Are We There Yet? 2012 Social Marketing & New Media Predictions

by Admin on January 3, 2012

Happy New Year All –

And with the New Year come the onslaught of best of lists for everything and anything, along with the soon to be forgotten personal and professional resolutions.

Then there are the predictions of things to come – where most insightful reports, trend spotting predictions on economic, political, business and cultural changes to come become too easily lost in the fray as the world picks after the holidays with work-lives and deadlines resume their normal course.

That said, I’d like to re-share and recirculate this nice compilation of insights and prognosis from 34 business and marketing leaders as part of Awareness Networks 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions report. It’s written for marketing strategists, brand marketers and consults and those working in agencies.   I think its worth re-sharing in the New Year so it finds its way into new smart, capable  hands and minds, and out of the cacophony and morass of so many other 2012 year end predictions.

This ones a keeper and with some pretty savvy insights on not only things to come – but how to get there and how its going to effect business, brands and our culture today.

Here were some of my contribution and thoughts for the report:

On the Evolution of Social Marketing & Social Business
The value of Social will be recognized within consumer and the B2B Enterprise markets beyond the traditional confines of Marketing and the conjoined term “Social-Media” will become disengaged from one another.  Social movements and programs will become more integrated within existing business processes and actually become the driving agent behind purpose driven product innovation, lead generation, sales, R&D, Customer Service, market research, communications, brand development, company culture and yes, marketing.

Alas, Social is not a marketing media channel, as it has been overly referenced and confined to at times.   The real power of Social is in its ability to build worlds of engaged, passionate communities on a scalable basis that can make a difference.  Internally within companies, recognizing and rewarding those that share, contribute and add-value and enhance the brand.   And externally with customers (existing and potential) to inspire, service a need, solve a problem, create a community to support, encourage, recognize one another on like minded issues, passions and business needs.

Also, as Human nature instinctively drives us to make connections on a personal level, striving for intimate relationships where one can become better understood, valued and recognized and ultimately creating a sense of community, family, purpose and bonding – the power and value of more specialized social networks, platforms and communities that service those niche tribes and passionate communities with thrive and rise in 2012.

On the subject of Big Data:

There is the ‘ole saying – “Information is Power.”   However, Information and Knowledge alone may no longer be enough.

For decades, the Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing industry have been trying to deliver actionable data and information through crunching, segmenting and filtering “Big Data.”   No doubt, those initiatives will continue – with the goal of helping large businesses capture and respond to mega movements and trends over time.

Alas, today’s culture and economy have more become Socially & Relevancy driven – where time, immediacy, context, passion and value have become the gestalt-driven commodity that drives influence, commerce and authentic, raw power.

In 2012 and in years to come, Social will transform the value of “Big Data” – providing the depth, relevancy, color, resolution, context, personality and even time-sensitive geo-dynamics that will transform the current black & white, antiquated 12 point, pixaletd picture of a customer and market into a more actionable, real-time, life-engaging definition, providing a fuller dimension of their customers and the business opportunity ahead of them.  Alas, there is socially-driven cultural expectation and responsibility to companies – whose usage and response to shared “Social” data, Micro or Big, can become perilous or powerfully supportive, depending on how they respond – or don’t.

Social can provide immense value to the “Big Data” collected and analyzed by companies today.   But once you incorporate personal and Socially shared information into any business process – you must also be prepared to transform that process.   For the more socially driven your brand becomes online, purposeful or unplanned, the greater responsibility and expectation to acknowledge, recognize the voice and growing community.     Whether companies like it, or even are aware of it – the value of “Big Data” can no longer be solely realized within corporate walls and departments.   Big Data needs to be acted upon – openly – and fast and furiously.

On the Top Challenge for Marketers in Social:

Integration – Integration – Integration.    Tying together the business insight, value, knowledge, information and opportunities discovered from social business programs into and across business functions.    Social for social sake will no longer be enough.   A model and process on how social is helping drive sales, influence buying decisions, saving time, resources and transforming service support and changing the manner products and services are developed and brought to market.    If you can’t measure its impact – it will not hold the interest and funding of executive teams.

Though important to note: many times you need to reexamine what your measuring and the old school metrics that once drove programs and companies.   Getting back to business growth, sales, brand development and monies earner and saved and you’re on the right track

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