What's Trending for Marketing in 2012

Customer Strategy
You've doubtless heard the now-clichéd phrase, the only constant is change. When it comes to marketing, however, the only constant is complexity,

You've doubtless heard the now-clichéd phrase, the only constant is change. When it comes to marketing, however, the only constant is complexity, according to Bruce Biegel, managing director of Winterberry Group.

During his presentation at a Direct Marketing Club of New York luncheon, Biegel shared some insight into that complexity, as well as related trends to watch in 2012.
Shifts in spending: Marketing spending is continuing to shift from traditional to emerging channels. Social is number one. Some marketers are still spending on social because they "should" versus having specific goals. But digital is not the answer if you want to reach everybody; TV is still the better answer to reach the broader market.

Channel evolution: What were emerging channels--social and mobile, specifically--are now evolving channels. They're not mature yet. Search is more mature, but it's shifting into "audience targeting." Email is also still evolving, in terms of customer retention.

Mobile's continued movement: Mobile search is up 3X, so 30 percent of all search is now via mobile, according to the Mobile Marketing Association. Additionally, there was a 30 percent increase in consumers interacting with mobile device at the end of 2011 over the beginning of the year. "Mobile is not a channel, it's a way of life," Biegel said. "Device and location are forcing marketers to think differently." Consequently, marketers need to improve mobile, mobile web, and tablet experiences--this includes reengineering content, as well.

Content reigns supreme: Content is king--driven by mobile, tablets, and video technology. There's a shift to integrating quality content across more channels. There's also a growing intensity in the desire to use content to be found via search, to be relevant, and to communicate more frequently with customers. The explosion of content is spurring the growth of the chief content officer position, whose main role is to curate more than to create.

Taming "Big Data": Marketing and consumer activity is creating vast amounts of data. Much of it isn't being stored, in part because marketers aren't sure what information is best to store. Siloed collection and management of data is still a major issue that needs to be resolved so marketers can shift from batch to real-time campaigns and communications, be multichannel, and do continuous targeting.

Channel integration: This is the year marketers start to bust some of those silos--driven by data, analytics, and most of all, attribution. Marketers are looking for ways to leverage growing independent data sets for cross-channel marketing.

Data rules: Marketing data governance is emerging as a renewed corporate priority. This includes data rights management, data privacy, and data security. The role of data managers within marketing is becoming a fulcrum that everyone comes to for guidelines and procedures.