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Every year around this time, market analysts begin forecasting what’s in store for the coming year. In an article published by the Globe and Mail entitled “Consumer Trends to expect in 2012”, Mark Healy outlines last years predictions and gives an overview of what small and medium sized businesses in Canada can expect for 2012.

“I look forward to slowing down and enjoying the season. It’s also a good time to reflect on the past 12 months, and to look ahead at the year to come. I like to take stock of trends my clients and I observed, and to get ahead of those clients by reading the tea leaves on movements and patterns that are expected to emerge.

It was a very busy year for clients. It started with a bang and they ran flat out until June, raising or optimizing prices, releasing new products, and exploring new markets. Summer was strangely quiet, for all kinds of reasons, ranging from economic jitters about Europe, to concerns about consumer confidence at home. I think executives and marketers were just fatigued, finally stopping for some rest after a 24-month battle to recover from the recession.

It was also a frantic year for consumers. Spending rebounded, at least for the bulk of the year. And in 2011, consumers were introduced to some new technologies en masse: cloud computing and storage, high-definition screens on smartphones, and tablets beyond the iPad. But the expectation of tremendous value never faded, and consumers appeared to flock toward low-priced goods and accessible-premium goods again.

At this time last year, the new trends I thought 2011 would bring were:
1. Greening the business. The return of green, as a response to changing employee attitudes and a necessity in recruiting talent, more so than a response to consumer pressure.
2. The talent war. Finding sufficient skilled talent, and managing four generations in any one business – with millennials the major concern, taking the focus off of customers.
3. Qualitative data. A desire for deep, ethnographic customer data, moving away from a numbers-only decision-making process to a position of rich market understanding.”

To read the whole article Click Here

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