I was asked the other day what I considered to be the important emerging trends in marketing (and not just professional services marketing) so I had a bit of a think. There’s so much going on! My initial ideas are below and I would be interested to hear your views on what you would add (or take away).

1. Social media

After the revolution with digital marketing, there is still much debate about the effective use of social media (including location and proximity based applications) in marketing, selling, relationship development and customer service as this fast growing area evolves.

2. Metrics and measurement

This topic always appears to remain at the top of the agenda with even greater pressure on marketing to provide reassurance on effectiveness and proof of return on investment – particularly when programmes use integrated campaigns and analysts want promotional tool spend breakdowns. More sophisticated financial analysis and models on the horizon? The emergence of a new breed of marketing financial analysts?

3. Customer Experience Management

For those concerned with services marketing, the greater involvement of marketers in understanding and supporting the customer journey and identifying where value is added, there is differentiation and critical incidents. This is aligned to the extension of customer listening programmes beyond the traditional confines of market analysis and satisfaction to complex, multi-platform, participatory, collaborative and embedded client listening programmes.

4. Account based marketing

Growing from key account management, ABM is a more sophisticated approach where the full weight (and investment) of the strategic marketing approach is bought to bear on a specific, significant client and account specific value propositions are developed.

5. Collaboration, Cocreation and Community

These are the three key future trends identified by Kotler et al in the latest book on Marketing 3.0. Crowdsourcing and channelling would fit in here. These trends link to some of the others mentioned here.

6. Integration with selling

Interest is increasing on how marketing and sales teams are further integrated (or split apart) for further effectiveness in some markets. Key issues include the use of more sophisticated databases to converge entity wide and personal connections from all manner of systems from internal accounts to external social media and supporting the whole process from targeting, through the sales pipeline and onto relationship management.

7. Multimedia and multiplatform

The growing popularity of YouTube as a search engine and the emergence of carousel video web sites, the continued fascination with viral campaigns, augmented reality and the explosion of smartphone apps would suggest that multi-media and multi-platform is potentially a hot topic.

8. Brands and reputation management

Now that brands can carry a cash value under ISO 10668 will we see greater interest in the more structured approach to brand development and growth? It will be interesting how brand strategies support reputation management programmes – particularly in the on-line world. A particularly hot topic for the professions as some sectors deregulate and the potential investment of outsiders with deep pockets emerges.

9. Dynamic planning

The recent economic turmoil and uncertainty generated even greater desire to have more dynamic marketing and sales planning (beyond scenario planning) which serve both the needs of number-and-detail-hungry Boards and those of time-poor folk who just need to know the headlines. This is possibly linked to a greater need to promote an organisation’s over-riding plans to the broader internal audience and support engagement and ambassadorship. Further, the CIM’s recent project management qualification calls those skills and approaches into question

10. Innovation

With market development and life cycles accelerating, and the fast appearance of new disruptive technologies, products, services and channels there is renewed interest in promoting innovation – whether this is in marketing communication, relationship management or new product or service development.

So, there’s my thoughts – what about yours?