IPG Lab, the research arm of marketing and advertising conglomerate IPG Mediabrands, has three anti-predictions to share for 2012. These are technology trends that IPG Lab managing partners Chad Stoller and David Rosenberg believe many in their field of expertise have got wrong, putting millions of dollars at risk.

First up, they say 2012 will not be the year of NFC (near field communication). They agree that NFC has a lot of potential; it’s just that 2012 is too soon. Not enough handsets support it, and it’s possible that Bluetooth 4.0 will fragment the market. IPG Lab forecasts that loyalty programs and delivering bursts of information will lead the adoption of NFC, with mobile wallet applications coming later.

Second, cord cutting is not a fad. Stoller and Rosenberg note that some high profile executives dismissed the idea that consumers would stop paying for cable or satellite television services, while others were freaking out about the imminent destruction of their businesses. “The truth lies somewhere between these extremes; cord cutting (or “over-the-top’) is real and streaming services continue to gain steam, but the number of people eschewing traditional cable is far from a mass exodus,” IPG Lab says.

Lastly, Stoller and Rosenberg disagree with the push to customize QR codes. Older phones have a hard enough time reading standard QR codes, as confirmed by innovation center VIGC, and an inability to scan will kill off their slowly growing rate of adoption. IPG Lab concludes, “For the time being, sellers would be better served keeping their codes simple and scan-able, rather than giving them a branded look.”

IPG Mediabrands operates in 90 countries and manages $34 billion in global media billings. IPG Mediabrands is part of Interpublic Group.

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Photo by Flickr user LHOON, used under Creative Commons license



  1. With regards to the customization of QR codes, marketers also better serve their clients when more focus or investment in time & creativity is placed on the content’ or customer experience at the destination of the Qr codes, rather than on the design of the QR code itself.