Friday, December 30, 2011

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2012

21 Social Media Trends to watch out for in 2012.

1. Social media marketing disappears

Social media is going to be integral part of everything we do when promoting our business. This will make social media an integral part of marketing and it will not be a separate activity. Much like SEO or email marketing, social media will be just one tool in the box.

2. Integrating social media to corporate websites

Brands start large scale integration of social media content into their digital properties. Big brands will use social media connect and user generated content to get closer to customers. This will help them get most out of true fans and brand advocates by linking their web properties to conversations.

3. More support through social media

The integration of social media will lead to people reporting their problems in their channel of choice. Social media integration lets some of those problems be handled by the peers. However, companies should find ways to avoid their social media channels becoming a glorified helpdesk.

4. Social CRM will make inroads in larger organizations

Social data will be added to the CRM systems to find trends in sentiment and indivitual preferences of customers. The goal is to engage the customer in a conversation and give value that binds them tighter to the brand. As brands lose control of online interaction social CRM will help them react and predict how conversations are taking place. Findings from IBM showed that in the next three to five years, 81% plan to focus on customer analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

5. Social media will influence more sales

Social media integration will allow customers to get real user opinions before making purchase decisions. Social commerce is not web shop on Facebook. It’s a digital property where people can make their decision based on marketing materials from the brand and augmented with feedback from existing customers in a form of ratings, reviews and comments.

6. Social commerce on mobile devices

We will lead into a new era in eCommerce where you can directly purchase from your Facebook account. With proliferation of mobile platforms social commerce will become popular on mobile devices. Facebook’s Open Graph will also let you directly purchase with Facebook credits based on recommendations by your friends.

7. Social media budgets will grow

Most companies will increase their social media budgets. This includes in-house spending on and outsourced services. Part of the investments go to boost their own social presence through blogs and product reviews. Rest goes to external sites like Facebook.

8. Social media advertising will grow

Social media channels are looking to turn a profit so they are looking for ways to get at your advertising budget. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others are looking into way to display more marketing messages to their users. This will increase budgets dedicated to social media advertising.

Social media advertising will grow to $5 Billion in 2012, 25% of that vill be locally targeted social advertising.

9. Social media ROI is a must

More result oriented. Still less than half of the marketers measure results from social media. Social media ROI is a hot topic but less than half of the marketers report seeing it. We see that the budgets will grow and social gets more important in the brand’s marketing mix. This means that C-level will demand results. Dollars in sales. It can be as easy as direct sales from Facebook or a bit more vague as in conversion rate of people from social channels is higher than average.

In the course of our conversations with CMOs worldwide, an overwhelming consensus emerged. The vast majority of CMOs believe there are three key areas for improvement. They must understand and deliver value to empowered customers; create lasting relationships with those customers; and measure marketing’s contribution to the business in relevant, quantifiable terms.

10. Rise of the branded content

Next to advertising there will be a push be in the user’s stream. This means brands need to create content that is good enough to be curated and shared. Content has longer shelf life, can be reused in different channels, has higher perceived value for customers. This means that content creation budgets may in many cases exceed the social advertising budgets. It wouldn’t be surprising if some brands will kill advertising in favor of content creation.

11. Content Curation and Discovery

Information explosion has created an attention deficit and people want to have a quick overview of what’s important and easily find what they need. Aggregation and content curation are going to be very important and brands start filtering information to give value to their customers.Brands will integrate curation into their IT or use third party services. News aggregation apps like Flipboard and magazine apps will find a market in corporate circles.

12. Tabletizing and mobilizing websites

Not exactly a social media thing but businesses start to make their sites mobile. Like 10 years ago companies made websites because everybody else did, now they will make their sites mobile because everybody else does. People will use more social networks’ messaging instead of regular email and IM.

13. Social gaming will grow and spill over to real world

Social Media Games have more players than prime time TV shows have viewers. In-game ads and branded game items will become important promotional tools. As social media will become more mobile so will social gaming. This means that games that are hosted on social networks, such as Zynga and EA on Facebook, will be playable on mobile devices. These kinds of games will be played on-the-go – when you’re traveling by bus, sitting in a boring lecture, waiting for your lunch. Social gaming will be integrated with real life to physically perform tasks offline that have effect in the virtual world. Engage real friends, go to locations, flash mobs, etc. The potential growth of mobile social gaming will be huge.

14. Location! Location! Location!

Location based services will be everywhere. Local information, reviews, coupons, loyalty programs and more. All tied in with your social graph. We are moving towards an era of real-time need for information. More and more people will be checking for recommendations about nearby restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. Location based services will be part of many marketing campaigns. Near-field communication chips in mobile devices get more common and will pave the way to the new era of “tap & pay” commerce. Loyalty programs will start moving towards NFC and location based solutions. NFC will be a convenient way for you to connect, share and react.

15. Most social media usage will be on mobile devices

Social media is happening in real time and people share content when it’s happening! As smartphone penetrations reaches majority and tablets become increasingly popular, sharing content will move towards mobile devices. Smartphones gives us extra depth into personalization – we can share what we want, when we want. The limits are fading! You will always be connected with social media, no matter where you are!

16. Group buying sites will add location based services

Let’s face it, it is a brain dead model. Grow a huge list by offering really cheap deals and then sell that list to businesses to get really cheap deals. Group buying will not go away but businesses will understand better what it is and use it accordingly. To spell it out: businesses buy an opportunity to let potential customers sample their offering at a hugely discounted rate in hopes of repeat business. New layer of value can be added by integrating with location based services that will alert users to deals when they are in the neighborhood.

