You have probably seen at least a few articles outlining business trends and predictions for 2011.

I’m not going to add to the noise by finding another way to rephrase ‘cloud computing is going big this year’. However, I suspect that marketing and product management executives will find value in the trends in the predictions that business minds across the Internet have laid out.

Before Your Drive Into the 2011 Predictions

Just as product management professionals consume lots of data from multiple sources, marketing and strategy executives should review all of these trends before taking their business, product, or marketing in a new direction.

Why? In the same way, a product manager should not set the product roadmap based on one customer conversation, executives should not jump on a trend based on one or two articles (I’ve witnessed this and it is very sad for the entire company and takes years to correct). Just as the data coming from surveys and customer interviews is often conflicting, the following data is full on contradictions.

  • Marketing automation will get a wake up call AND Marketing automation will see explosive growth
  • Companies will put more money into social media AND Companies will cut their social media spend
  • HTML 5 will overtake Flash AND HTML 5 will not be ready for prime time
  • Content is king in 2011 AND Inbound marketing will remain the best kept secret in marketing

If you were getting your data from only a couple articles, you would miss the points and counter-points that lead to critical analysis. Find the patterns in these predictions and dig into the articles behind the relevant lists below. You’ll find explanations, caveats, and supporting data that will help you make education strategic decisions about your 2011 product management and marketing plans.

2011 Business and Technology Predictions and Trends

B2B Marketing Predictions For 2011 from Michael Brenner’s Blog on B2B Marketing

  • Marketing automation and automated lead nurturing will become a foundational B2B marketing activity
  • Customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention re-emerge as key metrics
  • Attribution modeling will become a hot topic
  • Marketing and sales alignment continues to be the #1 issue impeding marketers
  • The quality vs. quantity of leads debate will rage on
  • The ROI of social media programs will continue to be challenged by some executives
  • Inbound marketing spend will grab more share of the marketing budget, but…
  • Shortage of digital marketing talent
  • Display media experiences a resurgence
  • The brand is back, baby! 
  • Colleagues and managers will start to treat their fellow employees with a little more respect 
  • Traditional communication including email will have a tough time competing
  • The iPad and possibly other tablets will start to make laptops look soooo 2000

2011 Marketing Predictions from Dov Hoffman’s e-business and marketing blog

  • Content Is King
  • Engage Like You’re About To Get Married
  • Be An Expert
  • Mobile Marketing Is On The Rise

Internet Marketing Predictions for 2011 from The Loud Few

  • Brick & Mortar businesses will use inventive ways to encourage customers to leave reviews at the various review portals
  • Video optimization focus and factors will grow
  • Keep your eye on Google’s Rich Snippets as a trending topic for ecommerce optimization.  
  • The battle between Microformats, Microdata, and RFDa continues but…
  • More people comparison shopping on their phones
  • “Deal of the Day” Groupon-like local coupons will become available as advertising options via popular online ad platforms
  • Deeper integration of social media and TV
  • Social CRM becomes the norm for Fortune 500 companies
  • As Twitter gains in popularity
  • More companies will crowd-source discounts via custom Facebook Tabs
  • Location-based augmented reality for retail
  • HTML 5 makes it main stream and flash video content becomes rarely used on popular sites
  • Bacon will continue to be the #1 shared interest amongst the tech set

Digital Marketing Predictions for 2011 from Bigmouthmedia

  • Greater sophistication
  • Prepare to get tribal
  • More metrics
  • Integration
  • Cross platform
  • Local focus
  • Power shifts
  • The need for speed
  • Highly targeted
  • A breakaway in 3D digital campaigns

Crystal Ball – 2011 Predictions from Our Friends and Collegues from Marketing Trenches

  • Google Goes Door to Door
  • Google Becomes a Portal
  • Agencies Focused on Social and Mobile Communication Channels Will Be the Next Big Companies
  • CIOs and IT Folks Will be More and More Resistant to Social Media Usage in the Workplace
  • Will Consumers Wake Up And Start Protecting Their Identities Online?
  • Facebook will not be the only game in town come 2011; be ready to take advantage of marketing opportunities on new social networks!
  • 2011 Will be Big for Video and Consumer Brands on Facebook
  • The Value of Relationships Will Continue to Increase
  • Mobile Will Become a Priority for Email Marketers
  • Business Owners Will Need to Decide How to Best Adapt to Change
  • 2011 Will be About Content, Engagement, Expertise and Mobile

Guest Post: Practical 2011 Marketing Predictions from Marketing Trenches

  • Real Time Analytics
  • Virtual Events
  • Corporate Blogging

11 Predictions for 2011: Marketing Agency Execs Look Ahead from Smart Marketing Strategy

  • Agencies expect their businesses to grow
  • Pricing pressure will continue
  • New business can be found in growth industries
  • New business can be found in older industries
  • There’s been a dramatic shift in the way we communicate
  • Digital, social media, and mobile marketing are the top growth services
  • Social media is here to stay
  • Traditional marketing still has power
  • Mobile marketing is set to explode
  • Websites will become less relevant for some marketers
  • Successful marketing today is about content exchange

