The Peaks and Pitfalls of Marketing in 2012

New Years is a time of reflection; a time to toast the wins and learn from the losses of the year that passed. Now that the champagne glasses are empty and the marketing agendas are full, here’s a look back at some of the triumphs and tribulations Direct Marketing News covered in 2012.

January: Ah, January–the month of speculation. While the dawn of every New Year brings forecasts and predictions, 2012 was particularly chalked full of “what ifs” as Kodak filed for bankruptcy, Yahoo! appointed former PayPal president Scott Thompson as CEO, and debates surrounding Google’s paid advertisements prolonged placement discussions that began in 2011.     

February: With Valentine’s Day falling smack dab in the middle of the month, February is often associated with spreading and sharing love. Facebook shared its love for advertising with the public by kicking off the month with a $5 billion IPO filing. The social network also named Rebecca Van Dyck as the company’s first CMO. Conversely, the USPS experienced some heartache, losing $3.3 billion within the first three months of the organization’s 2012 fiscal year. Additionally, the Obama administration unrolled the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights at the end of the month in an attempt to provide online consumers with more control over the tracking and gathering of customer data.

March: Even with St. Patrick’s Day falling in March, not everyone had the luck of the Irish this month. Draftfcb filed a lawsuit against Digitas, which it dropped approximately one month later, and Yahoo! filed a lawsuit against Facebook for 10 alleged patent infringements. Yahoo! also stirred the privacy pot with the announcement of its Do Not Track feature, a preference setting that consumers could opt to turn on.

April: April sprung up new developments in the mobile realm. Samsung teamed up with OpenX to launch the private mobile ad exchange called Samsung AdHub Market. And Facebook announced its agreement to acquire Instagram for $1 billion.

May: May made quite the splash in the social scene as Facebook made its IPO status official and went public, Pinterest received a $100 million investment, and Myspace achieved a settlement with the FTC regarding misleading privacy policies. Additionally, Google made a hefty purchase and acquired Motorola Mobility Holdings for more than $12 billion.

June: After Microsoft received a slap on the wrist from Federal Trade Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch regarding its default Do Not Track settings, marketing automation took center stage as B2B marketing automation software provider Pardot teamed up with Dell and IBM acquired marketing automation organization Tealeaf.

July: Marissa Mayer ended Thompson’s brief reign and took the helm as Yahoo!’s new CEO. Around that same time, Foursquare upped the geotargeting ante by launching Local Updates.

August: The summer brought financial highs and lows as marketing automation solutions supplier Eloqua announced its IPO of 8 million shares and the USPS announced a Q3 net loss of $5.2 billion. The FTC also laid out the terms of a $22.5 million settlement with Google regarding tracking behaviors. Acxiom’s chief privacy officer Jennifer Barrett-Glasgow spoke with Direct Marketing News regarding The New York Times’ Acxiom exposé.

September: The spotlight fell on the search engine trio this past fall when Microsoft and Yahoo! rebranded its partnership as the Yahoo Bing Network and Google announced its Do Not Track settings for Chrome. The Internet Association also revealed the 14 companies selected to comprise the organization.

October: eBay took its first stab at loyalty marketing in the U.K. Also, ExactTarget paid a pretty penny and acquired Pardot for $85.5 million in cash and $10 million in equity, as well as product recommendation tool supplier iGoDigital for $14.7 million in cash and $6.3 million in equity. Additionally, the CMO’s role continued to evolve.

November: Direct Marketing News celebrated and saluted its 40 under 40 winners. Notably, shoppers didn’t have to wait until post-turkey to score some holiday deals as Black Friday promotions trickled throughout the savory month. Shoppers used a multitude of channels to complete their shopping in time for the holiday season.

December:  The year ended with a bang as Direct Marketing News hosted the 2012 Caples Awards in New York City. Because the world didn’t end as the Mayans had planned, Oracle was able to acquire Eloqua and the FTC ordered nine defined data brokers to provide information on industry practices investigative purposes.

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