Gini Dietrich

Seven Tools for Your 2012 Marketing and Communication Plans

By: Gini Dietrich | November 8, 2011 | 

Wordle: 2012 Marketing and Communication Tools 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).

Mobile Content

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.

Social Television

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.

Improved Analytics

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.

Google Wallet

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.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • This is a really good list. You’re right about mobile — it is a 2011 goal that I think will become a 2012 necessity. It’s one of those things that’s easy to ignore because (in many cases) you can’t see a negative — i.e. the number of people who left your site because it was not optimized for mobile.

    I really liked your post and idea a/b the dashboard too. Maybe it’s time for a Spin Sucks dashboard app!

    • ginidietrich

      @adamtoporek You’re up and at ’em early! I think it’s more that most business leaders are Baby Boomers and they don’t use smartphones in the way the rest of us do. So if it doesn’t affect them, surely it’s not a big deal. Right??

      There will be a Spin Sucks Pro dashboard app!

      • @ginidietrich Agreed. You’ve got the generational thing, and the not-always-convincing ROI thing too.

      • @ginidietrich@adamtoporek It is not just the smartphones but the tablets. I have wanted to buy an iPad for a long time now but two kids in private school has made it prohibitive.

        Watch what happens with the Kindle Fire. That $200 price point has people like me looking more seriously into purchasing one especially when I look at Amazon. They have a ton of content, have been around for years and their customer service isn’t bad.

        • ginidietrich

          @TheJackB@adamtoporek AND they just announced that, if you’re a Kindle owner, you can rent books for free.

  • FocusedWords

    Thank you so much for the list Gini! The Outdoor Hospitality industry has been very slow to adapt to today’s environment. This list makes it perfect for focusing on what needs to be done. As always…you Rock! (Ok, I’m dating myself….oh well….)

    • mentormarketing

      @FocusedWords What is Outdoor Hospitality? Is it home focused like BBQ, or rafting the Colorado?

      • FocusedWords

        @mentormarketing It’s more like campgrounds, rv parks, cabins around lakes, etc.

    • @FocusedWords To me, that is incredible, (the slow adoption rate of the outdoor hospitality industry) because their customer is ahem, outside, mobile and heading their way!

      • FocusedWords

        @Lisa Gerber It is until you realize that most of the outdoor hospitality industry is made up of Mom and Pop businesses. I have an imprint of the brick wall on my forehead from trying to talk to park owners re the benefits of mobile, social, etc. The industry is really at a point where it is moving over to corporate ownership being more prevalent. That will help in getting new technology adopted.

    • ginidietrich

      @FocusedWords As long as you don’t say “rad,” you’re not dating yourself.

      I just had a flash of memory. Did you send me an email in the past three days? I feel like you did, but don’t think I answered and it’s not in my inbox. Or maybe I dreamed that you did. I have very vivid dreams.

  • Love planning (almost as much as doing) – my 3 core principles – Plan, People (get the right ones) and Push!! – so stage #1 ahoy….. and cheers for the tips..

    I head for sandier climbs tomorrow – will see how new job / timezones / #247baskingsun impacts on my ability to continue to learn from this site (other blog sites are available).

    Thanks for the fun education. See you soon-ish.

    • ginidietrich

      @Nic_Cartwright There are no other blog sites available! AND we’re open 24/7.

  • JulioRVarela

    Great list, Gini!

    • ginidietrich

      @JulioRVarela Thanks Julito!

  • DoTime_WX

    @ginidietrich Thanks for the 7 Tool breakdown.

    Gamification and mobile content are increasingly vital for any marketer who plans to be relevant in the near future.

    Personally, I have to invest more time with analytics. That is one powerful tool I’ve neglected.

    • @DoTime_WX The 7 Tool Breakdown. That sounds like a new dance, eh @ginidietrich ?

      • DoTime_WX

        @KenMueller@ginidietrich Lol, should I be registering “7 Tool Breakdown”? Or does Gini get the credit?

      • ginidietrich

        @KenMueller@DoTime_WX Ken, can you do the 7 Tool Breakdown on video for us?

        • @ginidietrich@DoTime_WX No, I can’t. Sadly that would just be me doing Schtick without adding value, and apparently people don’t like that.

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller You know what you can do? Say DA BEARS!

        • @ginidietrich NEVER!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller Bears win!

        • @ginidietrich Booooo. That game was such a disapopintment

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller IT WAS AWESOME!

        • @ginidietrich we have very different definitions of Awesome…

    • ginidietrich

      @DoTime_WX I’m a data nerd so anytime you need some help, just holler!