What are the Top B2B Trends to Look for in 2011 from

  • The idea of “account-based marketing” will gain ground
  • There will be a renewed focus on website conversion optimization
  • It’s no longer sales vs. marketing, it will become sales vs. operations

Predictions for 2011: The End of B2B Sales & Marketing as We Know It? from Focus

  • Internet Fueled Buying Cycles on the Rise
  • The Death of a Salesman?
  • It’s Only a Matter of Trust
  • Overcome Information Overload
  • Fight Frugalnomics

Online Marketing Predictions for 2011 from Enterprise Marketing Tutorials

  • Online Marketing Will Get an Even Bigger Chunk of Marketing Budgets
  • 2011 Will be the Coming of Age Year for Social Media Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing Set To Take Off
  • Personalized Marketing to Jump to the Next Level
  • SEO Will Become Even More Complex
  • Online Privacy Concerns Continue
  • Marketing Analytics Will Become More Advanced

Five Social Media Predictions for 2011 from Conversational Currency

  • Social vetting will catch everyone by surprise
  • Everyone says that social media will monetize
  • The convergence of data will create the “new monetized innovation economy”
  • Many of the functions of a corporation can be duplicated outside a corporation
  • Corporations will become technology centric rather than industry centric

10 Predictions for Web CMS in 2011 from CMS Critic

  • WEM, the acronym, will remain vendor jargon. WEM, the concept, will transform the future of Web CMS.
  • Companies will evolve their mobile strategy beyond “mobile friendly”.
  • Web CMS vendors will differentiate through their decisions to build vs. integrate.
  • Content is king. Context is queen. Together, they rule the fiefdom of web engagement.
  • Web CMS acquisition fever will slow down, or maybe even stop.
  • Multichannel publishing will drive a resurgence in structured content authoring
  • Platform will become less important in the Web CMS selection process
  • Enterprise search is sexy again
  • Social media will permeate the corporate website
  • Developers. Developers. Developers.’s Marketing Predictions for 2011 from

  • Lines between sales and marketing will blur, and the functional silos will start to blend into one revenue department
  • Changes in consumer behavior, fueled by technology, will require marketers to rethink their strategies
  • With the increasing emphasis on transparency and reputation management, CEOs will work to add board members with deep marketing and public relations experience
  • Advertising on smartphone games, such as the wildly popular ‘Angry Birds,’ is going to boom
  • Some companies will actually scale back social media
  • Marketers will begin to realize that return on attention is a far better way to measure conversions
  • 2011 is going to the year of ‘brandalism’
  • Do more with less
  • Most innovative brands are becoming media companies
  • The ‘experimental phase’ of social media will come to an end
  • More companies will invest in social plugins and Facebook for Websites
  • Real innovation will come from outside the incumbent players
  • More everyday consumers will be able to justify the cost of a monthly Internet plan
  • The rise of mobile apps
  • More user-generated content
  • Increased digital presence
  • Social media marketing fatigue
  • The return to visual thinking
  • The popularity of the immersive experience
  • The cloud changes everything
  • SEO beyond Google
  • Blurring the lines between online and offline
  • The rise of HTML 5
  • Video is still hot

B2B Marketing Predictions: Six Things That Won’t Happen in 2011 from

  • The ROI of B2B social media will not be proven in a report
  • Sales and marketing will not align
  • B2B Marketers will not suddenly stop talking about their products
  • The next Facebook will not be launched
  • Print advertising will not die
  • Marketing Automation vendors will not stop duking it out in the blogosphere

11 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011 from Social Media Today

  • Facebook Advertising
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Facebook will move into Mobile Ads
  • Social Media Strategists will become Chief Customer Officers
  • Ecommerce will hit Facebook
  • NFO is the new SEO
  • Advocate Marketing comes into Focus
  • Reputation Management emerges in organizations
  • Real Time Marketing makes headlines
  • Someone better win the SmartPhone Application race soon
  • The Rise of the Marketing Technologist 

Five Social Marketing Predictions for 2011 from Search Engine Land

  • Facebook to hit the 1 billion mark
  • Foursquare will remain a (respectably sized) niche
  • Groupon will be 2011′s Twitter
  • Offline will become social as connected TV becomes a reality
  • Google won’t release a social network

5 Internet Predictions for 2011 from Terry Dean

  • Fun Brought Into Shopping
  • Increased Regulation
  • More Brand Advertisers
  • TV/Internet Convergence
  • Mobile Marketing Wins

