2012’s Hottest Marketing Trends

By Sara Furlong, Copywriter

It's a new year and marketing experts are cranking out reports on the hottest marketing trends and most powerful methods for 2012. As business leaders plot their strategies for the year, articles and advice will most likely inundate their inboxes and their online rounds. Thankfully, Cowley Associates developed this article to help you sift through the clutter and pinpoint key trends that will positively impact your marketing plan – that are also simple to implement. Throughout the seas of online marketing content, a few themes recur: emphasis on internet media, Big Data, and video.

Take It Online

It's no secret that more and more advertising dollars are being spent online, but this year you'll notice that most companies and organizations will make digital media their top priority – both in terms of strategy and budget. Of course, an integrated approach is almost always recommended and traditional advertising will remain important. More often than not, however, those traditional materials will be used to drive customers online where their behavior is easier to influence and measure.

Big Data? Even A Little Data Can Render Big Results.

Big Data refers to complex data sets that provide details on the Who, What, Why, Where, When and Hows of your customers' behavior. But really, using this kind of data doesn't need to be all that complex. Start small and collect simple chunks of information to better target your audience and increase your sales. We guarantee even the smallest efforts will see results. Big Data and online marketing really go hand-in-hand. That's because the easiest way to collect the data you seek is by tracking online behavior. Search engine marketing campaigns, PURLs, QR codes, and website traffic analytics are just a few trackable internet marketing tools. But however you choose to structure your campaign, be sure to make it measurable and commit your team to analyzing (and using!) the wealth of information those measurements can provide.

Video Killed the Radio Star – and everything else on the internet.

Cisco, a worldwide leader in online networking systems, predicts that 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2015. Why? Because much of that Big Data we're talking about shows that videos are what people want to see. In fact, the numbers overwhelmingly suggest that if you want to engage your audience, video is the way to do it. Video links overwhelmingly garner the greatest number of clicks on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, a comScore analysis reports that 78% of internet users watched 5.5 hours of web video per month – and that number is increasing rapidly. According to leading industry blog Engage, "video e-mail messages generate 2-3 times higher click-thru rates compared to static e-mails." We could list statistics all day, but the moral of the story is this: we can't think of a single good reason why you shouldn't integrate video into your campaigns.

What is the meaning of this?

Okay, so we can pretty much boil all this information down into three clear goals (or resolutions, if you will) for you in 2012:

  • Concentrate efforts in the place where your audience gets their information: the internet.
  • Track customer behavior and use the information you collect to create better advertising and make more sales.
  • Engage your audience with a medium that is proven to engage: video.

Simple right?  Don't worry – that was a joke. We know these transitions aren't easy ones. To help you out, here's an example of an easy-to-implement, cost-effective Cowley program that we use to help our clients accomplish these three goals and improve their results:

VideoKix! Plus Our Lead Generation Program

VideoKix! is our online video power tool. These videos are designed to engage your target audience and can be delivered through and integrated with almost any type of campaign you desire. Best of all, when accessed via personalized URLs your audience's response to the VideoKix! and LGP is completely measurable. Using your dashboard, you will be able to tell who watched the video, when they watched it, and how many times they watched it. This information will be invaluable for two reasons:

  • 1. It will allow you to better market to specific demographics as you get a clearer picture of how groups respond to your materials.
  • 2. You can produce sales leads directly from these marketing efforts.

When you see that Alison Hudson watched your video three times, you know she's interested. And because your dashboard will also provide Alison's contact info, you can get in touch with her directly to discuss your product or services. If you're interested in learning more about this program, watch our short video. Or feel free to give us a call. One of us would be happy to chat with you.

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