Insights into the future of media, the grocery industry and global brands were the Warc papers which proved to be of the greatest interest to market researchers this year.

The Warc Trends: 2012 Toolkit was the article securing the most hits among this audience. This guide to new ideas and best practice in marketing from around the world, based on analysis of key papers and case studies, will be updated in January 2013.

The 2012 edition discussed developments like the rise of the new middle class, 'glocal-plus' brand management, media orchestration, driving growth through innovation, sponsorship, integrating offline and online word-of-mouth, brand journalism, social media measurement, real-time planning and the importance of cultural insights.

Twelve Media Trends for 2012 was in second spot. This highlighted mobile shifts taking place in the developed world – like commerce and payments – and pointed to the even greater impact they will have in emerging markets like China, India and Africa, where consumers have bypassed PCs and gone straight to wireless devices.

In third place was Ten Grocery Trends, which looked at the impact of the economic downturn on the FMCG sector. Conspicuous consumption is out, fashionable frugality is in, and volume sales are under pressure. Brands that retain their meaning, position and relevance are the ones that will prosper in this environment.

Difficult economic times were also a feature of Ten Trends in Global Brands, in fourth spot. Brands are having to deliver ever-greater value even as their identities are fragmented by increasing localisation and the old top-down model is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, this piece argued.

An Admap article, Ten Marketing Trends in 2012, closed out the top five. This paper anticipated more holistic and integrated solutions from marketing services agencies, while noting that IMC departments may actually thwart the very outcome they set out to achieve.

For more details about the most popular material featured on Warc in 2012, click here.

Data sourced from Warc