2012 Marketing Predictions

Well, we’ve started a new year, and what blog worth its salt would be complete without a New Year’s predictions post!? So without further ado, here are my marketing predictions for 2012.

Social media will grow throughout the organization.

Social media has predominantly been the domain of the marketing department. This year, you’ll see it extend into other parts of the organization such as sales, customer support and account management. This creates both a challenge and an opportunity for Marketing. On the one hand, you have the opportunity to “outsource” social media to tens or hundreds of individuals throughout your organization and radically amplify your marketing messages. On the other hand, with all those individuals blogging, tweeting, etc. to the world, you have the potential to lose control of your message. Get ahead of this problem by working closely with other departments to provide them with training and messaging, and leverage social media monitoring tools to keep an eye on things.

Mobile marketing will become a priority.

According to comScore, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices between September and November of last year. This marketing channel can no longer be ignored by marketing departments. At a minimum, you need to be sure your web site is mobile compatible. Beyond that, you should start testing marketing programs that let you interact with your prospects on their mobile devices, whether that’s using QR codes, click to call in your mobile ads, location based social media, etc.

Content will be the engine that drives inbound marketing.

It’s long been said that Content is King, and it’s never been more true than now. Good content fuels SEO, and can be leveraged over and over again if you’re thoughtful about it. For example, if you conduct a webinar, turn the contents of your webinar into an e-book or best practice brief that can be used in your nurturing programs. Write a blog post summarizing the content of the webinar, and write a follow-up blog post with the Q&A from your webinar. Post your webinar to YouTube and SlideShare so it can be viewed later. It takes hard work to create good content, so be creative to get as much use out of it as possible.

Metrics based marketers will rule the roost.

I’ve long said that if you want a seat at the executive table as a marketer, you need to become metrics based and prove that your marketing efforts are a revenue center, not a cost center. By measuring your marketing programs and understanding which ones drive leads and ultimately contribute to revenue, you’ll have the ability lobby for more staff or more budget and back up your request with data that proves it will pay off.

And if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to exercise more, get more rest, or spend more time with family and friends, metrics based marketing will help you achieve your goal. Understanding which programs are most effective and which ones aren’t will help you stop wasting your valuable marketing budget and your even more valuable time and energy on programs that don’t contribute to revenue!

We asked some fellow brilliant marketers to share their predictions as well! Here’s what they think will be important in 2012.

George Michie, CEO and Co-Founder of Rimm-Kaufman Group – Follow George on Twitter @Rimmkaufman and check out the Rimm-Kaufman Group Blog!

“First, I anticipate increasing pressure on marketers to look outside the siloed view to consider how all their marketing efforts intersect with one another.  Second, I expect to see more testing by the engines of graphic image ads instead of or in addition to text ads on the SERP.  The growth of Product Listing Ads is just the beginning I suspect.”

Rebecca Lieb, analyst for Altimeter Group- Follow Rebecca on Twitter @lieblink and check out the Altimeter Group blog!

“Content marketing will loom large on everyone’s radar. There’s hard evidence this is well underway: Google search results for “content strategy” rose 156% in 2011 over 2010. Results for “content marketing” were up 875%. I’ve just interviewed close to 60 major companies companies about their content initiatives. Every single one is upping investment and resources in original content creation. Brands and agencies alike will have to rebalance the way they do business to meet new content challenges.

In addition, mobile will grow like never before, aided immensely by tablet proliferation. Social media remains important, but we’ll see less explosive growth than we have in the past. In the end, there’s only so much time to consume can devote to creating and consuming content in social channels.”

Jeremiah Andrick, Online Customer Acquisition Manager at Logitech. Follow Jeremiah on Twitter @Jeremiah and read his blog, The Cubicle Punk.

Accountability. 2012 is going to be all about accountability. Not that this is something new but as we enter another year of austere thinking, we are going to be required more than any time in the past to be accountable for our ad spend. This means more investment in reporting, harder work on attribution models and even more time spent forecasting a campaigns performance. But this is a good thing! It makes us better. Anyone can spend a buck to make a buck but the best digital marketers can turn pennies into gold. For some this may mean more time spent on automation, for some it may mean deeper CRO planning, but the word I hear in the trenches is “accountability.”

Drew Frey, Social Media Manager at Vail Resorts. Follow Drew on Twitter @freydrew and read the blog at Snow.com.

“Data drives crucial business decisions and is the difference between success and failure. In 2012 ‘Big Data’ will become hyper-personal with products that help you track your health (Jawbone), measure your social influence (Klout or Spot Influence) and set personal goals. Just as 2011 was the year of easy digestible data (see Infograph); 2012 will be the year that each individual benefits from it.”

Akvile Harlow, Community Manager for Search Marketing ExpoDon’t forget to follow Akvile @Hyph_En tune into the @SMX Twitter!

