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Marketing experts reveal goals and challenges for 2013

Businesses and brands that focus on their customers and getting the basics right will be most successful in 2013, according to experts at a recent business network and marketing event.

The advice from various marketing experts, including YouGov and Marketing Week Magazine, also said that businesses with strong brand values - beyond the purpose of selling - were likely to fare well in the year ahead.

Commenting on what were considered the best brands of 2012, the event panel highlighted that simple strategies were often the best. Long-running campaigns were similarly felt to demonstrate consistency and attract mass audiences.

YouGov's Tim Britton said: "Those that stick to the basics and do the basics well are guaranteed a degree of success."

Demonstrating a brand's value, as well as communicating its brand values, is also now a major factor for gaining consumer trust, said AMV BBDO's Cilla Snowball.

This was also echoed by Samsung's Andrew Garrihy, who said: "For a brand to be truly great, it has to be aligned behind a higher purpose. It has to pursue the activation of that purpose in a really authentic manner. The brand has to be generous, humble, relentless, passionate and successful."

Tightening budgets were considered the major challenge facing marketers in 2013, with marketing often seen as an overhead rather than a revenue-generating function.

"This year, more than ever it's about being more accountable and really focussing on the numbers and on the return," said Garrihy. "Never before have companies needed marketers like they need them now. But we need to help them understand that."

The panel suggested that gathering evidence and measuring business performance were key to marketing success.