17. Interacting with live TV in social media

Live TV shows will react to user interactions such as votes, suggestions, etc. We have the ability to change what’s happening by providing real-time feedback on social networks. TV is going to be everywhere through mobile apps.

18. News will be social

News websites will gradually be replaced by applications integrated with social media technology such as Facebook’s Open Graph. While this won’t happen instantly, we’re going down that road as we speak. People will be reading news from their dedicated applications such as iPad’s Flipboard or Washington Post Social Reader. We will take in a lot of recommendations and read the same things that our friends are reading.

19. Mobile apps will become more social

All of the successful new mobile apps will be deeply integrated with social networks allowing you to share and engage more than ever before. We will be taking in a lot of suggestions and recommendations from our friends, colleagues and other trustworthy peers.

20. Your social media footprint will grow

Frictionless sharing capabilities and social gestures will make our lives increasingly visible on social networking sites. Music, TV shows, check-ins, purchases and more will be automatically posted to social media sites. Always connected, always sharing! If you don’t share, your friends will. Some may rise privacy concerns but most people will ignore the implications and their lives are going to be more open than ever before.

21. Facebook will break the 1 Billion people mark

Where does that more than 1 billion Facebook users come from? The countries with more than 20 million people and Facebook penetration below 20% will add most of this growth in 2012. Add the potential growth of other countries and you get to a cool billion or 1.1 billion even. And that does not include China.

Above article from:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

QR Codes - 2012 Marketing Trends

QR Codes

Quick Response or QR codes in 2012 will be near ubiquitous both online and offline in the U.S. to easily send people with mobile devices to online destinations.
QR codes are increasingly being used on billboards and various signage as nearly 50 percent of U.S. mobile users have a smartphone. Mobile devices themselves are ubiquitous with their users and are used often in tandem with using other media, such as magazines and television.
I envision these pixelized matrix barcodes present in the corner of all televised programs, especially news. Viewers will then be able to receive and share the latest updates on that televised news or programming with their mobile devices online. Television use will also be the medium which will explain how to use QR codes as its being used, so it takes hold in the mainstream understanding.
Ultimately, QR codes will then replace or be in tandem to URLs on all offline advertising and even online. This will cause search engines to rely less on text links and factor in interest from QR code use. Google and Bing can directly acquire this information from mobile users on their operating systems, Android and Windows Phone 7, respectively.

Above article from:

New Patients, Inc.
The ad agency exclusively for dentists
Dental Marketing

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dental Marketing - New Patients, Inc.

New Patients, Inc. is a full service dental marketing company, exclusively for dentists. In short, dentists hire us to manage their marketing budgets. This makes perfect sense. Our clients focus on the patients in the chair. We focus on getting the right patients in the chair.

We have been promoting dentistry to the dental consumer since 1989. We provide dental marketing services to individual dentists all throughout the US & Canada.  

Our recommended dental practice marketing strategies are driven by real statistical result data from our own dental consumer testing (since 1989), along with independent consumer testing that we have paid for. We don’t put our client marketing budget at undue risk. As a company we risk our own money in the form of a consumer testing budget. We test compile, analyze, and then adjust our forward strategies based on statistical fact. Our dental marketing solutions are not grounded in theory or vague, general marketing beliefs. This provides our clients with real, quantifiable, dental practice growth.

You might be wondering what tools we use to generate new patients for our clients. The quick answer to that question is, all of them. We have deployed advertising for the purposes of attracting new dental patients in every conceivable promotion medium. We can attract dental patients internally through your own patient base. We can attract the right kind of new patients externally as well. We work in direct response mediums (mail), every form of print media imaginable, and all forms of mass media (radio, television, billboards, yellow pages, etc). Successful dental office marketing isn’t about doing one thing really well – it’s about doing everything really, really, really well.

Some dentists call us to find out if we do internet dental marketing. Of course we do. We have a world class internet division within our company. We handle everything from the initial website, to initial positioning, Search Engine 0ptimization, managing social media marketing, as well as producing our website video to improve website visitor conversion into new patient phone calls. Dental marketing online is an important piece of an overall marketing plan, but it is just a “piece” of the entire puzzle. Many of our clients like the fact that New Patients, Inc. can handle all of their needs, including their dental marketing online.

Some dentists believe we are dental marketing consultants. We do provide dental practice management services and advice, but not the services with which you are likely familiar. The perception of our company as a dental practice management company probably stems from our published dental marketing books (Unlimited New Patient Series), our dental continuing education events & courses (Marketing Summits), and the way we generally conduct business. New Patients, Inc. DOES work with many dental practice management consultants. Many refer their clients to us. But dental practice management consulting is not our business. Think of New Patients, Inc. as the company that dental practice management firms choose when their clients are in need of an effective new patient acquisition strategy and implementation. That’s where we come in. Dental practice management consultants typically do not do practice marketing and we do not provide traditional dental practice management services.

So, now you know more about New Patients, Inc! We are the company that you can start with, on something as simple as developing a dental logo. We can also be your dental office marketing partner for the rest of your career – no matter what the ultimate growth objective is for your practice.

We hope you find our website informative and useful. If there is anything we can do for you, please feel free to contact us.