12 Most Timely Predictions for 2012 from 12 Thought Leaders

12 Most Timely Predictions for 2012 from 12 Thought Leaders

As we wrap up 2011, 12 Most (Peg Fitzpatrick and Margie Clayman specifically) wanted to ask a few of the neighborhood thought leaders, some who have been featured 12 Most writers, what they would predict for business trends for 2012. Thank you to each of them for their time and sharing their thoughts with the 12 Most readers.

We hope you find their predictions as interesting as we did!

1. Guy Kawasaki

“I predict that Google Plus will surpass Twitter in the number of users in 2012.”

-Guy Kawasaki,  CEO of Alltop & Author Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions

2. Dave Kerpen

“Social media: Facebook will launch its own mobile application platform. Social and mobile will continue to converge. Facebook will top 1 billion users and have a successful IPO. More and more businesses will dedicate resources to social media, and lots more success stories will emerge.”

-Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media, Author Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistable Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook.

3. Geoff Livingston

“2012 is the year when social fundraising moves from experimental to a validated use of social media.”

Geoff Livingston is an author and consultant. He recently published The Fifth Estate and is currently co-authoring a book with Gini Dietrich

4. Mari Smith

In 2012, Facebook will see a significant increase in social commerce, a.k.a. “F-commerce” – where business page owners have added a tab on their fan page for fans and visitors to purchase products and services without leaving Facebook. Apps to service this area include Ecwid, Payvment, TabJuice, and ShopTab.

-Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert, Coauthor Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day

5. Gini Dietrich

From Gini’s annual trends prediction post over at SpinSucks.com: Social TV Convergence. I’m not a television watcher, but I’m seeing something interesting happening with apps, such as Get Glue. You can “check in” to a TV program and then have conversations with people around the world who are watching the same thing. It allows you to review the shows, talk about what’s happening, and listen to what others are saying. It works for movies and music, too! Plus, if the rumors are true and Steve Jobs’s last project was iTV, this will become HUGE next year.

-Gini Dietrich, Founder & CEO Arment Dietrich, Coauthor Marketing in the Round

6. Ann Handley

“The other day my teenage daughter called me on my mobile phone to report that she had just successfully separated the egg white from its yolk. She was home after school baking holiday cookies, and—unfamiliar with the egg procedure—she had gone to YouTube and watched a step-by-step video there. So rather than calling me to ask me to explain it to her, or maybe waiting until I got home so I could demonstrate, she handled it herself.

I admired that: How awesome is that kind of self-sufficiency? And that’s what technology enables. We can separate our own eggs or fix our own sprinkler systems or book our own travel or handle whatever by finding the right resource online.

That sort of self-sufficiency is, I think, part of this larger notion of “Shadow Work,” (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opinion/sunday/our-unpaid-extra-shadow-work.html?pagewanted=all), which refers to the extra “self-service” work we all assume in our modern world and the subtle way we’ve taken on more and more of it. Again, technology enables much of it, and the fact that we are all pumping our own gas, bagging our own groceries, checking out our own library books and so on are examples of the almost imperceptible ways our lives demand more out of us.

New waves of technology continue to change how everything is done in work, family—our lives. As someone who makes a living from championing the adoption of those new waves (and more than that—as someone who really digs it!), I think that’s mostly an incredible thing. But, at the same time, the evolution of technology is subtly, but often in radical ways, changing our behavior and culture.

So what’s the larger trend here? I guess it’s that social tools are changing us in unexpected ways. Even as they’re connecting us to each other, they are also making us independent of each other—and instead dependent on those tools. And so, even as technology empowers us, it enslaves us.”

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs, Coauthor Content Rules

7. Shonali Burke

By now most businesses are pretty socially aware. Even if some of them are not using social media to its fullest potential, they know it’s something they should understand because sooner or later they will be using it. In 2012, I think we’ll see more businesses getting smarter about metrics; instead of getting carried away by how many fans/followers, etc., they have, they’re going to look at how they can effectively use social media to drive efficiency, customer loyalty and revenue. The smart ones are already
doing this, but I think we’ll see much more of it and thus, I hope, get a much wider pool of good case studies to draw from.

