Before you dive into your 2012 marketing plans, consider where the market is going because, to quote Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
For 2012, here are seven marketing forecasts that, I predict, will affect most businesses, regardless of whether they’re B2C, B2B, not-for-profit or solopreneur.
- Holistic customer view is needed. Given that marketing forms, such as social media, can influence purchases before marketers are aware that prospects are in a buying mode, a more comprehensive approach to consumer engagement is required to maximize results.
- Mobile marketing is a priority. Smartphones reached a tipping point in the US in 2011 making it critical to integrate mobile marketing into your 2012 marketing plans. Interpret mobile marketing broadly to include smartphones, tablets (iPads), ereaders (Kindle) and a range of other portable and out-of-home devices. Marketers take note this doesn’t translate to the death of other media formats such as television, radio and print. (Here’s more mobile marketing research.)
- Social media integrates across the organization. With increased consumer consumption of social media, use within companies will extend beyond the marketing department. Among the areas prime for social media adoption are market research, customer service, post sales support and investor relations.
- Content fuels all forms of marketing. “Content is king” has been at the heart of search optimization. With expanded use of mobile devices and social media, content is a more critical marketing component than ever!
- Email still communicates. While email isn’t sexy, it’s a mature marketing communication channel. It still produces positive, cost effective results and gives marketers a way to connect with prospects and customers.
- Actionable marketing connects. The use of a variety of methods enabling customers to click, tap or snap a code or other device to access additional related content or promotions is changing how and where customers shop and purchase. In part, this is attributable to the ability of social media and mobile commerce to deliver better experiences to prospects both online and via mobile regardless of where the customer is (including in your competitor’s store.)
- Tracking results counts. Marketing and related corporate investments require an understanding of which areas of the marketing mix are effective. To this end, it’s critical to set goals and create strategies that are aligned. It’s not just a matter of counting likes or pageviews. These metrics must support the purchase process and show contribution. (Not sure what social media monitoring product to use? Check out what 10 experts recommend.)
These seven forecasts are extensions of the events of 2011. They should be incorporated into your 2012 marketing plans. One thing’s for certain, there’ll be at least one twist in 2012 that you don’t expect.
What are your 2012 marketing predictions? Please share them in the comments section below.
This article was inspired by 21 New Year Titles Guaranteed to Pull Readers In
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Photo credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/girlanachronism3/5911303030