As I was typing my marketing predictions for 2012, I had to change a few things because the rate of innovation in the marketing world has been so swift that a single start up with a really good idea made me change my predictions.
Sudden death in the daily deals market
Look, the backlash against daily deals sites is becoming very real, and yet new companies are entering the market every day. Even my local TV station is trying to get into my wallet with a daily deal promo. While these kinds of promotions have proved almost universally popular with consumers, many companies are finding that short term spikes are not leading to long term gains.
It’s fantastic that my friend Jane is learning how to cook a beef brisket (trust me she needed help), and my buddy Mark is well on his way to becoming a Pilates expert, but both of these local business are still struggling. To get Jane to stop burning the beef, the cooking school had to offer her 50% off, and Mark has been skating through a 10 week course for practically nothing.
What we’re going to see is a giant shakeout of the market. It’s too soon to predict which companies will make the cut, but the business model won’t be sustainable with so many different options, and I bet my local TV station, which once tried to offer me a free email account, will pull out of the “deal of the day” market.
Taking advantage of mobile NFC
2012 will be the year of the mobile wallet, and with that innovation will come all sorts of new marketing initiatives. Expect to see more hyper-local mobile advertising that will target consumers in stores.
I bet by the end of the year we will see increases in digital advertising in grocery stores, bars, and even bathrooms. What should be really interesting is how restaurants and retail stores use in location digital advertising combined with location based advertising.
A shift to co-creation in marketing initiatives
As social networking becomes a more and more essential part of our daily lives, expect marketers to engage the power of this phenomenon to develop better products. Many of the big retailers have been experimenting with large-scale co-creation projects already, but we can expect companies to make great strides in getting consumers to do the marketing work for them. Expect consumers to be assisting large brands with product development, community building activities and the ultimate holy grail….messaging.
Retail companies begin to take advantage of mobile apps as value creators, not just sales tools
Right now, much of the hoopla around the apps market focuses on games and productivity tools. In 2012, people will start to engage more with branded mobile experiences, which aren’t explicitly for marketing, but are built as information communities. To the consumer, the app provides them with info that they need. To the corporation, these apps build loyalty to the brand. At the end of the day brands are looking to be involved in all aspects of our lives and apps are just the next frontier.
A robust content strategy will become the norm, rather than an innovation
Over the coming months, I believe we will see companies become more interested in a term I call “Brand Protection.” Companies will begin to realize that they need to spend time not just observing what people are saying about them on the world wide web, but also spend significant time reevaluating how they are communicating with their customers and potential customers on their own web properties.
Combining offsite promos with their own web properties will become increasingly attractive as brands look to reclaim their own brand identity. We all know that every brand is different and for some, the extensive use of Facebook and other social media properties as their main online marketing reach will make sense.
However, most companies do recognize the importance of having a home base for their brands. Hence the importance of making your brand, your brand again will be a big trend in 2012. Look for companies to shift resources back to improving their websites, their content, and most importantly how they interact with their consumers on their own brand properties.
I could have written about 10 other things, but these just seemed more relevant than most. While over the years I’ve been pretty darn accurate in my marketing industry predictions, I must say you should not listen to me when it comes to football (thanks to the Patriots) and for those of you who will be watching the Academy Awards this year, I predict huge losses for Hugo.