Last month we took a light-hearted look at the top 11 mistakes made in our industry during 2011. Now that it’s January, let’s look to the bright future ahead! We’ll be spending this month looking at the trends we foresee for our industry in 2012.


Today, we’re looking at Marketing 

For this purpose, we’re going to discuss marketing when it comes to both the ideas of branding and designing print materials. (We also offer social media marketing and website design as a marketing tool, but those trends will come later this month.)

More online than ever 

This should be a no-brainer: as the world operates more and more in the digital space, so will advertising and marketing. We foresee that companies will become more willing to focus their marketing budget on online resources including website improvement and social media.


McManus Law Firm QR Code

Go ahead! Scan it. This custom QR code was designed by our fabulous graphics team.

Integration between online/offline worlds

As marketing moves more online, that means companies will have to work harder to build a bridge between the online and offline worlds. Ideas for this include:

  • Sponsoring real-life contests that are promoted on social media (brings them to your location); and
  • Using QR codes in printed materials.


Overall it’s OK to say Abshier Construction made their marketing materials fun and functional by providing a “Steve’s Honey Do List” on the back and a list of possible services on the front.

Specialized pieces

Gone are the days when everyone who starts up a business decides to print business cards, rack cards, post cards and other printed materials and then also advertises in every phone book, magazine and newspaper.


We agree that print materials still have a viable place in the marketing landscape, and we enjoy guiding clients to the right choices. We believe that the trend for 2012 will be to become even more specialized when each client chooses what print materials to use. Within that specialization is the opportunity to have some fun, be unique and, ultimately, be more effective in the use of print advertising.


Take, for example, the leave-behind cards from Abshier Construction that we finished in late 2011. Instead of the typical “Hope you liked what we did, call us again” message, Steve had us create a “Steve To-Do List.” It’s a great idea for his clients to use as a home improvement checklist, and it has his name on it so they know who to call when the time is right.


Data driven

During each phase of the above-mentioned trends, we believe that all decisions will become increasingly data driven, which means no more shot-gun effects in marketing that may have been more acceptable during better economic times. Decisions will be finely tuned towards reaching very specific audiences in very specific ways. Proof of what works (and what doesn’t) will become prime. Data will come in various forms including website and social media analytics, anecdotal evidence, or sales figures. Marketing has always been data driven, but that science will simply become more focused and better utilized.


Need Help?

The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget and any medium.