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2012 Edition: 15 Marketing and Business Trends That Matter

Let me tell you a little secret.  I look forward to putting together an annual trend report the same way that some people look forward to having Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. I realize that may sound a bit strange, but ever since I did my first trend recap last year I was hooked.  This year, the process of collecting the trends took all year.  I have a folder on my desk labelled "Trends 2012" and throughout the year I would rip out articles from magazines or printout webpages to save. Last November I started actually writing my trend presentation and finally released it on Slideshare yesterday. 

 
A few things surprised me about the trends this year. Here are a few of the most unexpected things:
  1. Only 2 out of 15 trends are based on innovative technology (Trends #10 and #13). Given the prominence of technology in our lives and more and more digital tools, I expected that more of the trends for 2012 would be based entirely on technology innovation. That ended up not being the case as most of the trends focused more on either behaviours or the use of sites and technology that already exist and don't really require much innovation in order to keep growing.
  2. Creativity and design are more important than ever. While it would have been too obvious to point this out as a trend on its own, many of the trends that were included in the presentation were highly dependent on encouraging more creativity and delivering great design. Measuring Life, for example, has taken off in part thanks to great product and interface designs. Pointillist Filmmaking or Social Artivism are clearly based on creativity and design. Even Retail Theater, Tagging Reality and Charitable Engagement are all trends that require creative thinking and  strong ability to use design to engage people.
  3. People actively seek opportunities to participate, collaborate or experience something. Doing something together came up as a big motivator for many of the trends this year, as Social Loneliness led people to look for more opportunities to have great experiences or be part of something worthwhile. Pointillist Filmmaking, Civic Engagement 2.0 and Retail Theater are all examples where people are seeking the chance to participate in something. Charitable Engagement ChangeSourcing and Co-Curation are other trends where people offer their time and passions to collaborate together on something.

Let me know what you think about these trends with a comment here or on Facebook, or feel free to send me an email at influentialmarketing@gmail.com.  Next week I'll be starting my trend folder to gather stories for 2013 …

If you would like to get a downloadable version of this presentation, you can find it on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/rohitmarketingauthor.