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Marketers start your engines; if 2011 was any indicator (and surely, it was), 2012 is going to be a stellar year. Digital media, social media, the livelihood of traditional media — my Vertical Marketing Network colleagues and I wound down last year reflecting on these trends and more. And while we’d be remiss to predict whether this will be the year Google+ makes headway on Facebook, or whether 2012 will be the year QR codes really connect with the consumer consciousness, it’s hard to ignore what’s being said. It’s also safe to assume that certain talking points from yesteryear will build momentum going into the future, and they could help redefine what it means to be a marketer now. To ready you for the new year, Blogging Out Loud spent the waning weeks of 2011 compiling the below list of trends that we think will matter most in the coming days and months. Are you on your mark?
Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems as if successful marketing doesn’t necessarily mean winning the race, but rather, success means keeping pace with the ever-changing course. A new year is the perfect time for a tune up.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 marketing predictions for 2012:
1. Mobile Money Makes Sense — Sure, mobile money apps were a marketing hit in 2011, but 2012 will really be their year. While apps like Google Wallet and the AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon-backed Isis allow consumers to shop — and pay — with the aid of their smartphones, other apps — like Mint — aim to help consumers keep money in the bank. Consumers are buying it; marketers should, too.
2. Pictures Make a Push – Pinterest — the bulletin-board themed social networking site — has generated a lot of, well, interest, from curious Facebook users, media writers and venture capitalists, who’ve invested $27 million in the project. In August 2011, the site had 1.2 million users. Today, it has over 4 million, and they are changing the ways consumers — and brands — share visual information.
3. Apple Turns Square — Rumors popped up late last week that 2012 could see the release of Apple’s “iTV”, which could drastically rock the way content is distributed. As of press time, the rumors remained just that, but the potential for the medium is as exciting as it is vast. And knowing Apple, it will have major cultural impact, to boot.
4. Brands Branch Out — Many are speculating 2012 will see the face-off between the world’s largest social network and the world’s biggest Internet company get serious. With 800 million users worldwide, we think Facebook still rules the numbers game — especially for brands and businesses. But Google’s trying to change that, and some think it can ultimately succeed. Whether or not that’s true remains unseen. But for marketers, the implications are clear: it’s never a bad time to expand your social circle beyond the obvious Facebook and Twitter, even if it means learning other lingo. Circles, anyone?
5. Optimism Reigns Supreme — Between this summer’s Olympic games in London and the upcoming Presidential election, opportunities will abound this year for marketers to tap the emotions and excitement of the public. Consider now how you can be involved, and plan something meaningful. Affiliations aside, events such as these rally people. For consumers, they inspire passion, and for brands, they create opportunities. Be aware.
And be ready. These are just a few of the many exciting changes we’ll see this year. Hopefully, they’ll fuel your thinking for a better — and more profitable — 2012. See you at the races!