Marketing Trends for 2012

Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2012
By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP International Business Speaker

What does the year ahead hold in terms of marketing. I've pulled out the crystal ball and make these bold predictions.

1. The Year of MIM (Multi-channel Integrated Marketing)
2012 will be the year of streamlined multiple channels with consistent messaging and value propositions across all communication platforms.
Strategic direction will still be lead by senior management and this will fall out from strategic planning sessions, but 2012 will be the year when social media marketing starts to be talked about seriously by C-level executives in the Board Room.
Out of this conversation will emerge a whole raft of innovative integrated marketing programs that will be complex, commercial and sophisticated.
Once success has been established these marketing initiatives will become more integrated within existing business processes. They will drive a range of activities from capital raising, lead generation, sales, R&D, customer service, market research, communications, PR, personal presentations, brand development, personal branding, internal company culture, and business growth.
Customer, shareholder or capital attraction acquisition costs will be driven lower by these phenomena.

2. MarkITing.
Expect greater convergence between marketing and IT and the emergence of data mining, time tracking and greater accountability for marketing effort.
More sophisticated tracking of marketing spend and ROI will be driven by developments in IT and technical specialists becoming more marketing savvy.
Expect your IT people to have degrees in Marketing.
The technology will be on the cloud adding to collaboration and mobility. "Anytime, anywhere in groups" will become the new mantra of marketing teams.

3. Less Hype More Authenticity.
The growing citizen journalism revolution means greater scrutiny and exposure of dodgy or unethical business practices and a general turn-off to over-hyped spin.
Rising standards in public speaking and media engagement will be required by leaders to be themselves and more authentic from stakeholders who want the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
In 2012, it is all about authenticity and trust and not spin.

4. Timeless News
News cycles will get shorter and shorter and marketing savvy companies will have that uncanny ability to harness real-time responses in all aspects of marketing.
Quick, nimble and plugged in companies will pick up on trends and market sentiment quickly to drive strategic objectives for immediate response.
Be prepared to react instantly to breaking news, changes to your website, upgrades to investor presentations, staff changes, changes in share price, supply and demand considerations or negative stakeholder feedback.
Workflows and patterns will adapt to meaningfully engage in real time with stakeholders.
Warning, traditional 9 to 5 work patterns will go the way of the dinosaur.

5. Relevarketing
2012 will be the year of relevancy marketing with high resonance where market segmentation and niche marketing will be taken to a whole new level as marketers strive for the hew holy grail of relevancy in an increasingly complex and information saturated world.
Could this see a return to old values? My prediction is at least values based marketing trends based on being relevant at an individual level will emerge.

6. Mobile Madness
Think QR codes on everything - business cards, posters, point of purchase, pull up banners, traditional print advertising, brochures and all driving potential customers or investors back to a really well designed, intuitive and content rich website, blog or point of contact.

7. Centres of Social Influence
Expect a lot of metrics and effort going into identifying key centres of influence. Effort in identifying those that influence most in a positive way will give greatest ROI.
Expect to see more strategic thinking in this area.

8. Social Media Grows Up
Large corporates will experiment with social media and fail. Then they will learn and get better at it. Experts will dub this entering the social maturity stage in 2012 and marketing via this channel will become more innate.
More time, money and resources will be allocated to social media and management will be more specific about where to allocate budgets within social media.
Expect to see a shortage of experienced and talented social media marketers and an increase in training courses and formal studies in this area as more and more organizations large and small seek to leverage social media marketing strategies.

9. Reputation as a Currency
The concept of reputational capital will grow and the drive to position people, products and services that both individuals and companies trust will continue in 2012.
The reputation of the service, product, or company built around the personal brand of the CEO or founders more than any other characteristic will continue to emerge.
"Invest in the people first, then the project" will be the catch cry for those seeking to raise capital for new ventures.

10. The Cargo Cult of Bransonism
Expect more CEO positioning as a visible and credible personal brand in which to invest, such as highly stylized photo shoots and beefed up biographies to position CEOs more as rock stars, builders of the brand and keepers of the reputation than the conservative, bean counting managers of the past.
This is Bransonism at its best as the cargo cult of Sir Richard Branson reaches fever pitch.

Please consider Thomas as a keynote speaker on how to better market your organisation at your next conference or event.

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