Last year I made four predictions about digital marketing in 2011 and I had a 50% accuracy rate. I’ve provided a recap of both the prediction and the outcome for all four below. I think you need to know where you’ve been before predicting where to go next, so I’ve used 2011 as a benchmark for forecasting what will happen in 2012.
1. Social media marketing becomes regular marketing: This did not become a reality in 2011. Many marketers are still struggling how to utilize social media and many are still confused regarding it’s purpose and effectiveness. In fact, there is a major disconnect between the perceptions of social media and it’s actual statistics. For more on this topic read the article Social Media Marketing Myths.
2. Convergence of online and offline: This did not happen to the extent I anticipated in 2011. We definitely saw more TV’s and mobile devices with improved internet connectivity but most occurrences of convergence did not extend beyond these spheres. Look for examples of convergence to continue happening but it will be occurring over a few years.
3. Mobile hits the big time. This happened in 2011 and “mobile marketing” was the buzz term everywhere. Mobile received it’s close-up in 2011 thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers. However, despite it being very prevalent in the media only a limited number of organizations are implementing it as part of their strategy. Look for more mobile marketing examples in 2012.
4. Websites lose market share. This happened in 2011 especially amongst business to consumer marketing. The growing popularity of social media sites like Facebook and YouTube were capitalized on by many brands that chose to invest in building their online communities. If you need evidence consider this: Website traffic for Coca Cola is down 40% while it’s Facebook page has 22 million fans.
So, what’s going to happen to Digital Marketing in 2012 you ask?
I believe many of the predictions I made above will continue to take hold with companies investing in social media marketing, optimizing their strategy to include mobile even if that’s just creating a mobile version of their website, and more internet enabled devices entering the market that integrate social networks or applications (I.e. Apple TV).
As websites continue to lose market share, organizations should be looking to utilize search engine optimization and pay-per-click strategies to drive traffic to the channels the have the most success. Don’t bet your organization’s marketing strategy on a new website alone. Consider what you can do to optimize existing assets or do a better job of integrating your social/mobile/offline efforts.
The TOP FOUR areas for investment regarding digital marketing in 2012 should be search engine optimization strategies, pay-per-click advertising (especially within social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn), training regarding social media marketing strategy along with appropriate online tools, and developing a mobile component to your marketing strategy especially where local search is concerned.