Google and YouTube did a wonderful wrap-up of 2012 in their annual Zeitgeist:

However, beyond the general pulse of the world, we didn’t get a chance to dig into just the world of marketing. Let’s take a quick tour through Google Trends to see what things gained ascendancy during the year in a zeitgeist of our own (sans classy video). Fair warning: this is a data dredge. First up, let’s talk about social networks. Facebook was crushingly dominant in search for the year:

Google Trends - Web Search Interest: twitter, facebook, linkedin, pinterest, google+ - Worldwide, 2011-2012

Once we remove the 800 pound gorilla from the room, we can see a bit more into the other social networks’ search popularity:

Google Trends - Web Search Interest: twitter, instagram, linkedin, pinterest, google+ - Worldwide, 2011-2012

Twitter is the distant second to Facebook, with Pinterest popping this year but ultimately losing search interest to Instagram. LinkedIn kept chugging along, and Google+ didn’t even show up to the party. (The graph looks identical whether you use Google+ or Google Plus as the search term).

In terms of search momentum, if you had to place your bets on where to be in the coming year, Facebook and Twitter are still the kings of the hill. More interesting to me is that Twitter’s search stock is rising. Pinterest’s ability to catch attention appears to have leveled off, while Instagram is ascending now. Both are as popular in search as LinkedIn.

How about our marketing? What were we looking to do?

Google Trends - Web Search Interest: mobile marketing, search marketing, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing - Worldwide, 2011-2012

This year was content marketing’s year to break out and become a rising star (at least in the number of people searching for information about it). Search marketing declined a bit, and our other forms of marketing more or less stayed the same for the year. Email’s decline in 2011 leveled off in 2012, presumably because marketers realized people are still using an awful lot of email.

As for what we call ourselves, while inbound marketing has been publicized heavily, it’s not what people go looking for. Want your resume to be found? Be a digital marketing person instead:

Google Trends - Web Search Interest: internet marketing, inbound marketing, digital marketing - Worldwide, 2011-2012

And what will your boss be knocking on your door about in 2013? You can bet the words big data will be in the conversation:

Google Trends - Web Search Interest: mobile marketing, big data, content marketing, lead generation, marketing roi - Worldwide, 2011-2012

What’s on your digital marketing zeitgeist for 2012? What’s on your marketing horoscope for 2013?


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