While reading B2B magazine’s Interactive Marketing Guide earlier this year, a cluster of graphics caught my eye. They had to do with expected marketing allocations for online video, podcasts and other technology through 2012.
Fortune magazine is not publishing recommendations on specific stocks to buy in 2012. Why would we pick specific 2012 marketing tactics now? It’s more risky than picking stocks. If you bet wrong on your organization’s ability to communicate with its target audiences, that could result in zillions of lost opportunities.
A lot can happen in the online world in four years. Think of how many tools weren’t around as recently as 2004. No YouTube. No Twitter. Facebook and other social networking sites were barely getting off the ground. Would your 2004 online marketing plan still work well today?
You can bet there will be plenty more changes by 2012. Who knows what will come along to change the online marketing world? The most effective marketing allocations will depend on things like ESPs’ relationships with the biggest domains; whether chat overtakes email for peer-to-peer communications, as the experts predict; whether a niche engine like business.com continues to gain market share from Google.
It’s good to have long-term plans as long as you can be flexible about them. Go ahead and think about your marketing allocations four years from now. Write a brief plan and put it away for a year. Next year take it out and revise it with a little more attention to details. Do it again in 2010 and 2011. By the time 2012 shows up, you’ll surely have changed your outlook.