Major marketing trends forecast for 2011

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on January 6, 2011

Major marketing trends forecast for 2011

What will drive consumer behaviour in 2011 and beyond? Fairness, frustration, pay walls, retail therapy, empowerment and innovation all ranked highly in the Leo Burnett Group marketing trends forecast.

In partnership with The Futures Company, Leo Burnett has compiled its top ten predictions list of marketing trends and drivers of consumer behaviour for 2011, asking and answering questions that will help steer marketing policy for the year ahead.

For example, what do new touch-and-pay technologies mean for brands? Will marketers seize the opportunity to tap into the frustrated youth generation? Will the problem of 'digital hype' finally be over? And how will brands react to the ethically driven consumers of tomorrow?

Very briefly summarised, the trends predicted include:

  1. Collective bargaining Groupon's decision to resist a US$3.9 billion bid from Google shows how bullish the company is about its prospects. Clearly the company is on to something with group discounting. Once Groupon and others start to give more back to businesses, both sides will settle into mutually beneficial relationships.  
  2. Fairness In the wake of the recession, fairness will be the new 'big brand idea'. Brands that attempt to defy scrutiny or profit from insecurity will be vulnerable to public relations disasters.  
  3. Hug me, then help me Bewildered by responsibilities such as global warming and sovereign debt, people will look for comfort. There will be a big opportunity for brands to take on people's ethical responsibilities and look after them themselves, allowing customers to get on with enjoying life.  
  4. Social media re-centres Digital hype will be subjected - at last - to the laws of reality. In other words, we will finally realise that no-one actually wants to be friends with peanut butter on Facebook. Social media will continue to grow in popularity and potential but we will also gain a much clearer understanding of the limitations of the platform for brands.  
  5. Managing expectations Governments will need to manage the public's expectations for the future. For example, the British public have an appetite for picking up the slack, as 68% either agree or strongly agree with the statement, "Encouraging local people to get involved in running local public services will improve them".  
  6. Frustrated youths lash out The troubles facing young people will continue to be ignored by the media and most brands in 2011, despite the huge opportunity they present for those willing to take up their cause.  
  7. Touch-and-Pay takes off Near field communication (NFC) payments will have subtle but important implications, and will make impulsive or rushed purchases easier, removing an important barrier preventing the purchase of items such as newspapers and magazines.  
  8. Paid media to assert its value Quality media content will continue to retreat behind 'pay walls', while low-value content will continue to explode across the web. But quality journalism, business insight, financial advice and specialist publications will be increasingly siloed and paid-for.  
  9. Context is King Communications will become more focused on "the encounter", as consumer attention is becoming ever harder to marshal as well as being more fiercely contested. As a fragmented environment breaks down further, 2011 will be a very good year to be a media planner.  
  10. Any excuse to celebrate Impulse and luxury purchasing will remain restrained, but almost any special occasion will be seen as a rational excuse for a celebration. As the economy slowly picks up, 'occasion spending' will outstrip other consumer confidence indicators and retailers will need to focus on the emotional significance of these moments.

The full trends report has been made available to view online - click here (no registration needed).

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