At this time of year we see a multitude of articles about predictions for the year to come – some obvious and some less evident – I’ve tried to keep my list short and focussed this time around as we marketers have only a limited bandwidth to evolve our increasingly complex ecosystem. Some elements may seem like they should have happened in 2011, whilst others are reaching their peak now. There is no doubt that 2012 will, yet again, be a year of changes – let’s hope that this time around the marketing world can keep up!
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is coming to life, and 2012 will see an understanding an explosion of content strategies for brands, beyond simple blogs they will start to leverage the value in owned media by creating real content for customers to engage with. More than just advertising messages this will be content that brings a brand into a consumers life and makes a difference. Content will be channel neutral and heavily driven by video as barriers to production are now almost nil.
2. Social Design
Coined by our colleagues at Facebook, the integration of social components in almost everything we do will become prevalent in 2012. Whether it is a marketing conversation, a product launch or the way we cook food at home for our kids – everything will be amplified through the social graph.
3. Mobile (& Tablets)
The desktop will loose out as the de facto connection to the web, and this means additional functionality in terms of location/mobility but also different screen real estate for web marketers to work with, and different types of engagement as users are on the move.
4. Big Data & Analytics
Finally, 2012 will see the coming of age of data and analytics in the marketing world – adding more science to the art of communication and forcing marketers to look at ROI. Check out my post on ‘Learning to love big data‘.