The question on everyone’s lips right now (no, not HMV, the other one!) is what are the big key trends for this year – what to expect and how to plan. Here’s a quick run down of some of the main players this year:

1. Content Marketing – according to Econsultancy, and I can’t disagree, nothing is hotter than content right now. Content has always been King, but as this video helps demonstrate, the surge in tablet use and decline in effectiveness of some other channels has helped to contribute to content being a strong channel in its own right, pushed through social, CRM etc.

Mobile future


2. Mobile is of course again, massive news. The shift this year will be onto hyper, rather than multi-tasking, and for marketers, finding a way to hit the ever decreasing window of opportunity to target people in this way. It seems the frequency of mobile use is increasing, whilst time spent on the device in each session is decreasing, so even more than normal, succinct and powerful messages will prevail.

3. Data, data, data.

Big data, data mining, data warehouses, call it what you will. Marketers know that getting to grips with their database, beyond cleansing and resolving issues, there is a huge opportunity in gathering what brands can about their consumer, collating cross-channel data, and completing profile information. Brands had better be quick too, to address the ongoing trend for consumers to give away less and less about themselves for free and own their own data. These days we have gone from information-hungry to information-wary and consumers are no different. People are still most likely to only part with their data as part of the sales process, and even then it can be tricky.

“When brands request information from consumers that is more detailed than a name, postal address and email, they become less keen to provide it.”
Marketing Week, 2012

4, More exciting interactions

Mashable recently suggested that brands will be optimising previously under performing ad units, such as banner ads, to encourage more interaction, for example clever voting mechanisms or product hotspots within each unit or otherwise static image. This means we could see a lot more of things like this, and this.

5. Facebook search

Hot off the press today, of course, is the news that Facebook are working on their own dynamic search product, Graph Search. Following on from the ongoing debate regarding both indexing content onto search engines, or improving their own search facility, Facebook seem to have decided which side to hedge their bets. Capable of receiving a variety of different types of queries, the idea is for fans to be able to filter down to see only friends who like ‘golf’ for example. It’s early days, but interesting to see how this will evolve social referrals, recommendations and reviews in the next few months.

Some in the US will be part of the beta test, In the meantime you can sign up for a beta invite.

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