Golden social mobile data: it’s 2012

Just as the tail end of 2011 was filled with reviews and reflections and best-of lists, the beginning of 2012 is to be similarly comprised of predictions and ‘ones to watch’...

So I’ve decided to add my non-exhaustive bite-sized overview to the mix. Please feel free to point out where I’ve gone wrong, where you agree, and what I haven’t included, in the appropriate space below. 

The social web
Social media and search dominated in 2011 and that probably isn’t going to change a great deal in 2012. But I do think we’ll see more of a coming together of these previously solitary creatures. And Google is firmly behind a push in this direction. We’ve already seen social posts pulling through to search listings, and as people begin recommending pages and products to their contacts more, the social web being woven will increasingly replace and remould our notions of what the internet actually is. It is also worth pointing out that I can see a 2012 unfold where Google Plus becomes an increasingly relevant space for B2B marketers, especially those pushing digital products.

Another of 2011’s big trends is also likely to continue increasing in significance. Mobile will continue to chip away at the more traditional kinds of web searching and, although it is unlikely this is the first time you’ll have heard it, brands that don’t react to this progression will struggle to compete. Is your site optimised for mobile? Does your site allow for stress-free ecommerce? Have you heard these questions before?

Automation (and data)
Last year saw increasing numbers of marketers using automation solutions to help them rationalise the progressively more complex process of marketing to their digitally-aware target audiences. And I would expect to see this continue in 2012. The products that are coupling the more traditionally automated areas of marketing such as email with new frontiers such as social media monitoring are allowing marketers to take ownership of their data like never before, and there aren’t many marketers that would turn their nose up at that.     

Going for gold
This year will see a good number of brands including concepts like coming first, breaking records, going for gold and winning in their marketing efforts. The Olympics are coming to London and, despite the legal steps taken to assure only brands paying for the privilege are associated with the world’s second biggest festival of sport, you can expect to see a myriad of brands and businesses using varying degrees of subtlety to join the party and make a bit of cash along the way. 

*I realised after writing this that, with the exception of the Olympics issue, these predictions are essentially suggesting a continuation and intensification of the key themes of 2011. Have I missed something here, or is it an inevitable consequence of the digital path we’re treading? Evolution not revolution, as Alan Partridge once tried to say...