• flipboard

Top 10 Marketing Trends of 2012

Like most businesses, you will probably have your marketing plan for 2012 already in place. But have you built your plan so that you’re ready to respond to the latest market trends?Top 10 Marketing Trends of 2012

While it’s important to stay focused, it’s equally as important to be prepared for the opportunities and challenges that will come from the latest marketing trends.

Wondering what the future looks like for marketing in the year ahead?

Here are my predictions for the top ten marketing trends of 2012:

1. A broader brand presence across channels

With the range of available marketing channels growing all the time, businesses will start to recognise the value of connecting up their marketing approach across the web, social media and other channels. This will be inspired by the need to better manage business resource in more challenging times – and to create a more streamlined brand presence. Instead of relying on one or two channel marketing approaches, more and more companies will link up their activities to create a truly coherent brand across multiple channels.

2. The rise and rise of user-generated content

User generated content took on momentum in 2011 – and this will continue into the New Year. Whether it is a YouTube video showing a customer using a product or customers sharing their experiences within a selective online community, content that comes direct from the potential or existing customer is likely to grow in value. The key test of this trend will be how successfully companies inspire and facilitate user-generated content. However they do it, it looks like the voice of the user will grow significantly in value in 2012.

3. Mobile marketing reaches critical mass

Mobile is going centre stage. A third of smartphone owners have used their device to buy a product online (Source: EPiServer) and this number is growing. The companies that fully prepare their marketing approach for mobile in 2012 are the ones that will benefit from a potential customer-base that browses – and shops – on the move. This demands targeted, mobile-ready content and a willingness to adapt internal marketing processes. With 59% of UK consumers now in possession of a smartphone and 18% owning a tablet device (Source: EPiServer), mobile marketing is a trend that businesses can’t afford to ignore.

4. The gap closes between business brands and social media

We all know social media is big news for business. But in 2012, it will be even bigger – and even slicker. Companies will start taking social media more seriously as a professional marketing tool. But it won’t just be the big companies using social media to actively connect with customers. Many more companies will start to interact, meaning customer service – and customer interaction – via social media will evolve even further. The gap between social media and the business brand will get ever smaller. Again, the user or the customer will take centre stage with the rise of the brand advocate in recommending, recruiting customers and connecting with companies in 2012.

5. A clearer vision on the value of analytics

Companies will seek to improve their understanding of marketing analytics in 2012. With increased channels and brand presence, businesses will look to clarify and streamline their marketing data. Companies will recognise the value of analytics that allow them to maximise on the flexibility of social media marketing by adapting their content according to live viewer response. Add to this an increasing focus on cost management and online marketing analytics look set to become the vital flipside of business marketing.

6. Up close and personal

Next year is the year that marketing becomes more personalised. Tailored content that is customised to the needs and interests of a specific market or audience will grow in value and popularity. This is for a number of reasons – the increasing growth of content’s role within online marketing and the growing presence of online, niche communities, for example. As people become more and more accustomed to selecting which brands and businesses can join them within their own online community, the value of personalised marketing approaches and content will continue to grow.

7. Content diversifies – again

Content has been big this year – and its role and value is likely to diversify even more in the year ahead. With the increase of personalised marketing, more companies will start to present content that is focused on telling stories about their business and products or services. But this won’t be a top down approach. Companies will need to draw out the stories from within their workforce – and encourage their workforce to share stories. In 2012, carefully crafted, managed and distributed content will play a vital role in successful business marketing.

8. The customer recommendation rules

In 2012, the voice of the user or the customer will get louder. Businesses are becoming smarter at integrating opportunities for customer feedback and response within their marketing approach. Social media word of mouth will keep growing, with people increasingly relying on their own online social circles to advise and comment on their choice of services or products. The companies that actively embrace this shift will be the ones that boost their profile and credibility in 2012.

9. The influence factor takes over

Closely linked to prediction number 9, social media influence will gain critical mass in 2012. Already gaining momentum, a powerful trend in the year to come is the ability for companies to influence, increase and map their influence across the social media channels. The power to inspire users in a real-world, but professional way will make a huge difference to their performance in 2012.

10. Video is centre stage

Anticipated to be big for quite some time, it looks likely that video is set to be one of the leading marketing trends in 2012. The growth of video within business marketing fits naturally with the broadening of social media channels and with increasing customer focus on feedback and recommendations. Expect video to take on some surprising approaches in 2012 – with many companies developing fresher and more user-focused forms of viral marketing.

How’s 2012 looking to you?

