1. Own Your Voice, Don’t Share It.
2. Resolve to Be Relevant.
Relevance reigns in 2012. More than ever, people will be in the driver’s seat. Therefore, keep consumers’ desires, hopes and aspirations central to your marketing and you’ll stay on top. This is especially true of groups like Millennials, who are dominating the digital space. Matt Briton, CEO of social media agency Mr. Youth, says, brands must address five “need states:” utility, entertainment, information, rewards and recognition.
3. Context is King, and Content is Queen.
Steve Jobs showed that to create value in the 21st century, you need to connect creativity with technology. With all the focus on the amazing tech that enables our new era of advertising, it’s easy to forget that what’s inthe ads matters too. You can roll out a remarkable initiative to find consumers, but how will you engage them? Time and again, the most successful in-text, toolbar and display ads bring relevant content within the context of the page. This year, like the last, the best advertising will be dynamic, providing provide useful information from weather reports and traffic updates to recipes and sports scores.
4. The Data is Smarter. Are You?
As industry guru Peter Horan told us, “Counting clicks for branding is flawed. Marketers know TV works even though viewers can’t click on a commercial.” Beyond the click, the revolution in data will continue. Marketers can now look more closely at consumer behavior to get more mileage out of campaigns. As technology gives us a clearer view of reader engagement and retention, we see that all content is not created equal, and that despite the recent increase in content volume, quality is what drives results.
5. They’ve Changed the Channel.
An incredible 98% of 18- to 24-year-olds use social media. While debates continue to rage around ROI and how to quantify Likes, we’ve seen brands develop new ways to make their social media assets deliver, specifically, by bringing social content to new ad formats that push Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to the consumer in a relevant context. We can all learn from Best Buy, which connected consumers with its “Twelpforce,” Twitter-based help desk. And Axe is using an innovative social toolbar to push its clever content to consumers around the web.