Over the break, we have been looking forward to what’s coming next for marketers over the next year. We scoured our favourite websites, magazines and blogs for articles predicting the key marketing trends for 2012, picked the best ones and chucked them all together into a word cloud generator. And this is what happened...
Looking at the picture we found, here are our Five New Year’s Resolutions for 2012:
There’s no avoiding it. In bulky text right at the middle of the word cloud, mobile marketing is already huge and only set to grow further in the coming months and years. Also taking into account the surge of tablets, consumers are increasingly active and making buying decisions on the move. Think about how many people you can think of without a smartphone or tablet (not many!) and how many smartphone users have made a purchase using a mobile device (a whopping 38% according to this report). We’d probably go as far as to question whether there is any point in creating a site or campaign in 2012 that doesn’t at least have some elements of mobile.
Social networks and media are mentioned in those 2012 predictions almost as much as mobile. It’s everywhere. Every successful campaign gets talked about on Facebook, is shared on YouTube or gets people tweeting. Marketers need to be part of that conversation – understand it, frame it, and try to control it as much as possible. We’re moving beyond simply setting up a profile and asking customers to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your brand, towards integrating social media as a core element alongside mobile in each campaign. On a side note, it’s apparent that most people don’t yet see value-for-effort in Google+. This time next year we’ll know whether it was a mistake to ignore the biggest name on the web.
Building on the growth of mobile and tablets, the strapline ‘there’s an app for that’ is increasingly apt (app-t?) for almost any situation. When it works well, creating an app that is engaging and either fun or useful can generate huge brand awareness and engagement. However, there are relatively few that make it onto the top download lists so any investment should be weighed up fully against projected benefits. It’s also worth considering that any app should be created for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms – although apps are still making more money directly through iPhone and iPad, if it’s awareness and sheer volume that brands are after, Android’s smartphone market share is currently over three times that of Apple.
China and India each have greater populations than those of the whole of Europe and the USA combined. Moving into 2012, the consensus amongst commentators is now both these vast markets are more than ever before open for business. There are clear barriers to successful marketing in each of these nations, especially noting Chinese restrictions, but a number of commentators are suggesting that 2012 will see these opportunities provide an upturn to the fortunes of many marketers who have run into trouble as the western economies continue to struggle. On a practical note, we have found that many marketing technology providers are not yet proven here – language and service capability must be rigorously tested before going live.
We were all struck by the complete absence of a focus on efficiency drives in almost all of the 2012 predictions we reviewed. At Marketing Logic we spend most of our time speaking to and working for marketers that are under pressure to be more efficient. In the current economic climate, we know that the need to make savings is on the agenda for most CMOs. Obviously though it’s not fun, doesn’t sell magazines and when articles are being written in the run-up to Christmas, it doesn’t seem particularly festive, which is why this massive trend doesn’t figure in the word cloud at all. But for those organisations looking to spend on mobile, social media, apps and marketing to an increasingly global audience, doing so efficiently has never been more important. Industry commentators should face up to the facts on the ground and start talking about efficiency because it’s what most marketers are looking to achieve by the end of 2012.