Sometimes I feel a little bit like Noah in the middle of the flood. Only in my case, I’m drowning in a sea of marketing predictions for the coming year. It seems that almost everyone has an opinion on what will happen next.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some powerful, actionable ideas in the deluge. Here are 10 trends that will almost certainly influence B2B marketers next year:
1. Pictures, Not Words: While it pains the English Literature major in me, most marketers have begun to accept that video and illustrations are becoming a critical element for many marketing programs. In fact, Cisco predicts online video will account for 90 percent of all Internet traffic in the next three years.
- 2012 checklist: How much budget can you move from “word content” to “picture content?
2. Easy Bite Media Consumption: We are now a community of “scanners,” so we want our information delivered to us in small chunks and sound bites. Major news organizations – and the Obama reelection campaign – are using the Tumblr platform to satisfy that need.
- 2012 checklist: You’ve investigated WordPress blog platforms, but have you considered short form alternatives?
3. New Insights into Customer Segments: Every second, your customers and prospects are scrolling the internet and your website, hoping to better understand your company. New tools like Personyze will allow you to understand what your visitors want, so you can give them a more customized experience on your website.
- 2012 checklist: You’re probably already using Google Analytics or a paid tool, but have you investigated how to extend the power of that data to create more personalized marketing content?
4. Your Marketing Program has a Plus One: Most B2B companies are still trying to determine how to differentiate their editorial voice on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Meanwhile, Google Plus is quietly weaving “plus ones” into their search algorithim. That means you have to pay attention to it. Now, please.
5. Turning Social Media Disconnects into Coherence: Most of my clients have social media monitoring tools that grab almost endless amounts of data. The tricky part is teaching yourself to find meaningful trends that impact your business. Are you reacting to surface data or looking below for actionable insights?
- 2012 checklist: Think of your monitoring tool as the first – not last – stop on your analysis.
Tomorrow, I’ll share 5 more predictions for 2012. But, in the meantime, do you have a “marketing bet” for next year? What is it?
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