We had great participation by some leading experts on what trends they’re watching in the field of marketing and communications in our crowdsourced blog (I encourage you to read their insights here). I wanted to also provided some of the areas that I will be keeping an eye on this year. As you look to strengthen your overall marketing and communications strategy keep the below in mind:
- Keep an eye on cloud computing – gone are the days of the company in-house server, you will be able to access all your information (work, music, personal, financial, etc.) from anywhere that has internet access (which is just about anywhere). Check out Amazon’s new Cloud Drive.
- Keep an eye on the social organization (internally) – the single social media manager will become extinct as more companies discover that their whole organization will be better off when all components become social online, allowing empowered employees to drive the conversation (customer service, HR, shipping, Managers and teams). Erica did a great job pointing this out in her post on CORE. Also, check out Social Marketing To The Business Customer (specifically chapter 4).
- Keep an eye on a huge increase in self-publishing (especially from a carbon-copy, self-product standpoint). Check out Seth Godin’s interview on his new book Poke the Box, which was completely self published by the acclaimed author. Yes, digital print will continue to be big too, but the Barnes and Nobles will now have to compete with the individual as well.
- Keep an eye on micro-video publishing – more and more websites will get away from long, drawn out wordsmithing and move to a more vibrant display of capabilities with 2-3 minute videos. Another caveat here is the expansion of the mobile and tablet readers which will naturally increase video viewership and interaction. The need to jump on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo is imperative.
- Keep an eye on promotionals becoming more and more targeted to location-based (Starbucks sends you a coupon on your phone as you walk by a Starbucks, offering 10% off on a latte or if you check in via Facebook or Foursquare) and socially-based (Facebook offers social coupons only towards group events like a “free night of team bowling” to encourage physical social interactions).
- Keep an eye on constant connection or what AdAge recently called the C-Generation (Connected Generation) The mobile market (smartphones/tablets) will finally become the preferred way to access information, causing a generation who has internet access at all times in all places. The question for marketers will be how to meet and please their audiences who are constantly connected and aware.
- Keep an eye on companies having the proper intent and becoming more transparent among leading organizations – more and more companies will lose corporate language, looking to engage personally with customers. Companies will have to be “good” companies both from a social standpoint, as Annemarie points out in her post, but also from a quality product, customer service, and continuous improvement standpoint as mediocre becomes a thing of the past. Check out The Cluetrain Manifesto’s 95 Theses.
- Keep an eye on presentations moving away from PowerPoint to the more visually appealing mind mapping programs, such as Prezi. These programs better illustrate concepts, work like our brains are structured to work, and allow the presentation to become more interactive for both the presenter and the audience.