Peering into 2012 and beyond

Peering into 2012 and beyond

<This is a longer post. Skip down to the 2012 section if you want to get on with it.>
crystal ball


Well, it’s that time again. It’s been two years since my last proclamations for the upcoming year(s). It’s no accident. Even though we’re all speeding up, I think trends and predictions take some time to bear fruit.

Let’s look at how I did from my predictions in 2010:

  • People will go pay for big experiences with family and friends. Mixed. There was a small bounce back in 2010, but the double-dip reversed that quickly.
  • Micro-innovation – new ways to make money on the Interwebs. Not Really. The micro gave away to the macro innovation. Once again, people are extracting large sums of money out of the Internet, only this time it’s with an actual business plan.
  • Social Media will become a requirement. Yep. Kind of a “Well, duh” prediction, but I’ll take it
  • 2009 = personal brand, 2010 = being a person. Nope. The highly managed and curated personal brand is alive and well.
  • Make your advertising entertaining plus add value. Mixed.  I mentioned in 2010 a commercial making you laugh as being valuable because people were down. Interestingly, if you look at AdWeek’s 10 Best Commercials of 2011 there’s a fair amount of serious going on. Sure, some are playful, like the VW Force spot, but there’s none of the completely over the top ads from year’s past. That was surprising.
  • Online inspiring Offline action. Not yet. Not so much a prediction as a recommendation from 2010. More of this as it’s in this year’s prediction.
  • The rise of city pride. Yep. Looking back it’s eerie talking about people not being able to move because of the housing crisis. I don’t think any of us knew how bad it was going to be in Jan 2010. In my neck of the woods we have the very…umm unique Durham as an example of city pride. One look at the second coming of Detroit is all you need to see city pride in action.
  • Smaller Online Tribes. Yes and no. There continues to be a wide net thrown on the online social experience when it comes to brands and friends. At the same time, there’s been a huge interest in local discovery—Yelp, Meetup, Groupon—for real-life experiences.
  • Wildcard: Gen X & Y conflict. A big YES. Ohhhh man, did this one ever come true. I don’t remember reading about the impending conflict in 2010, but the writing was on the wall. Boomers had to hang on to refund retirement, Xers were stuck, Yers were barred from entry or the first to go from jobs. Some examples from Gizmodo, Washington Post, and Penelope Trunk’s post and subsequent comments. 


So what’s next for 2012 and beyond?

Here’s some thoughts on where I see communications going and opinions on where it should be headed.

ORLO – Online-Real Life-Online – Not only do I think this will be a big trend, I think brands need to make it happen if they’re serious about nurturing their fan base. This means bringing a real life experience to your online fans and driving a piece of the experience and their reactions back online to feed the fan machine.

Analytics is king – With companies staffing up with social media specialists and the economy still limping along the onus is on communications to show value. Unsurprisingly, the spreadsheet-set really like spreadsheets.

Twitter interactions declining – We’ve already started to see it over here. It’s become more of a RSS feed of what the Internet hive mind is looking at than a way to connect with that really cool person. What’s most disturbing to me are the stories of Twitter flamewars. The day that Tweets resemble YouTube comments is the day that Twitter dies.

Rise of video – We’ve been banging this drum for several years now. In the next few years technology may finally make it easier than ever for video creation.

More effort into mobile. Mobile will gain more importance as the second screen or in tandem with the first screen. Mobile sites will be the new must-have. People carry their digital lives with them and brands can’t afford to miss an opportunity to connect at any time.

What do you think? Agree or disagree? What trends are you seeing in your industry? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.


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Kate Runy


A passionate technical wizard, Kate thrives on managing online content, social media for communications, and development projects.  Kate is the workhorse of the team, pulling out amazing feats of content creation and management week in and week out. 

Prior to joining BC/DC Ideas, Kate coordinated website and social media content, communications, and advertising for Go Global NC and Alzheimer’s NC.

Things that make her happy: I love animals about as much as I love working for nonprofits.

Mishel Gomez Cespedes


Mishel brings a passion for video storytelling and quippy social media content to the team.  At BC/DC Ideas, she is most likely editing video or scheduling the next moving social media post for our clients.

Her ear for storytelling is her greatest asset. Mishel has a unique ability to assemble content into a concise story that moves audiences to action.

A graduate of Wake Forest University she spent a semester in Spain and years serving her community through the campus organizations. Now, she is putting her passion for good to work.

Brian Crawford

creative director

Mix equal parts nerd and creativity and that’s Brian. A natural problem-solver, Brian’s ability to cut to the core of any problem helps guide our creative team to the correct solution without wasted time or money. It’s the core, this little nugget of truth, that helps our clients take the next step with their audiences.

Brian gets the greatest joy out of helping our clients realize and connect with their story. He is a true believer that everyone and every organization has a compelling story to tell, you just have to listen with an open heart.

Things that make him happy: Hanging out at the park with family, toddler-speak, hitting the focus pull, and good coffee.

Dawn Crawford


The engine behind BC/DC Ideas, Dawn has dedicated her career to good. Dawn brings her considerable experience and expertise to helping elevate the nonprofit sector. Our team’s lead strategist, Dawn is often seen leading our IdeaStorms, penning communications plans, or checking in with clients.

Before launching BC/DC Ideas in 2010, she earned her chops in 10+ years of communications leadership roles for public health, healthcare and youth-focused nonprofits. Working for nonprofits is Dawn’s dream job, and she loves that her 40+ hours a week make the world a better place.

Things that make her happy: A glass of champagne to celebrate big wins, Basecamp, living in the South, seeing the world, and a well-formatted spreadsheet.