No one has a crystal ball into what 2012 will continue to bring for business, which is why we all look back for context and ahead to try and project best strategies going forward. It’s tough not to see a few big trends – marketing has taken on social media, or online media as some prefer to call it – it’s become the basis for most pre-sales decision-making.

Regardless of your industry or who your key niches, the objective of your strategic market planning is to deliver the most impact in the least amount of space. Micro-messages out-pull longer text explanations. Within seconds your key prospects determine if they are in or out of here! Here are five strategies to ensure you get the biggest slice of your market.

#1 Decrease the number of messages: be painfully obvious what you are offering (price reduction one-time only sale, new product introduction, free download, or providing a page turn to the next logical reading place). Wherever and whenever possible be a minimalist by eliminating what is not needed. This leaves only what is needed and makes for fast and energetic reading.

#2 Emphasize visually what’s important: This is a lot like point one applied in a visual context. Are your communications obvious and impactful? Do they make it easy to understand the five all-important answers to Who, What, Where, When, and Why? Emphasize what’s important and eliminate the rest. Resist the urge to oversell your brand.

#3 Build Trust: Most companies are not mega brands that can rely on big brand campaigns of the past such McDonald’s, Apple, IBM, etc. so your marketing and communications need to offer direct assurances that your brand is one that can be trusted. One powerful way to accomplish this is to provide consistency throughout your online and downloadable communications. A logical and consistent creative footprint demonstrates you have pre-determined what your customers need to know about you and that you have thought-through their needs.

#4 Build Good Will: Although knowledge is power having a trusting set of relationships is worth more. People are more likely to return to a company who has demonstrated a sincere desire to get to know their needs and they are more likely to spread the word to their friends. A great way to get your word out is to offer thought leadership articles to appropriate industry publications – print and online – to build credibility and a stead readership of your written word.

#5 Ask for the Order: A fairly common mistake marketers make is to assume their prospects will ask how to signup for their products and services. The reality is it’s important to provide a clear path from inquiry to sale so when professional credentials and product performance issues have been satisfied, a prospect can easily become a customer. This should not be an inordinately complicated process as most customers prefer simplicity when purchasing a product or service.

Most marketers realize that prospects don’t want to read lengthy online text. Rather, they want to find the answers to their basic questions quickly and be provided with a clear path to signup when they’re ready.