Shonali Burke, ABC (accredited business communicator) and one of TopRank’s 25 Women That Rock Social Media

8. Jason Falls

“As staid and boring as it is, my business trend to watch in 2012 is going to be that businesses are going to finally start turning the corner on social media strategy and start using social for strategic reasons other than, “Because we have to,” or just to keep up with the competition. We started to see it in the second half of 2011 and more and more are getting up to speed enough to stop playing and start driving business through social channels.”

-Jason Falls, Founder Social Media Explorer, Coauthor No Bull Shit Social Media

9. Laura Fitton @Pistachio

 

“Twitter’s relaunched interface will make it easier for the mainstream to get value out of Twitter, and their brand pages will help companies form a more coherent Twitter presence. So I expect that in 2012 more of the businesses that are trying Twitter will get the hang of  providing genuinely valuable content that is “all about” their readers. This will help them employ Twitter to generate real results and happy customers, and we’ll move beyond short sighted attempts to grow a larger follower base for it’s own sake. Increased in-store traffic, a stronger sense of community, and more leverage in social recommendations are just a few examples of the kinds of measurable, tactical results that will result when companies start getting it right.”

Laura Fitton, inbound Marketing Evangelist, HubSpot, Coauthor Twitter for Dummies.

10. Carol Roth

“Intense Focus on Existing Customers: As many businesses have been struggling for the past few years to break through the noise to attract new customers, I predict that many businesses will adopt a renewed laser-like focus on their existing customers in 2012. Marketing time and dollars will begin to move away from discounts and daily deals to more customer loyalty and engagement efforts with business’s existing customer bases.”

Carol Roth, Business Strategist, Author The Entrepreneur Equation

11. Danny Brown

Danny referred us to this study from emarketer.com noting that Social Media metrics will take center stage in 2012. Pretty interesting stuff!

Danny also notes that collaborative consumption will likely become big in 2012. “If I have a corn mill that is sitting unused, and Farmer George needs to buy another corn mill due to bumper crop, I’ll let him lease mine and I get share of sales. Saves him having to buy new.”

– Danny Brown, Director of Retention & Social Media, Jungoo, Award Winning Blogger

12. Marsha Collier

Many have been online for two decades, yet full-scale adoption has grown slowly. Online is here and in 2012, mobile will explode. With widespread adaption, the theory I brought forth when writing The Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide has come to fruition. Brands are flocking to short messaging through Twitter to satisfy customer issues in record time. In 2012, long waits on the phone will become a thing of the past as more companies (small and large) get smart and learn to monitor–>answer–>react to their customer’s needs and build loyalty.

Marsha Collier is a prolific author who has published 39 books; eBay & Online Customer Service http://bit.ly/custsrv, Inspiring speaker #techRadio host, Founder #CustServ chat

What predictions are YOU brave enough to make for 2012?

Margie Clayman

http://www.margieclayman.com/

Marjorie Clayman (@margieclayman) is the Director of Client Development at her family's 58-year-old marketing firm, Clayman Advertising, Inc. Margie is the resident blogger at www.margieclayman.com and is the resident librarian at www.thebloglibrary.com. Margie's writing has been featured on pushingsocial.com, problogger.net, convinceandconvert.com, and dannybrown.me. Margie has recently published an e-book called The ABC’s of Marketing Myths. Margie is still not used to talking about herself in the third person but is working on it.

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24 comments
jpJeremy
jpJeremy

For a post about business predictions, all of the submissions and comments here strictly about social and web marketing. I don't know that social media or tech will be where the biggest business changes happen in 2012.

