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Shireen Qudosi

The Future of Small Business: 2012 Marketing Trends

Dec 28 2011, 08:30 PM by

Marketing can be described as a chameleon, always in transition and shifting to meet its current needs. In 2011 we saw a major shift toward simplifying information in a way that mimicked Twitter’s short information stream. The rise in image platforms like Tumblr and Pinterest highlight this trend. Even Facebook recently caught on to this with the newly introduced Timelines, which offers more bite-sized information. This essentially led to a two-fold marketing application. First, marketing requires a lot more content, both textual and graphic, in order for it to be relevant and keep audience interest. Second, marketers need to adapt newer platforms that cater to a niche method of delivery but that still appeal to a wide user base.

So what’s in store for 2012? Check out our top picks below…
Developments in Mobile Technology
Mobile needs, especially mobile e-commerce apps, were a huge hit in 2011. Next year, the technology is expected to advance with Near Field Communication that of course will be implemented into iPhones. What this does is let a consumer pay by swiping their phone instead of their credit card. What it means is that more people will be expected to make mobile payments, in turn re-emphasizing the need for your business to be mobile friendly. Marketing is also going mobile with Siri, which was out in 2011 but will really catch on in 2012 as a must have tool.
What to Expect with Marketing Platforms
Understanding marketing starts with Google Analytics, the lifeline of any website. Absolutely every business needs to have it and understand the metrics because next year the stakes go up with more refined technology that lets you track your visitors. You can monitor site traffic in real-time and instantly respond to needs with software that’s more sensitive to conversions.

But there’s a lot more to online marketing than just your website – there’s the whole internet and a bubbling array of creative platforms, including new media channels. New media (which includes social media) isn’t just a trend, but the way we live. This year alone saw at least 2 dozen new platforms pop up on the social horizon. Some are great, some not so much, and some offer a select purpose. But the fact remains that there’s more than just one way to syndicate content and more than enough pools of people to tap into for leads cultivation.

2011 has also seen a rise in software services, especially those that help you manage complex and multi-channel marketing campaigns. Expect more of that in 2012, including competitive service and pricing. If this isn’t your field, then consider how you can take the principles of simplifying your business needs to your own clients. Anticipate their needs, simplify their lives and you’ve got a loyal customer. Do this with intelligent idea management that harnesses the innovation already accruing within your network of associates, partners and employees.
Understanding What the Internet Is Really All About
The internet is about content. If content is king now, wait till next year when the next wave of iPads and Kindles are expected to come out. Cheaper and more accessible content means customers want more of it. So make sure you’ve got someone who can produce killer content that gets you noticed…and gets your content syndicated through social sharing.

Beyond content, the internet has become a sharing hotbed. While social media encouraged sharing, marketers have not just noted an increase in users talking about their products, but that developers have responded by making sharing easier. With this comes the idea of engaging your customers and audience in whatever digital waterhole they flock to.

Posted in Online Tools and Applications, Current Events, Growing Your Business, Tech Editorial

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