Predictions for B2B Marketing in 2011 from Customer Experience Matrix

  • Marketing automation hits an inflection point, or maybe two
  • Training and support will be critical success factors
  • Integration will be the new mantra
  • SMB systems will lead the way
  • Social marketing inches forward
  • The content explosion implodes
  • Last call for last click attribution

Six Demand Generation Predictions for 2011 from Eloqua

  • Lead Visibility Will Drive Demand Generation
  • Quality Becomes the New Quantity in Content Marketing
  • Social Media Yields Higher Conversion Rates
  • On Social Media, Smart Brands Ditch the Quick Fix
  • Marketing Automation Goes Mainstream
  • Marketing Automation Gets Reality Check

2011 Digital Marketing Predictions from Digital Surgeons

  • There’s local, then there’s hyper-local
  • Social commerce will become more social
  • Influencers will run the web
  • David beats Goliath in the battle of the social network
  • Facebook Likes will continue to dominate
  • Tap Tap Tablets. 2011 will be the year of the tablet as last year was the year of the iPad.
  • Apps, Apps, and more Apps
  • The gloves will come off in the world of social gaming
  • Look to the cloud
  • Web video, lets watch it on all three screens
  • The battle over Net Neutrality continues…

11 Marketing Predictions for 2011 from B2C Marketing Insider

  • Offline Mobile Marketing will Grow
  • Social Media will Mature
  • Increased Importance of SEO
  • More Small Businesses will Invest Online
  • Metrics and Measurements will Increase
  • Tracking will Become More Difficult
  • Publishers will Increase Focus Online, and Struggle
  • Brands will Minimize Social Platforms and Invest in Websites
  • E-commerce will Become More Intelligent
  • Offline and Online Advertising will Merge
  • Convergence will be One Step Closer

2011 digital marketing trends from Smart Insights

  • Content / engagement strategy
  • Digital Marketing Optimisation
  • Right Touching
  • Social media marketing
  • The resurgence of display advertising
  • Mobile Strategy
  • Googlization
  • Online channel integration
  • Touchpoint attribution
  • Privacy wars
  • Digital marketing = Marketing?

2011 marketing predictions from Customer Think

  • The death of mass marketing has been greatly exaggerated 

The 2011 Internet Marketing Predictions Show from copyblogger

  • Is blogging dead?
  • “An app for that” shouldn’t be your first priority
  • Skip advertising on bus stop benches and get your customers to come to you
  • The web is no longer merely a stepping stone to “bigger” things
  • Avoid becoming a digital sharecropper

5 Business Predictions for 2011 from Ryan Healy

  • Cloud Computing Goes Mainstream
  • Optimizing for Social Media (Rather than Search Engines)
  • Increased Focus on Reputation Management
  • More Video, More Mobile Advertising
  • Affiliates Will Get Smarter & Demand Accountability

2011 Social Media Predictions: Now Social Media Marketing Gets Tough from Augie Ray’s Blog at Forrester

  • New social spam filters will stop many of your tweets and status updates from reaching consumers
  • Growing mistrust will make it harder to gather friends and followers or get them engaged in your social programs
  • The most successful marketing programs won’t be contained within Facebook
100 Things to Watch in 2011 from JWT Intelligence
  • Increased Competitive Pressure for Facebook
  • Acceptance of Social Media at Work
  • More customer information and better integration
  • Pervasive use of advertising in social networks will create negative images for these advertisers.
  • New tools

2011 Consumer Internet Predictions from Fast Company (Nice job grading 2010 predictions, Jeremy)

  • Putting fun into ecommerce
  • Self-service ad platforms find their ceiling, and brand advertisers seek other avenues
  • Competition shifts from user acquisition to user retention
  • Social games chase hardcore gamers
  • Year of the tablet

5 Business Predictions for 2011 from Cheryl Cran

  • Automation
  • Cloud Computing is here to stay and will become business as usual
  • Virtual Workspace
  • Customer Impatience
  • Employee Happiness

Top 10 business predictions for 2011 from CIO magazine

  • Social media will keep dominating the business conversation
  • The CIO-CMO relationship will change for the better
  • Cloud will move from an overhyped theory to an adopted practice in mainstream business
  • Mobile moves aggressively into the data and applications arena
  • Real-time analytics will define and drive the real-time organization
  • Security breaches will hit an all-time high
  • A battle will break out between IT and the lines of business
  • CIOs will continue evolving beyond an operational focus
  • Vendor consolidations will cause major support issues at your organizations
  • CIO turnover will increase if businesses can’t scale

What Trends Do You See?

Identify the positive (what is probably going to happen) and negative (what is probably not going to happen) patterns in the data above.

Which trends are relevant to your business and the business around you?

Which trends could have the most impact on your industry this year?

Which predictions do you agree or degree with?

Which patterns could affect your career advancement or job security?

Which patterns impact your product roadmap or marketing budget?

I welcome your thoughts in the comments below.