity, contributing to an easier life or solving everyday problems.

The second theme is the impact of technology on the path to purchase, in particular the rise of "showrooming", or comparing products and prices while in stores on a mobile phone, and "multi-screening", or using digital devices while watching TV.

These trends suggest marketers should look at more closely aligning in-store messages with mobile, and by ensuring TV activity is joined up with social media, search, and e-commerce.

Third, the Toolkit looks at new thinking on social media and social influence. It argues that the "social" channel is much wider than "social media" alone, particularly when it comes to the potential benefits of looking for influential advocates offline as well as online.

"Big data" is another area where marketers should carefully consider their options, or else run the risk of alienating consumers through poorly executed attempts at personalisation.

Nick Turner, partner in Deloitte's Marketing & Insight Practice, said: "As well as outlining the challenges that marketers will face in the year to come, the report is packed with insightful case studies highlighting how leading brands are successfully responding, providing both the strategic context and a practical way forward towards marketing effectiveness in 2013."

More information on the report can be found at Subscribers to Warc can download the full report, consisting of ten chapters combining data, case studies, points of view and implications. A summary report highlighting the main findings and data is also available.

David Tiltman, Warc's international editor, said: "The goal of the Toolkit 2013 is to distil all the great new thinking and best practice on Warc into a guide to the biggest marketing challenges, and the smartest ways to respond.

"Last year's Toolkit anticipated themes such as the importance of the emerging middle-classes and the shift toward cultural insight in marketing."

Data sourced from Warc