Yet Another Trend Report (YATR) – 2012 Edition: 15 Marketing and Business Trends That Matter

Yes, it’s another trend report. It’s well put together, provides a summary and two samples for each trend. All good stuff to be aware of.

2012 Edition: 15 Marketing and Business Trends That Matter



A few things surprised me about the trends this year. Here are a few of the most unexpected things:

Only 2 out of 15 trends are based on innovative technology (Trends #10 and #13).

Given the prominence of technology in our lives and more and more digital tools, I expected that more of the trends for 2012 would be based entirely on technology innovation. That ended up not being the case as most of the trends focused more on either behaviours or the use of sites and technology that already exist and don’t really require much innovation in order to keep growing.

Creativity and design are more important than ever.

While it would have been too obvious to point this out as a trend on its own, many of the trends that were included in the presentation were highly dependent on encouraging more creativity and delivering great design. Measuring Life, for example, has taken off in part thanks to great product and interface designs. Pointillist Filmmaking or Social Artivism are clearly based on creativity and design. Even Retail Theater, Tagging Reality and Charitable Engagement are all trends that require creative thinking and  strong ability to use design to engage people.

People actively seek opportunities to participate, collaborate or experience something.

Doing something together came up as a big motivator for many of the trends this year, as Social Loneliness led people to look for more opportunities to have great experiences or be part of something worthwhile. Pointillist Filmmaking, Civic Engagement 2.0 and Retail Theater are all examples where people are seeking the chance to participate in something. Charitable Engagement ChangeSourcing and Co-Curation are other trends where people offer their time and passions to collaborate together on something.


Here’s the TL;DR version:

  1. Corporate Humanism – Companies find their humanity
  2. Ethnomimicry – Business looks to ethnography for inspiration
  3. Social Loneliness – Despite online friends, loneliness grows
  4. Pointillist Filmmaking – New form of collaborative filmmaking
  5. Measuring Life – Every aspect of life is measured / analyzed
  6. Co-Curation – Curation grows more collaborative
  7. Charitable Engagement – Charities try to engage AND fundraise
  8. Medici Marketing – Multidisciplinary marketing explodes
  9. Digital Afterlife – Digital tools simplify honoring loved ones
  10. Real Time Logistics – Real time info helps improve supply chain
  11. Social Activism – Using art for activism gets social
  12. Civic Engagement 2.0 – New sites increase civic engagement
  13. Tagging Reality – Real objects & images unlock virtual content
  14. ChangeSourcing – Crowdsourcing enables social change
  15. Retail Theater – In–store experience drives loyalty & purchase


– Randall Noval


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