“2012 will be a huge year for mobile marketing. With smartphone & tablet usage growing at impeccable speeds, marketers of all varieties will have to adapt to this exciting new space. Create mobile friendly sites & apps!”

James Zolman, CEO of Quality Scores- Follow James on Twitter @jameszol

Growth curve of the industry will continue its trajectory from 2011.

The 3rd party PPC management software industry will see more expansion and innovation while a few major acquisitions will occur, energizing the space even more.
Average cost per click will stay relatively steady year over year in most industries.

I don’t see any competitors heading off Microsoft or Google in the ppc space but the U.S. government may trip either up with investigations that will shape paid search policies (for good) in some industries like finance, travel, and others.

‘Copy writing’ will be the word of the year. Ads and landers will be more exciting and helpful to searchers than ever before because of renewed focus on copy.

Looking forward to innovation, creativity and much higher quality in the manual side of the industry. Trada and BoostCTR leading the pack perhaps?

Last but not least, and this might be totally wishful thinking, but a real and independent certification authority for ppc’ers that becomes respected worldwide for their vigorous certification process. (Not entirely my own prediction. I first saw a similar one in the SEO space by Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz, he predicts a respected certification in SEO or Inbound Marketing in 2012)”

Tika Kandel, Optimizer for Trada- Check out Tika’s Blog!

Paid search spending will continue to grow. Volume of online searches conducted via mobile devices is now significant and this is continued to grow as more and more people are using smart phones/tablets. In some countries*, they’ll actually bypass the desktop altogether, and the mobile devices will be the default internet device. But unfortunately many websites are not really maximising the value from mobile customers yet. So, making websites more accessible to mobile devices is no longer a thing to consider, it’s a thing to be done.

For many years, Google has been the giant player in the search market, but with the rise of Facebook and the arrival of the search alliance, real alternatives for advertisers may be on the way. To maintain existing market share on search marketing spend, Google has to continue innovating with its advertising products. Having said that new technology will continue to come from nowhere right to the forefront, the companies who ‘leap and learn’ – dive in, try things and learn to improve them – are the ones which will stay ahead.”

 Katie Morse, Social Marketing Manager for Billboard- Follow Katie on Twitter @Misskatiemo and check out Billboard’s tweets too!

“You’ve heard it before… but say it with me again… mobile is going to be HUGE in 2012.

Social, and businesses in general, are increasingly becoming more mobile-friendly, and this trend will only continue in the coming years, perhaps (finally) bringing America up to speed with the rest of the world (specifically Asia), who have been incredibly mobile-savvy for years.From a business standpoint, the publishing industry has already started responding to this growing trend – perhaps most notably are The Economist and the NY Times making their content mobile-friendly (and even coming out with dedicated apps). Companies like Pulse, Flipboard, and Google Currents have started addressing people’s desire to consume their news while on-the-move, either via a tablet or smartphone.On the corporate side, Starbucks has recently started combining their numerous mobile apps into one app – you can do everything from finding your local Starbucks to paying for the drink you order via the phone, and the staff doesn’t blink an eye when you hold up your phone to pay – suggesting (anecdotally, at  least) that it’s a pretty common thing.My smartphone has truly become my PC – in the “it’s my computer” sense of the word, not the “it sits on my desk at home” sense of the word. I don’t see that disappearing anytime soon and am regularly finding out new ways that my mobile device can improve my life, as well as new business uses.”

Ef Rodriguez, Organizer of Boulder Startup Week and Ignite Boulder- Follow Ef on Twitter @pug and check out @IgniteBoulder and @bldrstartupweek

“Among the big marketing trends of 2012, I foresee a big return to giving away free t-shirts. While virtual Foursquare badges and gamification achievements were sufficient in their silly-willy heyday, you can’t argue with the reality that people want free t-shirts. Tech startups know this, which is why they always provide them at events. Big brands, however, have lost sight of this fundamental marketing fact.

In 2012, brands need to be more ashirtive.

I want to see brands creating more shirts, partnering with artists and designers to make them totally sweet. I predict we’ll see shirts made of yarn, crafted by talented knitters. I want shirts for dessert. I want to be clothed in brand messaging, literally and figuratively. Give me the shirt off your back, and I’ll keep coming back.”

Do you have your own marketing predictions for 2012? Leave them in the comments section below. If you’re looking for good content in 2012, be sure to sign up and subscribe to Trada’s Blog by email.

2 responses to “2012 Marketing Predictions”

  1. Anonymous

    hmmm…  Can I reconsider my prediction to include t-shirts? Mostly because all my web 2.0 t-shirts have gone the way of the buffalo and I think we are due for another round.

  2. Scott in San Diego

    “…your marketing efforts are a revenue center, not a cost center.”

    This is a fundamental truth that most business owners cannot grasp, as they see marketing as a cost. Great statement.

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