This is not our annual trends blog post.
That is coming in a few weeks…and it includes some things you won’t expect. Plus it will give you an opportunity to include a trend you think we forgot. So be thinking about what you want to include. We’re going to include the one winning trend in our December webinar and you’ll win a free seat or two.
Today, though, I want to talk about some things you should be considering for your 2012 marketing and communication plans.
It is that time of year: Planning, planning, planning!
Following are seven tools you should add to your brainstorm meetings.
Groupon and Living Social and City Deals and Swirl and Totsy and Gilt, oh my! The race to the daily deal space was fierce and the competition amongst one another has eroded any kind of benefit for the merchant.
You’ll begin to see those sites either consolidate or completely go out of business. If you’re looking for an opportunity to use a daily deal site, keep an eye on which ones remain toward the middle of 2012.
And, for planning, be thinking about how to use them for an overage in inventory or a boost in sales on a slow night. Do not consider them as your big sales plan for 2012. It’s been proven they don’t bring return customers.
Privacy will continue to be a big discussion, with sites such as Diaspora coming out of beta and launching to the public. There also will be tools you can use to delete information you have on the social sites that you regret putting there.
While you can’t erase what others have written, you will have more control over what you put out there.
For planning, be thinking about how your company (or clients) will use the web without sharing proprietary information or being too transparent.
We’ve talked about this before, but gamification is going to continue to grow and will affect your marketing and communication in 2012. Right now it’s unsophisticated in its infancy. But it will begin to get to a point that you’ll need to consider how to make buying from you a pleasurable experience (read: A game).
If you aren’t already considering how your web properties (website, blog, etc.) are viewed both on phones or tablets, that is a 2011 goal. Get it done!
And, next year, you’ll go from writing content solely for the web to writing content for the web, phones, and tablets.
If your company doesn’t use television advertising, this likely isn’t something you need to consider. But, if broadcast is a medium for you, you’ll need to consider how to integrate social activity in your messaging. And I don’t mean adding your Twitter and Facebook icons. I mean allowing people to check in while they’re watching your ad and giving them something for doing so.
This one is near and dear to my heart. Right now, there isn’t a standardized way to measure social results. We know it takes longer for the investment to become clear and we can measure specific campaigns when using unique URLs. But measurement will become improved and begin to move toward standardization.
For 2012, be thinking about how to combine Google analytics, your content management system, tools such as Clicky, and any other data you can get your hands on to develop a dashboard for your executives.
Paying with your phone is closer than you think and it’s something you’ll need to consider when customers pay for your products or services. Right now it’s attached to the credit card machines that offer PayPass. Are you budgeting to add that next year?
Of course, these aren’t the end all, be all for everyone. Some will make sense for you while others will not.
But throw them out on the conference room table and see what you and your team come up with, even if Google wallet or social TV don’t work for your business. They may, in fact, generate some great ideas.
A portion of this first appeared in my monthly column for Franchise Times.