So how is your 2012 shaping up? Are you achieving the business and personal branding goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?
But as recent studies demonstrate, marketers are being left behind by the digital age and our marketing leaders feel unprepared with how to deal with it all.
Aren’t we the ones who were supposed to see this change coming and rise up and lead our businesses to greater levels of success?
Late last year, I offered a few future of marketing predictions for 2012 and now it’s time to take stock and see if I missed the mark…
Prediction 1: Sales Enablement is More Important Than Ever
My first prediction was that too many marketers were focusing on their skill gaps and their lack of customer insight and were leaving sales behind with some studies to support this.
Forward-thinking sales leaders are actually looking to marketing to help them understand social selling, early-stage (non-promotional) customer engagement strategies, how to develop customer insights and how to produce content that attracts and engages with customers so that they become part of the consideration set.
Prediction 2: The Rise of “Audience Marketing”
I said it in December and I will say it again: “Audience” is a mindset first and a marketing strategy second.
Solution marketing was an out growth of the popular phrase “solution selling” from more than 20 years ago. Solution selling was about probing to understand all your customer pain points and learn how to use your unique selling proposition to address those pains.
And “solution marketing” became just another way to talk about what you have to sell. That is why we need a new term.
Maybe you will use “buyer-centric” or “audience-based” or “customer-based” marketing but whatever name becomes most popular, authentic and engaging, customer-focused, audience-based marketing will separate the best from the rest.
Prediction 3: Buzzwords Lead to New Marketing Roles
- The rise of content marketing has lead to the emergence of the brand evangelist, corporate journalists, content strategists, curators and editors.
- The rapid rise of mobile internet access will see more mobile marketing managers and designers
- Social media roles will morph into more enablement roles such as the social business leader and social salespeople
More Trends To Watch
- Extra-sensory or Auditory Branding
- Thought Leadership as funded and strategic business-wide initiatives (bigger than marketing)
- More Marketers and Brands as Publishers and a corresponding backlash
- Content Curation as more formal marketing discipline
- Videos and Gamification and Visual Content will continue to grow in importance