We are staying open! to help small businesses, to serve our community, & to give back in this uncertain time

Top 7 Integrated Marketing Trends for 2012: Part 1

marketing trends 2012

Top 7 Integrated Marketing Trends for 2012

Leading Vancouver Advertising and Marketing firm CastleCS gazes into the year ahead and identifies the Integrated Marketing trends that will define, determine and drive businesses that get to the next level.

It’s the start of a brand new year! And that means it’s time to turn the page, start fresh, wipe the slate clean, and of course, use every cliché in the book to say that 2012 is going to the year that you exploit the benefits of Integrated Marketing to take your business to the next level. That’s your goal for the 12 months ahead.

But how do you get there? We’ll, if we had a crystal ball, we’d gladly let you gaze in it to see precisely how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball (well, we had one, but someone’s nephew thought it would make a good basketball over the holidays. It didn’t…)

However, while our crystal ball is in the repair shop, we can provide you with the top 7 Integrated Marketing trends for 2012. Frankly, as one of Vancouver’s leading marketing and advertising firms, we don’t need a crystal ball for this – we know the trends inside and out, and use them every day to take our clients to the next level.

2012 Integrated Marketing Trend #1: Your Brand Matters MORE than Ever.

Do you offer the most value to your customers? Great. Do you have the most talented workforce? Fantastic. Is your location, a web address, products or services the kind that most business folks would drool over? More power to you! All of that is wonderful. But if in 2012 you don’t have a focused, high-impact brand as the core of your business driving it ahead – and apart from the competition – then you’re in for a rocky year, and probably an alarming 2013. Your brand isn’t just a slogan, a logo and something that you dust off once in a while, only to forget about it for months at a time (not unlike ye olde Christmas tree). Your brand is the core essence of who you are, what you do, why you do it, who you do it for and how you do it better or differently than anyone else. If your brand isn’t doing all of that, then it’s not a brand at all – and your business isn’t firing on all cylinders and it’s vulnerable to your competition.

2012 Integrated Marketing Trend #2: Social Media Continues to Take CHARGE.

As 2012 unfolds, social media will increase its primary role in your strategic marketing plan. This means that you’ll use social media to target and connect with current and future customers and the folks who influence your current and future customers. It also means that you’ll use social media to drive your referral marketing goals, boost your subscriber networks, and accelerate your email marketing. And it also means something else – something quite new: you’ll be using social media to soak up search engine space, so that your brand (see Trend #1) can be seen by the right people, at the right time, in the right places. Indeed, Google has already signalled that it will shower its search engine love on businesses that make an ongoing commitment to producing and sharing quality content. In 2012, social media will continue to be a critical piece of that puzzle.

2012 Integrated Marketing Trend #3: Behold the Rise of ENGAGING Video Marketing and Video SEO.

While it’s true that more businesses are creating videos, it’s also true that the vast majority of these videos are…well, really quite bad. And not just “bad” as in bad production values (though that’s a major problem — most of them look like home movies, and you expect to see a dog knock over a birthday cake sooner or later). We mean “bad” as in they’re off-message, boring and they’re just videos for the sake of being videos. In 2012, as everyone unwraps the shiny ultra-cool digital camera they received over the holidays, a new standard will emerge that will separate engaging, rich videos from the rest. The former will be focused, compelling, interesting, influential, aligned with a strategic and well-defined marketing goal, and designed to build trust. And of course, they’ll be optimized for SEO. The latter kinds of videos will still just be videos for the sake of videos. (Cue the dog and the birthday cake.)

2012 Integrated Marketing Trend #4: Internet and Conventional Marketing Methods make PEACE.

For years, the conundrum facing business owners has read like something from Shakespeare: “To choose the Internet for my marketing, or stay the conventional route, that is the question”. Well, apologies to the Bard, thanks for coming out, but we don’t need this soliloquy in 2012. That’s because this is the year that Internet and conventional marketing (i.e. broadcast, display, event, and so on) make peace and start working together and create synergies for businesses. In other words, businesses will get better results in 2012 by effectively using both than they will if they embrace one and reject the other (and over the last few years, the Internet has certainly been the better-loved child). So we have peace in our time, lots of love to go around, and more profits for businesses. Almost brings a tear to the eye.

Stay tuned for part 2, when we’ll reveal trends 5, 6 and 7. Get ready, you’re in for quite a surprise because they might not be what you expect!