By Hasnain Zaheer
The digital business masters at Simplogy are back with a compilation of the best of previous year’s reviews, and predictions, and trends for 2012 & beyond in the world of digital business, marketing & media.
Note, this is an article written for business people, not just for techies.
What we think
The digital world is growing relentlessly and is innovating every hour of each day.
2011 saw an accelerating investment of time, attention and budgets in digital platforms, technologies and business models.
Social media went mainstream in the (Australian) corporate world as increasingly, large companies finally started to abandon their social training wheels and put in place teams and processes to manage their social media initiatives. Among platforms, Google+ has a winning feature-set, is backed relentlessly by Google and we are very upbeat on its Business Pages.
Facebook Ads currently offers effective low cost advertising will get expensive but will continue to provide one of the best advertising ROI.
Smartphones finally crossed their tipping point (about 50% Australians now have a smartphone) and is fuelling a rage in iPhone and Android apps. The future is mobile: Smart businesses are building a mobile future and the smart people in the ‘interactive’ industry are embracing the world of mobile.
Search, and especially pay-per-click search advertising, is going steady with Google AdWords still powering most of Google’s revenue, even as the search queries are now originating from a mobile browser rather than a desktop. DSPs (demand-side platforms) are gaining momentum but the negotiated display and banner deals, a relic of distant past when we actually negotiated deals face to face, will finally hit their downward slide.
Affiliate marketing, a great tool, will unfortunately continue on its downward journey, weighed down by spin-masters exploiting it to sell all types of dodgy products, although great affiliate marketing cases exist.
Growth in desktops and laptops is expected to languish as smartphones and tablets power ahead. In both these categories, style and profitability will remain trendsetter Apple’s forte but Android will lead the volumes game, as Google fulfils its hardware ambitions with Motorola and Samsung latches on with its great products running Android.
Among the major players, the four key players – Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple are raring for a fight to dominate the search-social-mobile landscape.
At Simplogy, we love all four but we never hesitate to back the horses we believe in and we think that Google, with its extremely sophisticated and elegant systems and engineering will be the ultimate winner. It has its fingers in the most online pies with analytics, mobile, search, social, cloud applications sewn up. (At Simplogy, we remain intensive Google users and use every single Google’s business product that we know of, for ourselves and for our clients).
After Google, we put our faith on Amazon, which has built infrastructure and systems that has positioned it at such a tremendous advantage in the world of cloud computing.
Facebook has huge traffic and reach but a narrow product line. Apple’s ‘walled garden’ approach is not liked by the open source fans at Simplogy but guess what, we go and buy iPhones and iPads, and admire their interface and the way they work, rather grudgingly. Yes, their products are beautiful, it’s just that some of our philosophy don’t match.
So, without further ado, here are the best of 2011 review and 2012 trends and predictions:
(Each link is a gem, open in a new tab so you may go through several of them in a session)
Business & Marketing
- Top blog posts of 2012 (in Harvard Business Review blog)
- Top 10 tech trends for the decade (by Sramana Mitra – 1M/1M)
- 2015 Marketing Predictions: Adapt to the digital future (in Australian Direct Marketing Association blog)
- 7 Digital Trends You Should Know (in Media Post)
- AMI: Senior marketers upbeat despite modest budget expectations (in Marketing Magazine)
- Planning for Next Year? Get a Fix on These Numbers First (in Entrepreneur)
- Four Event Marketing Predictions for 2012 (in Marketing Profs)
- SME business trends to watch out for in the New Year (in Australian Anthill)
(With inputs from Meraj Huda)
- 2012 Digital Planning Guide (in Clickz)
- Digital Marketing Trends To Watch Out For In 2012 (in Search Engine Land)
- 12 New Year’s Marketing Resolutions You Can Actually Keep (in Hubspot blog)
- How to Increase Conversion in 2012 (in Marketing Experiments)
- Marketing wisdom for 2011 (by Marketing Sherpa)
- Six Predictions for Digital Business in 2012 (in Harvard Business Review blog)
- Top 12 Customer Loyalty Trends for 2012 (in Marketing Profs)
- Top Online Marketing Books for 2012 (in Top Rank Blog)
- 8 Ways Digital Will Improve B2B Sales in 2012 (in Mashable)
- Predictions and the New Currency of Business for 2012 (in Ari Galper’s blog)
(With inputs from Rob Marston – Mobile Marketing Experts)
- 2011 and Mobile: 5 things to look for (by JT Klepp)
- Mobile Year in Review 2011 (by Mobile Future)
- Must-have stats for 2011 (in Mobile Marketer)
- Mobile to hit 15% of ad spend by 2016 (in MediaPost)
- Use QR Codes so You Don’t Get Thrown Away After Tradeshows (in Marketing Profs)
- What mobile trends can we expect in 2012, according to Australia’s mobile elite? (in Australian Anthill)
- Search 2012: The Mobile Effect (in Website Magazine)
- 2011′s Key Developments in Paid Search at Google (in Website Magazine)
- Best of Wordtracker 2011 (by Wordtracker)
- Google Is 2011?s Top Web Brand (in Mashable)
- Search 2012: The Mobile Effect (in Website Magazine)
- Social media: 5 Facts to Bank on in 2012 (in AdAge)
- 2011: Looking back & Learning (by Position2)
- 10 Social Media 2011 Highlights (in Clickz)
- Top 5 Linkedin social media resolutions (by Jennifer Bishop in Content & Copy)
- Facebook 2012: What the Future Holds for the Social Media Powerhouse (in Mashable)
- Google+ Predicted to Have 400 million Users By End of 2012 (in Marketing Pilgrim)
- Today show: Social media and technology trends for 2012 (by Ross Dawson)
- What a Google+ Brand Page Could Mean for Your Small Business (in Inc magazine)
- 2012: Top trends and opportunities (by Sramana Mitra)
- 6 Important Startup Trends that Defined 2011 (in Mashable)
Any other reviews or predictions? Share with us all in comments.
External coverage of this article:
About the author
Hasnain Zaheer is a Director in Simplogy. He is a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM), Associate Member of Australian Marketing Institute (AM AMI), holds a Masters in Management (Macquarie Graduate School of Management), qualified Google AdWords Advanced and Reporting & Analysis Professional, and certified in training and assessments among other qualifications.
He leads digital strategy and digital led business transformation practice at Simplogy and helps organisations build great digital products, eliminate risks from digital projects, and build capacity and capability in digital teams with coaching, training and workshops. Learn more or contact him.