The acceleration of innovation in online technologies like NFC is having great impact on internet marketing. This also makes predicting the future of internet marketing more difficult. Nobody could exactly predict the phenomenal growth of deal sites like Groupon and the impact that Google Panda will have on internet marketing in 2011. Business owners are wondering as to what is in store for their internet marketing plans in 2012. A good idea on the shape of things to come can make businesses to be more prepared to face the future. The top 7 internet marketing predictions for 2012 are:

Mobile Marketing will Grow Up

Mobile marketing will continue to grow in 2012 at an amazing rate. New technologies like NFC (Near Field Communication) will pickup faster and aid in the growth of m-commerce. Customers are now using mobile search even to do their local shopping for products and services. 71 percent of users start searching for products after they see a mobile ad. Mobile optimized sites will be crucial for businesses for success in internet marketing. The success of Google+ will also see social media merging with search in 2012 than ever before. Social media can also impact the rankings of search engines.

Rise of Local Search Marketing

As more and more customers are searching for local products and services on their mobile devices, local and mobile will get intertwined. Google was recording an average of 4 billion local searches per month and most of those searches resulted in a purchase. Local search services like Google Local will grow in their importance in 2012. Other major search services like Bing will start making local results a critical part of their search algorithms.

Consumer’s Will be Device Indifferent

Marketers have to always keep in mind that they must be present where their prospects and customers are. Mobile computing for customers will not be just limited to smartphones anymore. Consumers will be more device indifferent in 2012 and mobile computing for them will include other devices such as tablets like iPad, portable gaming consoles like PSP, e-readers like Kindle, etc. Going forward, marketers will start integrating mobile into their overall marketing plans. They will integrate mobile marketing into their overall marketing plans spread across all the mobile devices through a good mobile website, mobile search, and mobile-friendly email.

Social Media Marketing will Grow Further

According to the consumer research firm Nielsen Company, social media is the top online activity in the US in 2011 accounting for one-fourth of the total time spent online. Social media will no longer be just popular among the younger customers. New social networks other than Facebook and YouTube will emerge and evolve faster in 2012. Innovative social networks like Tumblr and Pinterest will also gain lot of marketing attention. Marketers will focus on developing an integrated social media marketing strategy which will be suitable to their product offering and target audience.

Daily Deal Sites will Shake Out

Many internet daily deal sites opened in 2011. Businesses too signed up with many of them to gain new clients. But, many businesses have later realized that they are losing money because they were not able to manage their daily deals properly. Some smaller deal sites will shut down in 2012 and bigger ones like Groupon will acquire some other moderately successful deal sites. Consumers will stop receiving 10 to 20 emails offering deals every day. We can also expect some innovations in this area in 2012.

Freemium will Pickup

2011 saw more and more companies offering Freemium models of their products. The main benefit to companies is that even where they initially offer a free version of their product with limited benefits, many customers will eventually upgrade to a paid account. MailChimp and Evernote are good examples of companies which have grown through the Freemium route. We will see more and more companies adopting the Freemium route in 2012.

Google+ will Pick Up Some Momentum

Google+ will see some some growth in 2012. As more number of users understand how to use the features of Google+, it will eventually start improving its user base. But, it will not be in a position to snatch a significant chunk of the Facebook’s 800 million user base. The success of Google+ in 2012 will depend on how well Google can market its new social network.

Businesses can incorporate the above forecasts into their 2012 internet marketing plans to meet the coming challenges well. They should also keep on monitoring the contemporary technological environment to keep their internet marketing strategy on track and achieve their business goals.

About the author: Kelly is a blogger by profession. She loves writing, reading and traveling. She contributes to Kevin E. Hardy DDS