My prediction: US consumers will begin to revolt from the poor quality products and services that are a result of holding prices while inflation eats at CPG and retail margins. High-end retailers will grow share, and CPG companies will adjust accordingly. Stronger and more strictly enforced quality specifications will become the new normal. (see the recent struggles of Sears/Kmart as an early example.)

Second prediction: Retail specialty chains will rapidly consolidate. Regional chains in craft, pet specialty, dollar, electronics and "top shelf" grocers will be acquired and merge together. Store counts of less than 1,000 will be increasingly rare as regional distributors are unable to negotiate the discounts that mega-chains can.

Third prediction: Social media monitoring will become standard, but the investment required by businesses for decent monitoring will be minimal. Social marketing will increasingly be weighed against more traditional platforms. The "shiny and new" aspect of social marketing has worn off, and businesses will compare the sales and brand equity created by web marketing directly to results produced by similar investments in broadcast/one-way media.

weberdcom
weberdcom

My predictions, as a thought leader in the privacy of my own brain:

-I predict I will end up buying an Apple desktop machine, because I have enjoyed reading the new Isaacson Steve Jobs biography. Well written.

-Ditto an Apple tablet--what are they called...aha, iPad, yes! I like how they are lighter in weight than a laptop, easier to store and transport. On the other hand, don't they break easily if you drop them?

-Ditto iTunes, or wait, it's iPod...yes! I have a twentieth-century mode of playing music (CD), living in a twenty-first century world. Now I'll have to retire in order to make time to transfer thousands of cuts from hundreds of CDs to the iPod.

-My mobile telecommunications contract is up in March, I believe, and I predict that I will switch to an iPhone from my Blackberry.

-I predict that I will get Internet access at home. I have not been "wired" at home since I moved into my current residence in 2002. Long story.

That's as far as my crystal ball takes me

dbvickery
dbvickery

I'm enjoying reading a lot of the predictions in the comments! Netflix and Hulu to be gobbled up? People being fired when companies realize that they can't support their social media investment via hard metrics (saw a lot of this with IT in early 2000s).

And Google+ overtaking Twitter? I'm not saying that isn't outside the realm of possibility, but I sure prefer the ease of Twitter right now. I have Google+, but I will not fully leverage until it finds its way into a product like HootSuite to be better included with my other social interactions.

And of course, I'm hoping more companies adopt solid social media strategies that includes social media monitoring to help execute on that strategy. And we know I have a favorite monitoring tool ;)

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

If Guy Kawasaki is right I'll be behind for sure. I'm more apt to think Mari Smith is more on point.I am, just to hedge my bets, going to read Chris Brogan's book on how G+ will change everything. At least we'll know by the end of 2012 and I'll be able to stop debating this with myself.Fantabulous post Margie. Really has me thinking.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Some great additional insights in the comments, never mind the post itself! Great stuff, and always a good sign of a smart community.

Be interesting to review this in 12 months time and see which ones came through. :)

BruceSallan
BruceSallan

Margie, I feel the need to add another prediction. It's personal. I will open my newest tech gadget sooner than a month and confront my fear of the manual that never really shows me how to work it! As for Social Media, I just hope to stay somewhat up-to-speed as the changes seem to occur at the speed-of-light and for this middle-aged dad, it can be overwhelming.

tessmac
tessmac

The prediction is very interesting...But we are not sure if it will really happen...Let's see...

janetcallaway
janetcallaway

Margie, aloha. Interesting compilation from these experts. Thanks so much.

Look forward to following this thread as I like the additions I see.

samfiorella
samfiorella

These are interesting predictions. With your indulgence, I'll add 2 of my own:

A. 2012 will be the year of Social Enterprise - where corporations will really being to explore how social networking impacts internal operations & communications rather than simply external marketing.

B. I predict a lot of marketers and/or marketing agencies hired in the past year will be fired for not adequately proving the impact of their social media efforts on the bottom line.

