Top Trends of 2012 We Are Watching Closely

Keltie Munro – 2 Comments

Trend #1: Mobile

The ongoing buzz around mobile marketing is for good reason. A study conducted by Nielsen reported that 45% of Web mobile use is spent checking email and 25% is spent playing games. Combine that with the fact that there are 5 billion mobile devices worldwide, and you’re looking at an enormous audience.

Trend #2: Social Media

Social media avenues can grow your prospect list, increase your brand awareness, and drive your promotions. Social media can also provide marketers with deeper customer insights, allowing for better engagement, improved messaging, and increased trust and loyalty.

Social media marketing done right earns the brand what is known as social currency. The biggest banks delivering social currency are Facebook and Twitter, each with hundreds of millions of users. Both Facebook and Twitter present captive audiences for your messages and offer great potential for your brand through sharing content within their networks. YouTube is underutilized as a potential marketing tool, and LinkedIn provides many opportunities for marketers to engage the right audience in a compelling, professional way. And let’s not ignore Pinterest either.

Trend #3: Location-based Marketing

Location-based marketing is defined as when Smartphone and location-based social networks connect, allowing users to interact at specific physical locations. When marketers know where subscribers are at any given point in time, many opportunities arise to market goods and services based on that location. It’s all happening in real-time (known as QR or Quick response) and requires that users are already prepared to be engaged. Marketers need to strike while the iron is hot. You can now find appropriate messages and offers on a ski chair lift, in the middle of a mountain, allowing you to follow the brand or company on Twitter by scanning a bar code from a sticker on the chair. It’s relatively easy, and can be very effective.

Trend #4: Shopper Insight

Shopper Insight is defined as getting an in-depth sense of how your customers shop, across all channels and formats, and using that information to create mutually beneficial programs and incentives. Unilever defines Shopper Insight as a “focus on the process that takes place between that first thought the consumer has about purchasing an item, all the way through the selection of that item.” Shopper Insight is completely integrated, and should not be underestimated in its marketing power. As a result, it is critical that your message be the same every time your customer is exposed to your brand.

Trend #5: The Power of the Millenial Generation

Characterized as skeptical, altruistic, diverse, frugal, green, candid and successful multitaskers, Millenials are those born between 1981 and 2000. They are at the cutting edge of technology use and are not opposed to connecting with brands, but do so only when there is an exchange of value and, as most of us know, when it is on their terms.

Millenials pose a problem for companies and brands in that they do not trust traditional marketing tactics, preferring to rely instead on friends, family or even strangers in the form of online reviews. What appeals to them is authenticity. Recent research suggests that 93% of this clan spends regular and extended periods of time online. The Web has become their primary source of information, news, entertainment and a significant source of social interaction. 75% of this group has a social media profile. In fact, they spend at least 50 percent more time social networking than any other major age group. 88% text regularly. Well over half visit a social network at least once a day. Most have smart phones and less than half have a landline telephone. They are the first to complain online when things don’t go their way. You can’t ignore this crew. They are too powerful.