My 2012 Predictions Are In…

New Years technology and Internet marketing predictions for 2012

Ah, yes. The new year is right around the corner. I’m no futurist by any stretch, but I do observe and notice trends. And I love talking about how these trends are going to shape the business world.

So in keeping with that famed tradition on MichelFortin.com since I wrote The Death of The Salesletter, here are some of my predictions based on simple observations.

1. Mobile Commerce is Going to Explode

Yeah, sure. You’ve heard it before. “Mobile is going to be big.” That’s old news. It’s already massive. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

It’s the business of mobile.

That is, building businesses for, marketing on, and conducting commerce through mobile markets will explode. I believe mobile marketing will become a greater industry for small to medium-sized businesses. Even taking over Internet marketing.

In other words, mobile marketing for many businesses will take center stage, even at the expense of their web presence or online marketing efforts.

More and more businesses are leaving traditional Internet marketing to go into mobile marketing. That’s why I believe, in 2012, we’re going to see more Internet marketers creating programs, training, and software for mobile markets.

We’ve only seen the snowflake on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mobile commerce, which is already a reported billion-dollar industry.

Watch for this trend in 2012. Pushed by last year’s recession in large part, it’s going to be as big as the dotcom boom of ’99. Mark my word.

Speaking of “Marks,” I’m not the only one making this prediction, obviously. Netscape creator Marc Andreesen made this prediction as well.

2. Bye-Bye Desktops and Laptops

I don’t think they’re going to leave anytime soon.

But this trend is not about a technology becoming useless but about it becoming smaller, more efficient, and more powerful. Above all, more convenient.

And convenience is at the heart of this trend.

When I look at my old, clunky Commodore whose 64KB of space was quite revolutionary back in its day, and compare it to today’s ability to store close to a hundred gigabytes into a tiny smartphone, it’s only commonsensical that large, cumbersome, clunky computers are going the way of the dinosaur.

Along with the growth in smartphones and mobile marketing, I do sincerely believe that tablets are going to take over in the computer world.

It will be far easier to connect a keyboard and LCD monitor to a hyper-powerful tablet PC or iPad while at home, and at anytime just unplug it and take it with you to work on your business while sipping a Grande latte at Starbucks.

Now, from an Internet business and marketing perspective, this means to focus on software, and software as a service (SaaS), that help businesses run either through, or transact over, tablets (or do so more efficiently).

Think apps, cloud services, tablet-driven web design, and the like.

Again, I don’t think tablets will replace traditional computers anytime soon. But hybrid setups and gradual integration will take place.

We need to take notice. In earlier years, I predicted that cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) would explode. Well, tablet-based computing is a perfect market. Capitalizing on this will become a huge opportunity in 2012.

3. Convergence Finally Starts Taking Shape

Convergence is where more and more communication channels merge.

This “megatrend” was predicted many years ago. In fact, it went as far back as the late 70s by smarter folks than me. Since then, many electronics companies who tried to jump on the bandwagon failed. (Or failed to get any traction.)

But now, with the power of cloud computing and mobile markets, it’s an open door that will swing wide open for channels to converge.

Convergence is not the merging of different channels as originally predicted but the gradual integration of their use. For example, think of listening to the radio or watching TV on your computer. In fact, one of the biggest convergences happening right now is the ability to watch TV on tablets and even smartphones.

Google TV, Apple TV, TV-on-Demand, cable or satellite TV companies turning into ISPs, etc. These are all glaring signs of things to come.

But TV is not the only one…

  • If you have smartphone or tablet, you can listen to any radio station in the world.
  • You can watch your favorite TV shows, even on an wifi-connected airplane.
  • You can buy and download music from your favorite artists. Anytime, anywhere.
  • You can transmit your downloaded music, TV shows, even movie rentals from your phone to play on your home entertainment system.
  • You can phone anywhere in the world for pennies through VoIP tools.
  • Heck, now you even can have your ISP monitor your home security.

And it goes on and on.

Granted, many of these things are happening right now. But from a business and marketing perspective, one area that will explode next year is the creation, selling, and delivery of services and software that cater to these emerging marketplaces.

Here’s My Point…

Think about creating businesses or products, or more importantly creating software as a service, that cater to the mobile and converging markets. In fact, one area that specifically is still largely untapped is local businesses.

(That’s also why you will see more and more local marketing and mobile services popping up. Just recently, my friend Armand Morin has re-released a training product called enLocal Network for this very reason.)

Think about how to mobilize your business, website, products, or services.

Think about how well your design, copy, user experience, and sales process cater to these markets — and look at bottlenecks and snags that can impede sales.

And think about how your products or services can connect on, be used through, be optimized with, or be modified (as new products) for converged channels.

If you sell, say, a weightloss system, how will people consume the product on their mobile phones? How about an app-based service that allows them to access, store, and update their results on their iPads? What about using it on a Wii or Xbox Kinect?

The possibilities are endless.

And that is my wish to you for the New Year.

In 2012, I wish you endless possibilities. But more than that, I wish you have the smarts you need to turn endless possibilities into opportunities, as well as the skills you need to turn opportunities into profits.

Be good. Be well. And be loved.

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8 thoughts on “My 2012 Predictions Are In…

  1. Great blog Michel and great thoughts on mobile and tablets – it all feels a little like Microsoft at the moment – they started with Office 97 (maybe before but that was my first one) and before people had really worked out how to use it completely – they moved onto the next version and continued to do so and the same with their operating systems which is great for evolving everything but some people are still struggling with the basics.Its the same with the internet – there are lots of small businesses who haven’t yet worked out how to use the internet [powerfully for their businesses using computers let alone taking everything mobile, so I am glad that you mentioned your thoughts about laptops and desktops not disappearing just yet I do agree there are many many changes happening and mobile will continue to increase in popularity and is something people should be taking onboard and working with – but also think that we need to focus on getting non internet/Social media savvy businesses into the current world of getting their businesses effectively online and marketing to their customers via two way consumer led marketing and social media engagement, adding value for a while to come yet too.The key is, I believe, to also look at a businesses target audience and check in how THEY are accessing the internet and social media because there are still a lot that do not know how to use a smart phone to access websites, scan qr codes and visit social networks on their mobiles.

    I definately think Mobile marketing is very important for people to keep up with but at the same time continue to increase engagement and bring offline businesses online via computers too :)

  2. Hi Michael,

    Insightful post. As hardware focuses on smaller, streamlined, even compact devices and as software continues to move to the “clouds”, I agree there will be an increased need for folks who can advantage companies with this new technology. However, I expect a backlash unless developers and engineers get a handle on “touch-scream” devices and the software that makes them tick. It appears the smaller the device, the more inept the experience.

    I’ll go out on a limb and make my own prediction…I expect someone to step up and solve the texting + driving dilemma before years end!

    Thanks for a great read!

  3. Interesting to read and I think it looks very realistic. Progress is changing our life every day and very often we notice it only looking at the previous time. Mobile..well, looks so…it is very popular already and we can not imagine our everyday life being other, so I must agree these predictions can become true.

  4. This is so true Michel. Your predictions for 2012 seems to me almost true specially in the case of TVs Desktops and laptops. One thing I learned before I became a bestselling author and long before Inc Magazine voted my company as one of the fastest growing companies is that Divergence in Technology is at a very fast rate so these predictions can really occupy 2012.

  5. I think this is real..I really like to read very interesting..Thank you for sharing..

  6. The first preditions is very right now the best business to do is about the moviles technology
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  8. there are still laptops and desktops but high powered devices for massive gaming or surfing, and laptops can be replaced now by tablets that are more portable and same specs like the usual laptops

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