It’s that time of year again. Websites are posting lists of all kinds – from silly, entertainment-centric round-ups to more serious, business-minded tallies. It’s also the time for marketing blogs post their industry forecasts for the next year.iStock_000017434800Small

In Part I of this post, I surveyed past predictions that marketing news sources made in 2010 and 2011. While most of these were unsurprising, a few were notably on-target. Today I’ll cover predictions made for 2012 and 2013.

2012: Mobile, Google+, & the Extended Marketing Family

For 2012, many sources continued to highlight the increasing prevalence of smartphones and importance of optimizing websites for mobile use.

However, a few websites wrongly projected that Google+ would dominate as the preeminent social marketing channel, unseating Facebook. That’s an understandable mistake, considering Google’s power and already-established internet empire – and a mistake many of us made. But while that particular prediction about Google+ wasn’t quite accurate, the search giant’s social component does have implications for search results, meaning those outlets were correct to emphasize Google+’s role in marketing.

In its set of predictions, Marketing Profs posted an insightful way of thinking about social media marketing, particularly for small and local businesses: “Customers and employees will become an extended part of companies’ marketing teams.” With Yelp, UrbanSpoon, and even Google+ reviews, the prediction about customers doing their own marketing has come true; Employee-based Facebook pages and Twitter #trends have meant that workers do their part in marketing their employers’ businesses as well.

2013: “It’s in the Numbers!” & “Gamification”

Many predictions for the past several years have focused on increased accountability due to the ability to track, measure, and manipulate more information. In line with this, included an increased dependence on the numbers as its primary prophecy for marketing in 2013. got a little more creative and specific with their predictions, saying that “gamification” would take over in 2013. Gamification includes engaging users by asking them to choose something, click a link, or otherwise interact with a website, text message, or email. Think of those Hulu ads that give you several options; when you choose an ad, you’re much more likely to pay attention to it to see if you’re pleased with your choice.


Initially, I thought about doing a wrap-up of predictions being made now for 2014, but decided that topic deserves its own post. Check back here in a few days for Part III: 2014.

About the Author: Sharon Eliza Nichols created the Facebook group “I judge you when you use poor grammar.”, which grew to almost 500,000 members. She turned the content into two books, “I judge you when you use poor grammar.” and “More Badder Grammar!”, which have sold 90,000+ copies. Sharon has a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, she’s been featured in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and she works in marketing in Virginia.