2012 is looking like a year where marketing channels and messages will diversify – and where user connection, influence and feedback will rule. Companies can stay ahead by embracing and facilitating how their customers interact with them on social media. Combine this with a more targeted content and better connected cross channel marketing can help grow your leads, customers and revenue in 2012.

Whatever your choice, the New Year is a great opportunity to review what’s been working for you – and what you want to leave behind in 2012. Look back at past marketing activities and at their ROI and other results to see what’s worked best. Then you can move on to make more leads and more customers your New Year’s resolution for 2012. Start with 40 ideas for New Year resolutions now – download this eGuide 40 New Year’s Resolutions for Marketing in 2012.

Guest Author: Sookie Shuen is the community manager at Tomorrow People, an inbound marketing consultancy. Read her Inbound Marketing Blog.

More Reading

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Jeff, you wrote a great article. I touched on some of these points you have discussed in my article Building the Brands of Tomorrow. http://wp.me/p201s8-26
    I enjoy reading your blog and I recently subscribed. Feel free to subscribe to my sales and marketing blog http://dangalante.me/ . Keep up the great work!

  • Hi Dan, thanks for your comment. Will check out your article on that topic!

  • My favorite is #2 – The rise and rise of user-generated content. Clever wording!

    Of course it means there is more to sort through, and more to digest. But I think as a society we’re ready for it. We know how to separate the fluff and stuff from relevant content in the blink of an eye. It also pairs nicely with #6. Marketing that is more down to earth, real and personal will win the game.

  • Pamela Schott

    Hi, Jeff:

    Another great post. We just increased our video posting over the past couple of weeks, and that has really pushed our traffic and visitor engagement.

    We also started adding a blooper reel here and there to our content, just to let people know we are humans who don’t take themselves too seriously, and that has been fun.

    Thank you for the continued insight. My husband first heard you speak at a conference in San Francisco a few years back, and we have been benefiting from your expertise ever since.

  • Anonymous

    Much food for thought – and for action. Intriguing post. To the “rise and rise of user content” I would add another: key an eye on Apple. They’ve just announced what could be the most dramatic move in user content since Gutenberg printed a Bible in 1450. Normal people can now easily and quick created textbooks – really, any book – and instantly publish it to the world. That is HUGE. Apple’s next conquest will to reinvent education.

  • If I can comment again.  Another factor driving video in 2012 is that mobile devices display video images better than text.  Who carries a magnifying class around?  With video, you don’t need one. 

  • user-generated content is definitely the most important one. The new generation is used to adding comments, notes, uploading links. It’s the most normal daily activity for any average person with a profile any where!

  • Manjari Patrikar

    Your article is superbly awesome. I’m so satisfied with the information. I was always confused about this topic,Thank you so much, please keep writing such articles.
    manage email newsletters

  • Great article! One of the interesting challenges of brand presence is the use of the different platforms while still being able to deliver the same message. Companies that are able to understand and leverage the difference in communication styles are the ones who i find to be truly innovative! 

  • Kimberly Erskine

    I definitely agree with numbers 2 and 8. It’s all about interactivity. If companies interact with their users on a day to day basis and listen to their suggestions the marketing is much more effective. Sometimes (especially on Facebook) companies can open the door for discussion about their product in ways that don’t even seem like marketing. 

  • When i undoubtedly go along with volumes 3 in addition to 8. It truly is information about interactivity. In the event corporations interact with the end users using a every day groundwork in addition to focus on the strategies this advertising and marketing is quite a bit more appropriate. From time to time (in particular with Facebook or myspace) corporations can certainly start the door intended for talk in relation to the solution with techniques of which tend not to possibly could be seen as advertising and marketing.

  • I so impressed the way you express your thoughts and the content that use.I follow your blogs and read them daily. Thank you for posting such wonderful informations.

  • Thanks for sharing the information about top 10 marketing trends and i gathered many information from the blog.Keep on updating.

  • Big fan of your blog. Simple and to the point opinions and insights! Always sharing your posts on my @ComedyandAds twitter account.

    • Thanks and glad to hear you are enjoying the blog. 🙂

  • Fatmir

    What about Emotional Marketing & Metrics (Marketing is the new Finance now) aren’t they trending topics for 2012?

  • Most of these trends will continue into the coming year, especially the focus on consumer interaction.

  • I remember in the mid-nineties when he began popular sites. The association is really understood how to use the website, but everyone wants one. I think we’re a little further along the curve with social media today, but the similarities are interesting.

  • Inspiring like always. Social media and content marketing with showing the company’s personality defines the brand. Without it, a company will more and more just become a commodity.

  • John Allred

    The information given in this blog is very interesting and useful also. Thanks for sharing with us.