      • DoTime_WX

        @ginidietrich Okay, thank you

    • glenn_ferrell

      @DoTime_WX@ginidietrich I’m with you. SEO tools and social media get your visitor count up but it’s analytics that tell you how to increase your conversion ratio.

  • MilanMike

    Thank you Gina. I would like to expand upon your Baby Boomer comment. How do we market to Baby Boomers who have not embraced these new technologies? Do we assume that they will eventually adapt or do we continue to use traditional methods to reach this group?

    • ginidietrich

      @MilanMike I just spoke to a group of Baby Boomers (the majority of them, anyway). Some don’t care. Some think they’ll retire before they have to bother. And others are embracing technology like it’s candy. We’re in a weird spot right not because we have to straddle both audiences – those who use technology and those who do not. Soon those who do not will be extinct.

  • There was a word we tossed around a lot in the 90s, especially as we listened to what Nicholas Negroponte of MIT’s Media Lab had to say: Convergence. That word isn’t used much anymore, but really that’s where a lot of these things you mention are headed. Mobile, TV, Gamification….bascially looking at shift where there is greater integration and unity among platforms, apps, and delivery devices.

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller Convergence is a great word for what’s going on. Are you going to bring it back??

      • @ginidietrich I prefer Muelleriffic, but perhaps.

  • TMNinja


    Very interested to hear actual examples of gamification. To date, it seems more like a gimmick.

    I am using a plugin called “Cube Points” on a new community site I am building. Members earn points for different actions. Curious to see how that affects participation.

    Anyone have any good examples of successful gamification?

    • FocusedWords

      @TMNinja I’m with you. would love to see a couple of successful examples.

      • @FocusedWords@TMNinja I’ll throw in a couple examples: This commenting system on this blog, livefyre . I earn points for commenting and liking. I also earn points when people like my comments. This works across all blogs that use livefyre. It encourages me to engage.

        Another one is LinkedIn – they use the progress bar to show how complete your profile is. They assume you wouldn’t like to see a 60% on your profile so it encourages you to provide more information, to get to the 100%.

        • ginidietrich

          @Lisa Gerber@FocusedWords@TMNinja And any location based app (Foursquare) and loyalty programs and contests.

        • FocusedWords

          @Lisa Gerber@TMNinjalivefyre Well DUH! Here I was planning a War of the Worlds game for the RV Park Industry. Dang!! I was so looking forward to blowing those RV’s out of the park.

        • ginidietrich

          @FocusedWords That, literally, made me LOL! And I’m on a plane. So. Funny.

        • FocusedWords

          @ginidietrich @FocusedWords would love to here that explanation to your seT companions.

        • ginidietrich

          @FocusedWords He just looked at me like I’m nuts. Which, I guess, I am.

        • FocusedWords

          @ginidietrich Ah well, his loss.

        • FocusedWords

          @ginidietrich New blog post. I HATE it when my iPad thinks it can spell better than I can!!!

        • glenn_ferrell

          @Lisa Gerber@FocusedWords@TMNinjalivefyre I’m also a big fan of Livefire. What we (I) also need (besides examples of gamification) are examples of what gamification is NOT. So far, I haven’t seen a definition I like and I think those negative examples would help frame out that definition. Like .. where do contests and sweepstakes fit ?

  • mentormarketing


    Content created and targeted to a smartphone user or an tablet user is a hot topic. Our site only has a 15% mobile/tablet user base.

    SO are there any thoughts on… when do mobility users merit a dedicated content pipe?

    @ginidietrich Do you consider making your blog available via a kindle dedicated mobile content? Or simply a general purpose deliverability option like RSS?

    • ginidietrich

      @mentormarketing Two days in a row! Hi!

      This blog is available on the Kindle (look up there on the right-hand side). We also have OnSwipe installed so it gives you a magazine feeling on your tablet. While the audience is small, we’ve gained some technology nerd readers because we offer both of those things.

  • FollowtheLawyer

    As you prepare your 2012 trends post, it’s only right to point out the prescience of the 2011 “creative destruction” trend in light of the surge of Google+, the progress of the Diaspora model and the ongoing confusion/disillusionment with Facebook.

    You really must confer again this year with the sage who contributed that.

    • ginidietrich

      @FollowtheLawyer I was actually thinking we should give you an honorary spot in the blog post that announces the trends for 2012.

