I’ve been creating a lot of campaigns and marketing plans/strategies for a bunch of new start ups and a few established companies this year. These plans include everything from Search and PPC to Affiliate, Email, Social Media and a lot on sales funneling and conversion rate optimization. I’ve also begun to notice some changes and started to think about how this will impact marketing over the next year and came up with a ton of new thoughts on what you may want to think about for marketing in 2012. Here are 5 of them.
Have you noticed that in Google PPC results you can tie in your Google+ account? As far as I know and as of today, if someone clicks on the Google+ button next to your PPC ad, you are currently not being charged for the +1. However if they do click on the ad or link and go to your site you are being charged. Although this could change, don’t you think it’s odd that Google is giving you free exposure in search results for your Google+ profile page and enabling you to add it as an add on in your PPC campaigns with site links, phone numbers, etc…? I could easily see the Google+ button, at least with your PPC if they can measure it, becoming a ranking factor and quality score factor for your PPC campaigns. I highly recommend getting it added to your sites as well as your PPC campaigns (if you agree with my thoughts on it) so you can begin to get more Google+ votes naturally and before your competition does.
I’ve been seeing a lot more spam make it through filters by splitting up words with periods. Today I had the same spam mail with the F word in the subject line make it through two filters on two different email accounts because they put a period in between u and c. I’ve also started to see colors like red start to trickle back into my inbox. I think that for email this year we may start to see some old tactics coming back and tighter restrictions on terms hitting the filters when the ESPs begin to realize the old phrases and tricks that are working again. Not to mention possibly starting to have to pay for emails (depending on provider) or being hit with more email provider based ads on the interface with certain social media networks or service providers.
With a giant focus on your brand, I think that link building in 2012 will be much more effective (if you are categorized correctly) if you have good quality, keyword rich content around your backlinks and use your store name or url for the anchor text. It is more natural and the copy around the url can help the search engines determine what to rank you for. Although keyword rich anchor links are great, if you don’t have a solid brand and brand that the Google algorithm recognizes and trusts, you may have a harder time beating out the big box stores.
I’ve been getting asked a lot more about how to measure incremental value on Marketing channels. What the client is asking is “What would we have gotten if we hadn’t been advertising there and what is our estimated loss?”. “What value is a channel, are keywords, are coupons, etc… adding and what is the loss or where could we reallocate the money from this channel too in order to earn more on our ROI?”. With this thought becoming a more real question and companies beginning to take action on it instead of just hearing it and doing nothing, we may start to see tighter restrictions on trademarks, media buys, types of Affiliates in programs, etc… There may also be more of a demand for multi attribute testing, multiple touch point tracking and changes to marketing plans and money allocation.
Ebooks and Publishing:
Although it may not be for the entire year, last business quarter I saw a ton of people publishing their first books and eBooks. More and more shows were doing autograph tables and free book giveaways for speakers and I even started to put one together. This could be a year where we either see everyone and their mother pushing these things like crazy, or it could be a year where it peaked and everyone starts to move on. I think everyone will begin publishing and we will get swamped with promote my book, review and recommend my book, buy my book, etc… There isn’t anything wrong with it but tons of people are now doing it which is why I am hesitant to finish mine.
Those are 5 of the predictions I had come up with for marketing in 2012. There are a ton of other things I have been watching and a few of them have already started which is a very good thing for some channels and bad for others. It’ll be interesting to see how each channel changes and alters over the next year and which ones begin to fade out.