Last week, my new boss gave us all a bit of homework. She asked each of us to research marketing trends predicted for 2012 and prepare a summary of our favorites to present at our next staff meeting. It was an unprecedented move for our group on many fronts, not the least of which was setting the tone that we are actually responsible for knowing a little something about the field we proclaim to be experts in.
A few of the 'trends' really struck me, both in my own research and in the presentations of others. The first is the notion of white space: minimal text, clean design. The next, a focus on content that is relevant and valuable to customers. These predictions are more mind boggling than earth shattering. I mean, seriously... Marketing has been around since the the dawn of man, and brands like Apple and VW mastered white space years ago. At the very least, relevant and valuable content should be standard not novel.
The trouble is, no matter how much we want to jump on the trend-wagon, or try and replicate the success of those great, big, wonderful brands, it just won't work unless we know why we're here in the first place. Don't take my word for it. Let Simon Sinek tell you himself. He says it way better than I ever could.
There was, however, one trend I was thrilled to see. It made me smile, and not in a sarcastic way.
Print. Is. Not. Dead.
Though the article didn't say as much, I'm pretty convinced that I am single-handedly responsible for its salvation.
My addiction to magazines runs deep. Off the top of my head, I can think of 13 magazines that grace my mailbox on a regular basis. They're like old friends that stop by the house every week or every month, just to say hi and maybe tell me a good story.
Here's some relevant and valuable information: New York magazine's Approval Matrix is the smartest social and pop-culture commentary around. For the totally pink-fluff version of the same concept, I recommend Entertainment Weekly's The Bullseye. I'd link you to the graphic on their web site, except it's not there. It's only in their print edition, or on blogs that post scans of the print version online. Real Simple has amazing recipes that, sure, you can pull up online, but I prefer flipping through the magazine each month and tearing out the ones that strike my fancy. Vanity Fair is like the crazy old Aunt that drives me crazy because she lives in the past (seriously, people, enough with the Jackie O!), but I can't live without her. What did I buy my son on his 1 month birthday? Why, a subscription to Gentleman's Quarterly, of course.
Maybe it's because I began my career in publishing, or because I love to read. Maybe it's because I'm a control freak or maybe it's because print is just my speed. Whatever the reason, I can't seem to give it up. And I just don't want to.
Go ahead, treat yourself to a little something nice.