This is part two in the wonderful year end wrap-up. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s part one: “What We Learned About Social Media in 2011”
1. It’s the year of mobile! (except for Saskatchewan) I don’t mean we won’t see growth in the use of mobile in Saskatchewan, I mean our province is slow to adapt to new technology, there’s still a phone book in most houses. Everywhere you turn you see startling statistics on the use of apps on mobile phones. Until businesses start seeing their bottom line increasing because of a new “app” it’s still a shinny new tool in the toolbox.
At this point apps don’t turn me on, Google does. Many people underestimate the power of Google in your pocket. We don’t understand the ramifications of having a device in our pockets that can answer most of the questions we have in our lives. This will impact kids more than it will older people. The smart companies are beginning to understand how search works and how to be found.
Hearing that 6.8 million new activations of iOS and Android devices on Christmas day alone should be enough to ask the marketing department if they have mobile website, let alone a mobile strategy.
2. Search will increase. No matter what happens to the media and how we’re marketed to, we will always need to search for information. The more we are marketed to, the more difficult to decipher what is a legitimate message and what should be ignored. This makes a strong case for search to increase, we want media when we want it, on our own time, and we don’t want to be sold to. Being found by Google is a very smart tactic to undertake in 2012.
Making your website mobile friendly should already be on your “to-do” list, I would also spend sometime understanding how Google works and maybe even spend some money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and analytics. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
3. It’s been done before. We’re going to see less one-off contests and cliche iPad give-a-ways. When the contest is over what do you do? What will you do with the permission asset you’ve created? Will you try to interact, or God forbid, make friends with people on the inter-webs? Have you ever thought of how the internet is going to evolve? How is your brand going to attract attention of me (your customer) in the next two years with all the clutter out there? How is your brand going to standout amongst the crowd?
4. To say Social Objects will only be a fad next year is a huge underestimation, they are the future of marketing and anyone who has a vested interest in marketing in the next five years, I’d strongly suggest you read up on Social Objects and begin brain storming. It’s apparent that the non-profit sector has a grasp on Social Objects and doesn’t even know it.
5. Marketing budgets will be slashed. As they should. Some call it a market correction, some call it spending ridiculous amounts of money on advertising every year without justification. When someone asks, “why are we still marketing on the radio?” you better have a more intelligent answer than, “we’ve always done it that way”. CMO’s will have to justify their spending much better in the future, this will force an increase in measurement and reporting tools and personal that can perform these tasks.
6. Social media’s here to stay, what does that mean? Extreme transparency. Everyone can know anything about your company within a few searches on Google. Upset about that? Many are. Want to fight it? Good luck. The only way to survive as a company in the next five years is to brutally honest in the public eye. Opening up to your customers and gaining the trust you deserve. It all starts with the very first rule about marketing anything, “Keep your promises”. If you lie, people will find out. If you tell your employees one thing and customers another, sooner or later, they will find out. You can’t afford to operate unethically for long, our new interconnectedness will ensure you stick out like a sore thumb. When you are found out, you will lose the most precious asset you had, trust.
This is your warning, transparency is here to stay. Open up, show the world what kind of an amazing company/person you really are and people will love you for it. Close yourself off, lie to us, pretend to be something you’re not and you will alienate everyone you come in contact with.
7. What’s the most important tactic to focus on in 2012? Word-of-mouth As a marketer, if you can figure out a way to get people talking about your company or product in a positive light, you’ll be worth your weight in Tweets. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of marketing, beginning to understand how and why it spreads is your first order of business. It can take a long time to develop something worth talking about, you’ve been warned, now go read Purple Cow and start developing your own Purple Cow.
What’s your prediction for 2012? Disagree with me? Agree with me? Something else to add? If you’d be so kind as to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Oh yeah, and if you want to listen to the first episode of the marketing revolution podcast, click on the picture at the top of this page.