Looking to get a head start on your marketing efforts for 2012? Here are six hot trends to watch—and apply—in the weeks and months to come.

Abstract Business Names

Even if you have a business name that you’ve been using for a while, switching it up or developing a coined motto can work wonders for your visibility. Develop a name/motto for your business that is unique, memorable, and—most importantly—ownable. Names that are abstract or arbitrary have the greatest chance of standing out from the crowd, so get creative here.

Market to Baby Boomers

The 47 to 65-year-old demographic, also known as post WWII Baby Boomers, control over 50% of discretionary spending and 80% of all leisure travel—including jet setting to offshore casinos. What does this mean to you? There is huge revenue potential in Baby Boomers and your marketing should target this group accordingly.

Here are some more interesting player’s demographics.

Photos Make Connections

A picture is worth a thousand words—and unlimited connections. Over 90 billion images have been uploaded to Facebook and Twitter and mega companies such as GE and AT&T are posting inside company photos to foster a sense of consumer inclusion. 2012 will see businesses building community through a more documentary-type feel on their web and social media sites.

The Year of the Tablet

The tablet is the crossover device for use at home and on-the-go. Like the Big Gulp cup holder in the 90′s, 2012 car models are now being built for tablet-like functionality. If you haven’t already started, learn how to integrate the tablet platform in all areas of your business; i.e. make sure that you’ve created a mobile website that features touchscreen navigation, etc.

Learn more about mobile marketing here.

The Year of the App

The proliferation of smart phones and tablets will continue to increase app usage in 2012. The best apps  are informative and functional—prompting satisfied users to find out what more you have to offer. Like Angry Birds, consider providing a free version of your app and then let users decide whether or not they’re willing to invest in a premium version.

In addition, here are the top 5 iPad apps for affiliates.

The Customer is Still King

It should be noted that the customer is still ruler behind all of these marketing trends. In 2012, you’ll   need to alter the 2011 “campaign” mentality and instead attract and engage customers with meaningful dialogue and fresh content on your website, blog, social media pages and wherever else you make your presence online.

Will you apply these trends in 2012? Are there marketing tricks you picked up in 2011 that still hold weight for the New Year? Tell us in the comments below.

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