Though you may not see it or believe it, the rise of social media has turned everyone into marketers. We all have products and services that we love to gab about. Facebook and Twitter allow us to share our opinions and experiences with a limitless number of people. Additionally, we can research and investigate products before we buy. Polling a universe of Facebook friends about products, restaurants and the like is quickly becoming a hobby for many. For many, Facebook is often the “goto” place to find out real consumer feedback before making a new purchase.
Companies across the globe are recognizing that their marketing departments now include their current customers. Though they are not marketing experts, lawyers, doctors, teenagers, waitresses and homemakers are all utilizing their computers and mobile devices to spread the word about things they love and the things products they hate each day. Word of mouth, though now executed via digital channels, still has the power to quickly build up or tear down the reputations of services, organizations and products.
In 2012, companies will be looking to their “extended marketing team”…us, to continue sharing their opinions. Adding the growth in mobile device and app usage by consumers only furthers the ability to communicate our interests at lightening speed. Companies will need to begin reviewing and analyzing customer comments via social media in order to proactively shape their customers messaging.
The partnership of social media and mobile devices creates a whole new relationship between the product, the company, the customer and prospective customer. With over one third of U.S. adults using smartphones, the mobile marketing world will only continue to thrive and evolve. The 2011 holiday shopping season trended towards purchases that occurred on mobile devices and Google estimated that 44 percent of last-minute shopping searches would happen on tablets and smartphones.
The combination of traditional marketing, online marketing, social networking and mobile devices provides marketers with more information about their customers and potential customers than ever before. 2012 will be a year to launch a whole new blend of marketing tactics and their examine their effectiveness.
Those Facebook postings about the horrid service you had at dinner over the weekend or the excitement you shared on Twitter about your new flat screen TV are all being monitored by your friends and corporate marketing departments across the globe. Share your comments, thoughts and feedback with your digital network and shape the world of marketing in 2012.