In a fluctuating economic world, it is essential for
brands to adapt.

For 2012, businesses must become agile and adopt innovative
strategies that engage with today’s increasingly ‘switched-on’ consumer. Here’s how.

1. Advertising-as-a-service

Traditional advertising must evolve. Recent research from Havas Media revealed that consumers are no longer enamored with the advertising they see,
and feel that “just one in five brands has a notable positive impact on their
quality of life.” The
truth is, consumers are no longer interested in traditional advertising being
‘pushed’ at them and are increasingly switching-on to communication channels
that provide a service. Whether it’s a brand’s CSR strategy, product
innovation or instructional demo – brand stories are never told via
traditional TV ads. Increasingly brands are turning to online channels, away
from ad slots on broadcasting channels, to build a trusted, relevant service
and engagement with their audience across multiple devices.

2. Connected devices

One of the most significant developments for 2012 is
without a doubt the emergence of connected TVs and even more significantly, how
consumers will interact via second screens. According to Nielsen’s 2011 mobile connected devices report, 70% of
tablet users and 68% of smartphone users use their device while watching TV, usually in a social sense and more often
than not this social activity isn’t tied to the programme they’re watching.
This is the untapped marketplace that savvy advertisers and brands in 2012
should create compelling content for.
The ‘sweet spot’ for advertisers in the second screen
marketplace, is participation TV around live entertainment formats. Reality TV
has always driven interaction via social media and SMS, but programmes like The Million Pound Drop have taken it to
new heights. Connected TVs will only push this further creating seamless and
real-time participation with content, and the gamification of advertising

3. Mobile

Over the past year, mobile devices have led both
technological and marketing innovation. Google states that 79% of smartphone owners use their mobiles to aid in shopping and 74% make a purchase as a result. Smartphones have revolutionised how we interact with content on-the-go and in
2012 the mobile device will continue to play a significant role. In particular,
mobile devices could reinvent the remote control for connected TVs.

4. Multichannel Engagement

We’re now entering an era where almost any device or
surface can have an internet connection, and as such, video can be displayed
almost anywhere. So prevalent has video become as the preeminent communication
tool of our age that Cisco’s Visual Networking Index shows that by 2015, 1m minutes of video will cross the
internet every second. Already brands are moving toward this kind of engagement, this is only just the beginning for multichannel marketing in
2012. The realisation will be that it is not simply about the media and screens
that advertising is displayed on. It will be about customers’ lives and the
devices they surround themselves with to make life that little bit easier.

5. The Amazon Effect

While it’s not a trend per se, I wanted to
highlight the growth of the dominant media force that is Amazon. Its platform
is now utilised by many brands to boost their own e-commerce and the
upcoming Kindle Fire is being heralded as the first serious threat to Apple’s
all-conquering iPad. Effectively communicating with ‘switched-on’ consumers
isn’t a stretch for Amazon and it’s already proven its agile organisational
structure works. Amazon constantly evolves its business model to adapt to the
marketplace and brands that look beyond their original heritage will offer
customers unique and bespoke services. What Amazon has achieved, should offer
inspiration to brands in 2012.