The future is not what it used to be - our predictions for 2012
Posted Sunday, January 1st, 2012 by Neil Edwards
The title for this post comes from a presentation given by the late Steve Jobs way back in 1983.
Before looking forward, we should take a moment to reflect on the passing in 2011 of one of the greatest visionaries and marketers of our time.
The future is, indeed, not what it used to be as a direct result of this remarkable man's contribution. In a regressive sense, we will miss his charismatic launches of new innovations: Apple will surely survive, but miss his leadership. More positively, his contribution to the frictionless society that we now enjoy has forever changed how we investigate, communicate and consume. The future of marketing is most certainly not what it used to be.
Nor is the future what it used to be when it comes to the economy. 2011 has, by most definitions, been a bastard. We entered it with the hope and promise of economic recovery: we exit it with predictions of the recession continuing until December 2013. The saving grace? We are all becoming so imbibed with the prophesies of doom that we are not even factoring past comparisons into our thinking any more. Rather than "Keep Calm and Carry On", our rallying cry to business leaders, in homage to Jobs, is
"Keep Visioning and Carry On".
The continuing slow down had an impact on some of our predictions for 2011.
We correctly foresaw the rapid growth of mobile and the equally slow take up of geo-location networks and marketing automation in the UK. Conversely, we were evidently too early with our expectations of the Olympics and too conservative with our predictions of the importance of content generation. The world of the soothsayer is fraught with risk.
Undeterred, we turn our telescope to the future once again and bring our next set of predictions into view.
1. Further rapid growth in the take up of mobile and tablet technology
We are moving further and further into the frictionless society. Products must allow for use 'any time, any place, anywhere'. Content must be designed to easily consume and share.
2. Marketers goals will shift from capturing leads to nurturing contacts in order to win customers' trust and create demand
The definition of marketing is changing from a tactical activity to an ongoing strategic process of client and prospect engagement.
3. A redefining of the role of the journalist
Businesses will start to compete with the media as publishers. High quality editorial and analysis will rise above the clutter to build brand names and reputations for those that can deliver it. Every business needs to have a journalist on hand to report on its achievements and opinions.
4. A reawakening to the importance of physical engagement in the client care and nurturing process
For all the current emphasis on content generation, relationships only truly exist when all of the senses are engaged - which means creating opportunities to meet face to face. Seminars, trade events, networking and experiential marketing will be given parity with social media and thought leadership.
5. Slow take up of QR codes
Until such time as QR readers come pre-installed in smart devices and the reading technology improves, we predict QR codes will remain in the category of fashionable, not essential. There are some clever implementations out there and the seamless linking of print-media to online remains a worthy enough goal to guarantee that a viable solution will emerge in the not too distant future. Watch this space.
6. Google+ for business will drown in the shadow of Facebook
OK, so this is the risky one. We think that Google+ is too late to the party and, for all its scale and influence, time-poor businesses will make the strategic choice to stay with what they know.
Despite the climate, our agenda at The Marketing Eye remains one of growth. We have strengthened our leadership and financial management structures to allow more focus on our clients and to create a more secure future for our team.
We will continue to evolve our proposition to provide the right mix of physical and intellectual engagement marketing techniques to allow our clients to win the trust of an increasing number of prospects over time which, in turn, will help their businesses prosper and thrive.
And we will remain true to our core values of sharing our knowledge, creating opportunities for young people and contributing to the community in which we work. We met our promises in 2011 and will build further on these in 2012.
The rest, as they say, is down to fate.
May we take this opportunity to wish you and your business unfailing good health and prosperity in 2012. If you think we can be part of your story, please contact us. We will be delighted to hear from you.
Posted Sunday, January 1st, 2012 by Neil Edwards
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