Some years, everything changes. Innovation and rapid technological advances have been known to change the whole face of the marketing industry in one foul swoop. This has been particularly true throughout the naughties, with the ever-advancing avalanche of social media launches.
2011 was not like this.
Rather, 2011 saw a plethora of incremental upgrades across all social media platforms. Nothing fundamental changed. There was no new social media platform launched (like in 2006 when Twitter invaded our screens, or even in 2009 when Foursquare skipped into view). Everyone stopped asking, ‘What’s going to be the next Facebook?’ and started to wonder what Facebook would do next.
But what about the launch of Google+ I hear you ask? While Google+ did arrive in 2011, it is more of a long-term trend. For those of you who haven’t spent too much time familiarising yourself with the platform, Google+ provides a means by which users can recommend search results and websites by “+1’ing” a page. Keep an eye out for it in 2012.
While it was light on for big, sweeping changes in the marketing industry, there were a few interesting developments in 2011:
Mobile internet usage increased: according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, mobile internet usage (including mobile broadband, mobile phones and tablet computers) is up 50%. Australia is now a global leader in terms of smartphone usage rates, with the second highest penetration of smartphone usage, according to Google. In 2011, 50% of the Australian population accessed the internet via their smartphone.
Virtual word of mouth increased: Nielsen Research released The State of The Online Nation. Nielsen found that: 73% of people polled had read online reviews of brands, products and services; 26% read online reviews regularly; 46% have commented themselves; and 33% post new reviews.
Social media marketing went mainstream: corporate use of social media marketing increased enormously. Companies have come to realise that social media is not a passing phase and to be competitive within the marketplace, they need to have a social media presence. Companies also took a more sophisticated approach to their use of social media. There was a realisation that it is not just a matter of having a Facebook page, you have to engage your fans (otherwise known as customers).
Yellow Pages went online: the good old yellow bible stopped printing hard copies, and moved to a wholly online format. Not happy Jan? Worried about how your Nan will find a local mechanic? Take it from us, these aren’t the questions you should be asking. How will it change your marketing strategy? It signals the end of set-and-forget marketing campaigns.
So there you have it. No earth-shatteringly amazing marketing trends for 2011. Just baby steps (or upgrades) towards a marketing industry that is even more focused on online and digital platforms.
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