Allow me to throw my “Best” hat into the ring. Here is a list of marketing developments that hit top grade in 2011.
1. Best marketing ebook: Newsjacking. This little gem by David Meerman Scott underscores what savvy PR folks have always known: for expansive media interest, tie your own stories to major news events. Scott tells us how.
2. Best marketing concept: content marketing. The wisdom of using information to influence consumer attitudes and purchasing came on strong in 2011. This not-new practice got a catchy new name -- content marketing -- and attracted conferences, seminars, books, and other how-to paraphenalia. Best advice? Get a writer.
3. Best emerging communications tool: the infographic. USAToday popularized the modern-day information graphic when it featured small, color-rich, quick-look graphics on its front page. Click-hungry marketers took the option to a new level in 2011, scrambling to develop content-rich infographics that could go viral and drive consumers to websites.
4. Best marketing channel: video. Video is nothing new, obviously, but in 2011 the masses jumped in to create millions of simple little videos that sell everything from “how-to” to “why not?” In 2012, no smart marketer will leave a website without video.
5. Best direct marketing innovation: pURLs. Personalized landing pages came on strong in 2011. Associated with the massive increase in digital marketing of all kinds (email, in particular), well-designed, content-specific, response-targeted pURLs became the must-have element in every sophisticated marketing campaign.
6. Best prediction: the rise of mobile. All the experts said 2011 would be the “year of mobile.” They were right. “App” became a common term and mobile devices – from smart phones to smart tablets – now rule consumer and B2B communications alike.
7. Best direct marketing innovation that didn’t catch on (yet): QR codes. Marketers love "quick response" [QR] codes, but as AdAgeDigital recently observed, so far consumers aren’t much interested. The codes are too confusing, too many apps have spoiled the broth, and irrelevant code spamming has turned off would-be users. Expect better response in 2012.
8. Best unpredicted marketing powerhouse: coupons. Who knew that 2011 would be the year of coupons? Direct mail couponing flourished when online mega coupon pushers like Groupon and Specialicious made coupons awesome all over again.
9. Best potential technology: location based marketing. This technology may hold the most promise for retailers, but marketers' ability to grab people where they stand is certain to grow in 2012. Consider the 13 possibilities in this article from Mashable.
10. Best “the time has come” technology: cloud computing. With booming sales of low-storage-capacity, but easy-to-cart mobile devices, the demand for creating and storing information “in the cloud” will explode in 2012. Millions of new consumers armed with more affordable smart tablets [see #11 below] will get familiar – and comfortable – with cloud computing.
11. Best new product: Kindle Fire. And, yes, this does belong on a “best of marketing” list because – at $199 – this little tablet is on fire. Some people are calling it the iPad killer. That’s not precisely true, since there will always be snob-appeal marketing for the expensive version of anything. In terms of mass use, though, the Kindle Fire does everything needed. Meanwhile, Forbes has an interesting take on where tablet explosions might take marketing. In “Advertising as an App,” contributor Roland Deal writes,” What if you approached the development of your marketing/advertising campaigns as you would in developing an app?”
What if, indeed …
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