What to Watch for in Marketing 2012


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Consumer behavior, customer loyalty and brand have become iconic buzzwords during this millennium. If the next 11 years are as innovative and fast paced as the first 11 we are in for incredible changes.Yet as we enter the 12th year of the millennium and the first (perhaps) post recession, we should see some significant changes and challenges in the year ahead. For marketers it will require an intense ability to acutely listen to clients to build the community necessary so that avatars can do the work. Traditional marketing still works, yet to be a capable marketer will require increasing use of integrated marketing components to that keep attention, build emotion and get clients to return.

So what are the key trends for the New Year? Globalization, technology and consumer behavior will drive the twelve trends to follow in 2012.

  1. Got App – The increase of apps both on Android, and Apple iPhone and iPads will lead to an increased ability to provide advertisements on almost any and every application. These sponsored links will continually pay for software development but also use the consumers GPS settings to offer customized ads based on the clients location.
  2. Big Brother is Watching – Remember the book “1984” by George Orwell? The use of GPS software will allow marketers to pinpoint consumer locations and offer “in store” specials and coupons based on client applications. Similar to the manner in which Kmart offered “Blue Dot” specials, mobile devices will be used to text consumers coupons, special pricing and advertisements based on the aisle location.
  3. Got Value – If not get out. Marketing today is about offering value to the client. It is after all the only true product differentiator. Consumers make acquisitions based on value. Value is driven by emotion. When there is no emotion there is only commodity.
  4. Listen to Steve Jobs – The exemplar for not only innovation but also post recessionary marketing is Steve Jobs. I recall an interview in which Mr. Jobs was asked about market research and he said we do not do any we seek out what customers desire and give it to them. Stop building based on greed and your desire. Listen to customers in focus groups and social networks and then follow trends. Today it is about the customer experience they will tell you what they want and need.
  5. Holistic Experiences – Marketing is more then simply products/services. It is about the entire experience delivered. Customer service must be employed throughout all stages of the marketing process. Southwest is known for discounted fare but more renowned for its client service. It is the service that helps develop emotional attachment to the brand.
  6. Quick and Click Stick – Consumers today are way to busy in this crazy world to pay close attention to large advertisements, commercials, messages etc. Integrated Marketing Experts know that consumers today have an attention span of 7 seconds. This means that television and radio advertisements will become 10 seconds rather than 30. 140 character messages will be used rather than paragraphs and more visual will be used. The average consumer today does two things at once, watching television and tweeting, texting and driving etc. Marketers must get them quickly or consumers click off to something else.
  7. Shifting Demographics – Consumers throughout the world are aging quickly. Both US, Japan and China have more people exiting then entering the workforce. Such trends will illustrate more marketing in healthcare, aging issues and less use of mobile but traditional marketing to capture attention.
  8. Mobile or Bust – If innovation continues the way it normally does post recession we will see a plethora of new mobile devices; smaller, faster and less expensive then current. These alterations will require marketers to attempt new methods to keep marketing more mobile so that they can remain wherever, however and whenever a consumer is.
  9. Consumers Own You – If marketers have not caught on yet consumers own the brand. The use of social media allows consumers to discuss, argue and pursue new experiences with brand. Information can be used for testimonials, case study and real time product experimentation. But this requires that marketers not only listen but also take part in conversation.
  10. Quicker Product Development – The globalized workforce creates more rapid application development. Software code and 24 hour work teams enable firms to more quickly create first mover advantage or take some market share. Look for development shelf life to quickly decrease.
  11. Consumer Sentiment – Topical issues such as green, social responsibility, causes and ethics will continually attract consumers. Marketers must use these issues in marketing to capture attention.
  12. Bling – This was something spoken of a few years ago but bling is in and here to stay. Consumers are attracted by lean, smart looking, cool and crazy notions but also products. If it looks cool it sells. If it makes you cool – it sells. Look for marketers to continually sell the cool factor especially as the recession ends and consumers have more discretionary income to look like the Ritz!

© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


  1. 2012 will be the year of location or proximity based marketing. With the proliferation of smartphones and gps, smart marketers (and their clients) will know where you are and deliver the deal you want (discounts, coupons) when you want it (close or in their store) via mobile.

    This is a great list.


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