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November 23, 2010 / jasonpinto

Three Marketing Trends for 2011

Note: This post originally appeared on

Whether we want to admit it or not, 2011 is fast approaching. When it comes to our marketing activities, we absolutely should already have a clear vision as to what we will accomplish next year, and also how we are going to do it.

Of course in today’s world of marketing and communications, we’d be wise to leave some space in our strategy and planning documents for the unexpected.

However, to help you be as prepared as possible, we are going to post a few trends that should be on your radar for 2011. In some cases, you may already be taking steps to do these things. These are not necessarily brand new ideas or concepts. But no matter what you are trying to promote, we think these trends may have an impact on your business.

Trend #1: Cross-promoting your online and offline channels

As more and more businesses make social media part of their strategy, they are going to need to drive traffic to those sites. I think that we’ll see more direct mailers, print advertisements, commercials, posters, signs, etc., that promote a company’s Facebook page, Twitter page, or YouTube channel.

Also, companies are going to find more ways to use social media to promote their offline events. If you are hosting a seminar, or have a part in a trade show or some other conference, you certainly want to get the most of it – social media can help you before the event, during, and after. It can extend the reach of your content, and also the life of it. For example, if someone from your organization gives a presentation at a conference, you can film it with your Flip camera, and then promote it online for weeks and months after that. You can use it as a piece of collateral that your sales reps can share. Yes, social media can help you to increase the return on your initial investment.

Trend #2: Data Integration will no longer be something that you can ignore

As more companies embrace the strategy of communicating with people in a way that they prefer to be communicated with, companies are finding that leads are coming in from multiple channels. They might receive some inquiries from their website, others from trade shows and meetings, some from emails, others via text messages, from mailers, from social media and more. This means that sales reps and marketers may be jumping between systems and locations to find data. The leads are great, but making it hard for reps to get data is not ideal for anyone.

One important activity for 2011 will be integrating this type of data into a central repository. Reps need to be able to easily access all leads. But more than that, it’s important for a rep to be able to look at a prospect and see how they’ve been touched. Did they sign up for your newsletter already? Did they attend a trade show where you exhibited last week? Have they downloaded a white paper in the past month? Did you send them an email blast this week? If a rep can see this data from multiple channels in one spot, that will make their follow-up activities more productive.

Trend # 3: Mobile Marketing will continue to grow rapidly

The iPhone really changed the game here in the US. Certainly, the Droid is grabbing a big share of the market, and there are and will be other smart phones that capture people’s interest (and $$). As people realize all that they can accomplish with these mobile devices, it will continue to have a direct impact on marketing departments.

For one thing, companies are going to have to provide content that is optimized for mobile devices. This includes content such as contact information, links that promote your brand, landing pages that build your database, and also your corporate website.

Also, companies have to find ways to reach the mobile audience. This might mean text messaging and mobile advertisements. It might mean using location-based services such as Foursquare. Of course, we are certainly excited about the continued growth of QR Codes. Print can still be a powerful medium. It’s tangible. It can still provide an impact, and help convert. QR Codes make printed materials interactive — this applies to everything from packaging, to mail, brochures, postcards, signs, etc. QR Codes will enable businesses to measure and experience a better return of their investment when it comes to printed materials, and they allow them to connect with their mobile audience.


These are just a few of the things that we are excited about as we look forward to 2011. We’ll be posting additional articles in the weeks to come on other trends that we think are worth paying attention to.


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