      • @ginidietrich@FollowtheLawyer It will be interesting to see how it pans out. I’m honestly not seeing any ongoing disillusionment with FB. that seems to have settled down. I’m seeing more disillusionment with the lack of anything compelling on G+. And I’m not sure anything like Diaspora will catch on beyond a passionate minority.

        • FollowtheLawyer

          @KenMueller@ginidietrich But we’re not seeing a surge in love or renewed enthusiasm for FB, either. Even if things have settled down for FB, it’s clear that it’s not the Kwisatz Haderach, as the hype of previous years prophesied.

  • LauraLDunkley

    @ginidietrich thanks! Some specifics to focus on and helps with prioritizing.

  • Wow, 2012 is coming at us like a speeding freight train it seems! Where did 2011 go? Thankfully, we are seeing more clients making the mobile move, which is positive! We still are trying to drive the point across about fresh, content & keeping current.

    Privacy concern, I think is escalating to new levels and as you say will be big in 2012.

    • ginidietrich

      @sydcon_mktg Um, you do know there are less than 50 days until Christmas?

      • @ginidietrich Ummm, hello?? I have 3 kids! They have been counting down already!

  • Ok. I have to work on it.And when I mean “work on it”, it’s how I’m going to describe it in an infographics or designing this “great” post for the Frenchies….Tips are welcome 🙂 (I just can’t believe I’m serious !!!)Thank you Gini !

    • @Yael Rozencwajg good luck with the Frenchies. 🙂

      • @Lisa Gerber you know them right ?! I’m working twice harder than it supposed to be and that means the result has to be twice better 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @Yael Rozencwajg WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN!?!?

  • With privacy, I’d also say advanced segmentation of social customers. We’re getting more and more data from people every day, giving us a huge amount of information on what our customers are doing. While some of this plays into privacy, I think we’re going to see a lot of tools that ethically use this information for marketers to target better.

    Or at least I hope they’re ethical. Who knows with these kids today.

    • ginidietrich

      @JayDolan With anything it’s going to get gamed, right? But I’m a big fan of ethically using data to target products and services specific to individuals.

  • Here’s one more name to add to the daily deals list: Fab ( They are a company worth watching in 2012. Here’s some recent coverage from Entrepreneur magazine:

    • ginidietrich

      @jono.smith I just read that article and I’m having a hard time understanding how they’re different than a Gilt or Rue La La. I might just have daily deal overload. What do you think is special about them?

  • CraigMcBreen

    @FrankDickinson @JohnFalchetto: Seven Tools for Your 2012 Marketing and Communication Plans via @ginidietrich

  • kmueller62

    @jonbuscall @ginidietrich Clicky is the man! or…is it a woman?

  • Wow! Thanks for the post, chalk full of great advice and suggestions. I’m going to refer back to this often.

    • ginidietrich

      @MichaelBesson You’re welcome! I’m glad it was helpful.

  • ‘hehehe she said TOOL’ Beavis

    great list Gini! and I agree. In 2012 will be the death of the social media super star!

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM There is a social media superstar?

      • @ginidietrich yes. Uhm. But they all tend to be superstars outside of social media…and Diddy once told me when we were cruising the Sunset Strip in his limo if Diddy can be a superstar on MTV than Diddy can be a Social Media Superstar

        • ginidietrich

          @HowieSPM What about Fifty Cent?

        • @ginidietrich Diddy is jealous of Fitty and wouldn’t let him in the limo. Diddy said Fitty got lucky with the Vitamin water windfall. I told Diddy if he had been shot like Fitty had maybe he will get a deal with SoBe and does he want to try that route? Diddy got scared. The girls in the limo laughed at him then I got tossed out. He was angry. Now I hear bdorman264 is diddy’s favorite side kick.

  • ramiro_nava

    @JohnFalchetto John, I do read most of ur tweets, they all are quite interesting. I wonder where u get all of them.

    • JohnFalchetto

      @ramiro_nava The great people of Twitter, thank you Ramira

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  • Some more great insight, thanks @ginidietrich!

    I would also add to the list; businesses moving away from the effort and cost with promoting their own online property, in favor of their social media presence. And then a resulting increase in tools to support this. I also think curation in favor of creation will become a more established segment.

    • ginidietrich

      @ChrisBradley Too funny – I blogged about this very thing on Wednesday…before I saw your comment.

  • govekar

    Seven Tools for Your 2012 Marketing and Communication Plans via @ginidietrich & @tonia_ries

  • Hi Gini, thanks for this, it’ll help with one of my university PR assignments. The client I’ve selected is a tough one and I like to think outside the box, your tips have helped and inspired me to do this in my PR plan assignment.

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