There’s Light Ahead




The Future of Advertising Is Online: Internet advertising spending soared in 2011, and is expected to hit new heights in 2012.  Mobile phone and portable tablet applications, and the advertising that supports them, are strong growth areas. Smart marketers will continue to experiment with social media platforms, particularly on Facebook and Twitter. (And they would be wise not to skip LinkedIn, especially when talking b2b.)

The Cloud Will Spread: Next year will see continued expansion of business reliance on cloud storage services, and lower costs for their use. Such services permit companies to off-load much of their software, technical support and data retention requirements. This and other predictions on key technology trends are in a new report from Gartner Group.

We Love Local (And Cheap): Consumer choices in food might be a good way to predict the way they’ll shop for many other items. And when they order dinner in 2012, they’ll be looking for high-quality local products made  with pride, according to a survey of chefs by the National Restaurant Association.  “Artisanal” products will be valued over the mass-produced. Small regional brands will be prized over mega-farm products. Consumers may value them enough to pay a premium, but not too much. Frugality is here to stay in 2012.






Bankers Will Pay: The popular rage at the banking industry’s role in the economic meltdown will lead to more regulations, higher capital requirements and fewer high-risk investment vehicles, banking analyst Dick Bove told CNBC in a recent interview.  That has already led to substantial layoffs in the industry, and there’s more to come in 2012. Bove sees the entire industry shrinking in 2012.

If you’re not a banker, you might be inclined to gloat. But big banking’s woes will trickle down to the rest of us. The impact on small and medium businesses is likely to be a continuation of the tough lending standards that have made it difficult or impossible to get a credit line or a bank loan.

U.S. Stocks Look (Relatively) Good: American public companies spent much of the recession lying low, paying off debts, cutting costs and hoping for better days ahead. In a literal world of woe, that will make U.S. stocks look good in 2012. At least that’s the argument in an HSBC Global Asset Management outlook, analyzed by Forbes writer Kenneth Rapoza.