DavidALee
DavidALee

1. AUDIO TAGS: I predict that more companies will begin to use @Shazam or a similar app for audio tagging during television much like 2D codes are used today. This will allow advertisers to let people opt in for information on a product they see. For example, like the car your favorite TV character is driving? If there is an icon on your screen you can click on your Shazam app and it will link you to a site with more info on that car.

The same could work on radio ads. During an ad you could click the app and it will create a tag for later use when you are out of your car.

2. EMPLOYER BRAND: More companies will begin to add "Employer Brand" leaders to their team. These individuals will help with marketing for recruiting/retention and internal communications. Companies will realize that they can't stop people from accessing social media and will look to leverage every employee as an ambassador for consumers and potential employees.

3. GAMIFICATION: Gamification will become a more common term. Companies will look at ways to make real life more like a game. This could include employees and customers.

dbvickery
dbvickery

@jpJeremy I am rooting for the social media monitoring space since (1) I'm a consumer who wants quality customer service from a provider/retailer who is actively listening, and (2) I see the advantages for more targeted marketing based upon a provider/retailer monitoring trends and sentiment, and (3) I am a provider of a social media monitoring tool - Pulse Analytics. However, we are more enterprise class than the "minimal monitoring" that can be achieved with products HootSuite/Google Alerts.

margieclayman
margieclayman

@samfiorella That's already beginning, Sam. I think it was GM that just let go of their social media agency. Like I said not too long ago, the era of social media fluff is over. Time to talk real numbers and money :)

jaredkimball
jaredkimball

@samfiorella I think your on to something with "B" I know some peeps who are trying to wrap their hands on all the social media stuff, but aren't producing real financial results. It's more like how many "Likes" and "Followers" can we get because those number look good and boost egos.

veniconsulting
veniconsulting

@DavidALee@Shazam Marshall's and the Chevrolet Volt have commercials using Shazam; surprisingly enough I was able to freeze my DVR long enough to fire up Shazam and give it a try. I was taken to a content-rich website that included additional videos about the product. I believe you are on to something.

margieclayman
margieclayman

@DavidALee That's a really interesting thought about Shazam. I'll have to think about that and let it roll around the cavernous halls of my brainz.

Thanks for such a thoughtful reply, David!

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@Danny Brown Here's my question: If G+ isn't all that some of the big Influencers are touting it to be, what does that do to the Trust their audience has?I have another smart writer friend who thinks G+ will wither and FB will continue to grow. No one's leaving FB, and they sure are trying to keep up with and ahead of the curve.

DavidALee
DavidALee

@veniconsulting@Shazam As the quality (read speed) of their app improves and as people are more prepared for these commercials I am sure the process/experience will get better. But hey, that's the fun of making predictions...you get to dream big! :-)

DavidALee
DavidALee

@margieclayman If you look at their website you will see the concept has been tested in the last few months. The real question is adoption of the app and cost. I don't have data on either. I may also be a year ahead of myself. Not knowing anything about the company they may not be ready to use their app for this purpose on a large scale yet. I just think it has more potential than a QR code appearing on your TV screen.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

@Danny Brown And I think Tech savvy folks continually underestimate how valuable "comfortable" is to most people.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

@AmyMccTobin I think that's a question many are asking, Amy. It's why bloggers shouldn't try and be analysts. ;-)

The problem is, many folks have bet the equivalent of a virtual shirt on G+'s success, and nothing's guaranteed. Given that Facebook's engineers are in lock-down mode to come up with new offerings and counter anything that Google does, it's fair to say Google has a huge battle on its hands to make G+ truly mainstream.

And the Brand pages (currently) are a joke compared to Facebook ones. From an e-commerce angle, Paypal is much more user-friendly than Google Checkout, and while Wallet looks cool, is it enough to make users switch from something like Paypal?

Still a lot of answers needed, and right now it seems there are just more questions than actual answers re. G+.

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