Marketing Strategy Blog

12 Hot Digital Marketing Trends for 2012

Digital Marketing Trends 2012

Digital marketing is changing at a rapid pace. With so much dynamic fluctuation, it’s important to filter the core trends from the noise to understand the forces that will shape the digital marketing landscape in the coming year. By doing so, you as a marketer can plan accordingly in order to maximize your marketing results. To that end, here are 12 digital marketing trends for 2012 you should know:

1. Consolidation of Power

Google powers close to 12 billion monthly searches in the US. Facebook will reach over 1 billion users in 2012. Apple battles Exxon Mobile for the title of most valuable company in the world in terms of market capitalization. Wow. Talk about power! Expect continued consolidation of power among the tech elite in 2012, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, LinkedIn and Amazon.

2. Breakneck Pace of Innovation

Innovation has been strong recently in everything from display media delivery, to tablet computing to voice recognition software. In 2011 IBM’s Watson computer thumped two “Jeopardy!” champions in a competition, and this is just a precursor to all that artificial intelligence will deliver in the future. Expect the innovation steamroller to continue, especially from companies such as IBM, Google, Apple, Facebook and Zynga.

3. Mobile Madness

There are now more than 320 million mobile subscriptions in the US. Mobile is here, right now, and in a big way. In 2010 Google had announced that its approach moving forward would be “mobile first,” and there’s a good reason for that. Their timing could not have been any better. Expect the entire mobile space, whether mobile advertising, mobile coupons, mobile search, location-awareness technologies or mobile apps, to explode with growth in 2012.

4. Video Video Video

With more than 3 billion video views daily, YouTube now ranks as the third most visited website (behind Google and Facebook), according to Alexa. YouTube has revealed that more than 48 hours of new video content is added to YouTube EVERY MINUTE. Video will only become a stronger force in the digital space in 2012, so get your Hollywood face on and start developing a killer video marketing strategy for your business!

5. Search Retargeting

SEMPO reported in its 2011 State of Search Marketing Report that the North American search marketing industry would grow to $19.3 billion in 2011, a 16% increase over 2010. This means that search marketing is going to easily exceed $20 billion in 2012. And much of the growth can be expected in innovative areas such as search retargeting. By enabling you to target those who expressly are searching for your types of products/services but for whatever reason didn’t make it to your website or didn’t convert while there, it’s a logical solution.

6. Social Engagement

Marketers have been debating the best ways to measure the value of their social media efforts for several years now. Expect 2012 to bring a shift away from metrics such as followers and likes to more engagement-oriented metrics such as comments, entries and shares.

7. Integration of Social, Local and Mobile

Face it. We are social. We are local. And we are mobile. Think of all the times that you are on the go, using your smartphone to help you shop or otherwise find what you are looking for, while you either post an update to Facebook or take a quick video and share it online. Google may have declared “mobile first,” but in 2012 it’s going to be social, local and mobile first.

8. Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is on fire. There’s no end to the number of solutions being introduced to automate entire marketing processes or even just the analysis of a company’s Twitter campaigns. Whether lead generation and nurturing, or display advertising, or social media management, expect innovation in marketing automation solutions to be fast and furious in 2012.

9. A Multi-screen World

Bill Gates once dreamed of one computer on every desk and in every home. How times change! We live in a world today where it’s not just a desktop per person, but also a laptop, tablet, smartphone and additional connected appliances, accessories and devices. Some 86% of mobile Internet users are using their mobile devices while watching TV. During the last Super Bowl and Grammy Awards, 17,000 tweets were generated per minute. Wow!

10. “Big Data”

Data is everywhere, and marketers need to excel at data analysis and usage in order to make strategic decisions that will maximize their marketing results. McKinsey & Company foresees “exponential growth in data for the foreseeable future”. However, it’s not just the enterprise that can make use of big data. Small and mid-size firms will be getting more active in big data as new, lower-cost, innovative cloud solutions hit the market. So get ready for more data. Big data.

11. Verticalization

The natural extension of many marketing trends is to go from general to vertical specialties. Expect 2012 to bring with it new vertically-focused digital marketing solutions that enable companies to connect with their specific audiences more directly and efficiently.

12. Offline-Online Integration

Each customer’s day is a zig-zag experience through the online and offline worlds. Customers no longer have simply offline or simply online experiences; they have integrated brand experiences. In the future, you should assume that customers will be checking their smartphones while in your store and that they’ll be reading print magazines in hard copy and on their laptops or tablets. You should expect that your billboard will lead prospective customers to a destination website, Facebook page, or customized QR code experience. So be sure to use your magical, panoramic glasses when planning your 2012 marketing initiatives!

The coming year is sure to deliver many exciting changes to the digital marketing world. Start with these 12 hot trends to ensure you deliver hot customer experiences throughout the year.