The ever-awesome Mitch Joel wrote a dizzying blog post forecasting that 2012 is The Year of More.

He points out that 2012 will be a year of technological and information abundance:

  • Social sharing will intensify and choices will multiply
  • The marketing stage — even for small businesses — will be more global
  • The opportunity to target in a hyper-local way will create an unprecedented push of “deals”
  • Devices are still multiplying, not consolidating
  • Brands will be fighting hard to connect with us more directly and more personally
  • Sorting through the information density today is difficult and becoming impossible.

Mitch is right of course (just don’t tell him that I said so).  But here is the grand irony. All of these trends fly directly in the face of what consumers really need right now.

We need LESS.

Consumers are paralyzed by choice and overwhelmed by information density. I just viewed a TV ad for something called Deal Chicken. I thought, does the world really need another freaking way to get coupons?  We can’t handle the number of deals we’re already getting!

Time-starved consumers just want to be told what to do. How do I save time? How do I save money? How can I have more fun? Just tell me.  I don’t need to sift through 1 billion results on Google.  I have far too much choice.  I just want to know.

Isn’t it ironic that companies like Facebook and Google are collecting so much information about us to presumably make our decision-making more streamlined and efficient?  Does anybody feel that their information flow is more streamlined today?

Mitch is right. 2012 will be the Year of More.  But that is in direct opposition to what consumers need.  There’s a business opportunity in there somewhere, isn’t there? How are you helping your customers sort through complexity?  How will you tell them what to do?

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