It is that time of year: Planning, planning, planning!
Following are seven tools you should add to your brainstorm meetings.
Groupon and Living Social and City Deals and Swirl and Totsy and Gilt, oh my! The race to the daily deal space was fierce and the competition amongst one another has eroded any kind of benefit for the merchant.
You’ll begin to see those sites consolidate or go out of business. If want an opportunity to use a daily deal site, keep an eye on which ones remain toward the middle of 2012.
For planning, think about how to use them for an overage in inventory or a boost in sales on a slow night. Do not consider them as your big sales plan for 2012. It’s been proven they don’t bring return customers.
Privacy will continue to be a big discussion, with sites such as Diaspora coming out of beta and launching to the public. There also will be tools you can use to delete information you have on the social sites that you regret putting there.
While you can’t erase what others have written, you will have more control over what you put out there.
For planning, think about how your company (or clients) will use the Web without sharing proprietary information or being too transparent.
Gamification is going to continue to grow and will affect your marketing and communication in 2012. Right now it’s unsophisticated in its infancy. But it will begin to get to a point that you’ll need to consider how to make buying from you a pleasurable experience (read: a game).
4. Mobile content
If you aren’t already considering how your Web properties (website, blog, etc.) are viewed both on phones or tablets, that is a 2011 goal. Get it done!
Next year, you’ll go from writing content solely for the Web to writing content for the Web, phones, and tablets.
5. Social television
If your company doesn’t use television advertising, this likely isn’t something you need to consider. If broadcast is a medium for you, you’ll need to consider how to integrate social activity in your messaging. I don’t mean simply adding your Twitter and Facebook icons. I mean allowing people to check in while they’re watching your ad and giving them something for doing so.
6. Improved analytics
This one is near and dear to my heart. Right now, there isn’t a standardized way to measure social results. We know it takes longer for the investment to become clear and we can measure specific campaigns when using unique URLs. Measurement will improve and move toward standardization next year.
For 2012, think about how to combine Google analytics, your content management system, and any other data you can get your hands on to develop a dashboard for your executives.
7. Google Wallet
The ability to pay with your phone is closer than you think and is something you’ll need to consider when customers pay for your products or services. Right now it’s attached to credit card machines that offer PayPass. Are you budgeting for that next year?
These aren’t the end all, be all for everyone. Some will make sense for you while others will not.
Throw them on the conference room table and see what you and your team come up with, even if Google Wallet or social TV don’t work for your business. They may, in fact, generate some great ideas.