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Four Key Trends 2011

As we enter 2011, economies all over the world are improving and in some soaring. Businesses are looking forward to a business renaissance and we expect that the marketing landscape will be driven by four key trends.

1.Mobility: 2011 will be the year where the word “mobile “ is replaced by “mobility.” This expanded definition will include mobile phones, tablets and the increasing interconnectedness of devices, which allows for the mobility of content.

Mobile phones now well over 2.5 billion strong have always been a force, but increasingly they are not only becoming more powerful and useful but being joined by tablets like the Samsung Galaxy and the Apple I-Pad. These tablets are a second form of devices that one can move around with. Finally due to increased spread of broadband, faster home networking and government based free broadband wireless in key areas of many cities, we see content moving easily from cloud to device and from device to device.

Marketers will need to prepare for changing consumer behavior and expectations that mobility allows which places a premium on speed, convenience and ability to interact with content seamlessly across devices.

2. Retail Renaissance: In a world where online and Internet is growing we will find a huge increase in innovation and interest in consumers of physical retail such as storefronts. This will be done to both leverage digital technology but also because companies realize that physical presence is key to brand building and differentiation.

In less developed markets such as India this will be manifested in continued huge retail outlets that combine shopping, food and entertainment and the increased professionalism of food and convenience stores as large companies invest in the retail experience. In more developed markets we will see three growth areas. A) The link of the online and offline experience in a retail store where mobile phones will allow one to get pricing and deals offered in stores using services such as Red Laser or Shop Kick., B) The investment in screen based technology as well as increased service to make stores little “world’s fairs” filled with excitement and C) Brands launching “experiences” and physical ways to bring their products alive copying Apple and Nike.

3. Purpose Driven Marketing: A combination of the lingering impact of the 2008 meltdown which challenged people’s trust in companies and experts and the increased scope of social networks like Facebook, Orkut and Twitter are placing a premium on companies that are authentic, community driven and which can be trusted. People are less likely to listen to what you say but how a company acts. If they see signs of hype or being misled the social network or what we call “The Peoples Network” will spring into life.

In order to thrive in a social network world companies will need to better express and understand their purpose and recognize they are both economic and social engines of their communities and countries. Areas such as sustainability, community service and contributions to a greater good will be how Brands will be increasingly evaluated.

4. Paid, Owned, Earned (POE) will replace Analog/Digital and Above Line/Below Line in marketing vernacular: Because of the Internet and Social Networks, marketers and their agencies will utilize the terms “paid, owned and earned” in their vocabulary more than the analog/digital or above the line/below the line lingo of the past.

It has become clear that marketers today have three ways to connect to their customers. They can do so by spending money in advertising and promotion among other things. This is Paid media. They have the opportunity to leverage their own physical assets from packaging to storefronts or their own content/service assets such as film, database and expertise, which is Owned media. And finally because of social networks they can listen and engage with what people are saying and passing along about their brand, which is Earned media.

All evidence suggests that these three media types need to be connected and leveraged together. How companies organize, partner and measure across this platform will be a key development from 2011 onwards.

We have always believed that the future of marketing is bright because as consumers have more control, marketers need to better understand and meet their customer requirements, This will force all of us,to become better marketers. With the wide array of tools available to us today it is indeed a golden age to both market and to rethink marketing, as we know it.

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20 comments on “Four Key Trends 2011

  1. great post. so agree on retail and the repurposing of malls is at hand with many brands like apple and lulu lemon and i guess fossil at the forefront

  2. Greg Satell says:


    This in excellent! I can’t imagine how you could have encapsulated everything better.

    I also think that 2011 will be the year of scale and synergy. While Apple’s iOS showed us what’s possible, Google’s Android will lower pricing and drive penetration. The various moving parts are becoming too consequential to stand on their own.

    Therefore, the biggest challenge over the next year will be to integrate all of this stuff which is moving very, very fast (much faster than than many realize). Most people, if they are involved at all, are immersed in one of those trends, often to the exclusion of the others. Operational interfaces will be strained and, in many cases, will break down.

    Meanwhile, the trends above are not isolated, but synergistic. Retail is being transformed by mobile, which of course includes POE and incorporates purpose driven marketing. It’s hard to imagine how anybody can prevail in one while failing at the others.

    Therefore, success over the next year probably has very little to do with technology (there’s already more than enough being deployed), and everything to do with management.

    Cottage industries, like social media marketing, will need to value partners over polemics. Strategic communication planners will need to build skills beyond PowerPoint and Excel and agencies will need to treat publishers as more than mere “suppliers” (which was a stupid idea to begin with).

    Again, thanks for this. You really put everything into perspective.

    Have a great New Year! (and thanks again for your support over the past one).

    – Greg

  3. M.Waqas says:

    Nice..Thankyou very much..

  4. Mark Sawyier says:

    Agree with Greg – really great ideas, particularly about the evolution of the “brick and mortar.” One other I might add is that we will see the beginnings of the answer to how social media will impact (and improve) search engines. This is already happening to some extent but questions like “if Papa John’s has the most followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook of any pizza chain, should it rank #1 in search engines for searches like ‘cheese pizza?'” There are of course many pros and cons to this, will be very interesting at the least to see how it plays out because I think it will be a key element to help answer marketers’ “monetization” questions about social media. I’ve put together a blog post with my thoughts if you care to take a look: href=”http://www.

    1. Greg Satell says:

      Thanks Mark.

      There’s a great overview of what’s going on in search on the SEOmoz blog (these guys really know their stuff!)

      – Greg

  5. Tom Flanagan says:

    Rishad hits the nail on the head again with this post. 2011 is all about continuing to innovate around consumer behaviors – not around new “products.”

  6. fahru says:

    great info, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! I have a Technology (in category)blog. It pretty much covers related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time 🙂

  7. futtrader says:


  8. Christina Osorio says:

    Nice…insightful. Thank you. I don’t have time to follow many and have been very selective. I enjoy your entries and especially enjoyed this one.

  9. Nice post. Part of me feels like we’re moving past earned media and onto yearned media. POEY – todays consumers need a strong desire to be a part of your community.


  10. ginnsight says:

    Very smart and insightful. It is all aligned. The key is being able to execute successfully against the play.

  11. nick lawrie says:

    please can I subscribe to this blog, many thanks

  12. Krishna Kumar says:

    It was a truly insightful read.. .. Is there any additional reference material that you are suggesting for the concept POE?

  13. Good blog you have here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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