Business leaders and employees know when their old ways of doing business must change or their business will die; they need to step out of their old ways of marketing and start to act like an agent of change. For 2012, here are my predictions of what will change in the marketing world. You can either choose to adapt, or die.
1. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
Throughout 2011, you heard me saying "mobile, mobile, mobile". In 2012, I predict the mobile wallet will be the next big thing. With more and more online companies like eBay, Amazon, PayPal, using the mobile device as a platform to make instant online purchases, we're now seeing technology built into smartphones that allows customers to swipe their phones rather than their credit cards at retail outlets. Banks are really taking advantage of this technology and offering their customers a new level of service. This is a space marketers need to not only be aware of, but be involved in.
2. Social - Crowdsourcing vs. Friendsourcing
Crowdsourcing is a cool tool for spot surveys, quick answers, and general engagement, but friendsourcing is about trust: reaching out your most valued advisers -- the people you really know -- and finding out what they think. These people can be your close friends, colleagues, or mentors. However, they can also be your brand ambassadors--the social media friends and followers you've built those relationships of trust with over your social media network.
3. On-Line Qualitative Market Research
2012 will be an exciting year for the research industry. It is clear that the shift to on-line qualitative research has begun and likely to accelerate in the coming year. The need for deeper and richer insights to support making better marketing and business decisions is critical. Companies must be prepared to act fast. This category is rapidly growing and the corporate researchers that make the move will be best positioned to be the winners in this new game. It is a business imperative in my opinion.
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a Bestselling Author, Maverick Marketer and Sometime Cowboy. Purchase his new book, Running the Gauntlet, here.