My Predictions For 2012
Every year around this time I sit down and try to play Nostradamus for next year. I’m batting about .500 over the last 10 years, but it's worth a shot and gets me thinking proactively rather than reacting to what I see day in and day out. Lots of smarter people will come up with far more intelligent predictions than I, but I hope these are of some interest as well.
So, without further ado, my predictions for 2012:
1. Apple and Amazon will own the Web. Google and Facebook may own your data, but Apple and Amazon will own how you get on the Web. The burgeoning tablet space is where the growth is, and Apple and Amazon are there. The iPad is the top-selling tablet by far, with its third version coming out this year (along with the iPhone 5). The Kindle Fire is easily going to jump into the number-two spot, especially after this holiday season (and just wait until the Amazon phone comes out).
It’ll be like the old days, when AOL owned your access and Yahoo owned your experience of the Web. However, this generation of players knows what to do with that attention.
In related news, Apple is steadily increasing its percentage of the standard PC market, so things do not bode well for the likes of HP, Lenovo and Acer or the other PC manufacturers.
2. A major brand will fire its agency and bring all digital in-house. I may have said this before, but I predict that this will be big news this year. Someone in the top 25 of online ad spending is going to get fed up with their agency relationships and they’re going to decide to do it themselves.
This is the year where the agency business gets a rude awakening, and finally starts trying to mend their own fences. For the last five years we’ve heard the “agency is broken,” but no one has offered up a solution. I think this year, someone will be forced to find a solution, or risk the onset of extinction.
3. The Occupy Movement will end (and nothing will have changed). Unless that movement finds a voice, provide direction, and can push an agenda of solutions rather than sheer complaining, it will become a footnote in historical textbooks of how not to foster a revolution. I said it before and I will say it again: When you “protest” something but don’t offer a solution, you’re just complaining -- and nobody likes a complainer. There’s a point somewhere down deep in the story of Occupy, but its being missed. It’s a wasted opportunity for change.
The reason I bring this up is that a whole generation of people are either going to become exceptionally motivated to be involved, or will further descend into lackadaisical malaise. That can have an effect on marketing, because a dull consumer base can easily affect consumer spending, and therefore marketing.
If this generation is motivated for change, they have energy, and energy translates into action, and action is a good thing. If the 99% can increase their share of the pie, then they increase their share of the economy, and that means consumer spending can increase as well. For a marketer, that’s a good thing.
5. Social media marketing will hit the tipping point. The last four years have seen social strategy evolve and mature, and many marketers are testing it successfully, but I think 2012 is the year when social becomes a standard line item for marketers, in much the same way that search did. It’s an always functioning piece of the marketing pie.
And just for fun, a few random predictions that may or may not come true:
-- Pearl Jam will release an amazing new album (fingers crossed).
-- The elections will see the worst voter turnout of the last 24 years (unfortunately).
-- The NBA will see a significant decrease in ticket sales this season, as a result of the lockout and negative press associated with it.
-- Yahoo will be purchased by someone (I predicted this last year, too, and have to stick with it again this year).
-- The new Spiderman movie will be awesome and the new Batman movie will be amazing, but won’t beat the gross revenues of “The Dark Knight.”
-- The world will NOT end in 2012 (sorry, Mayans).
And one last forecast: I predict that many of you will have a wonderful year, so enjoy yourselves and have a toast to 2012!
Thanks for reading this past year!