Predicted 2014 marketing trends

2013 was a great year for marketing; a year all about content strategy, big data and the initial sights of the benefits of real-time marketing (and the damages of not doing it correctly). As a result, the bar was set pretty high for marketing opportunities last year, but 2014 certainly looks to be the year of bigger and better opportunities. Below are my predicted 2014 marketing trends.

1. Multi-channel

Multi-channel marketing (aka integrated marketing). The use of integrated advertising campaigns and integrated marketing campaigns have been around for years – it’s not a new strategy. However, the need for integrated tactics is now more prevalent than ever.

It’s not enough to just advertise your product / service on TV anymore. Consumers are more switched on than ever now, researching the products online, going in-store to try it out first for themselves, before then looking elsewhere to see if they can get it for a better deal. Your brand has to be seen in each of these spots, in order to still be considered by the consumer. By all means advertise on TV, online and in press ads, market on social media and get in the news, but do it altogether, not just as one solo method.

2. Content marketing

Content marketing was a big buzzword in 2013 – but was that all it really was? I don’t think so. Which is why it’s here in my 2014 marketing trends list. Consumer’s care about their purchases nowadays; they read reviews, do their research and read about a service or product they’re about to buy. The flexibility of self-learning is huge online; video tutorials, blog posts, forums etc…

People are reading relevant content more and more online (the keyword there being relevant, consumers still have a short-attention span online. Do not doubt that) and it’s vital that you / your company are doing this now and doing it correctly.

3. Personalisation

Personalisation can definitely be a big way to win a customer over and I imagine will definitely be one of the most popular 2014 marketing trends. Online consumers are pretty shallow (it’s true we are). We hold no loyalty to stores online. If they let us down, we can turn to a competitor fairly easily. I see personalisation as a nice little sweet spot companies will start focusing on. From welcoming me personally when I log in to my online account, to receiving tailored offers online and in the post, to showing me personalised and specific content and items relevant to me (most companies are doing this now, but this is just the tip of the iceberg).

4. Real-time marketing

We all remember how Oreo stole the show during the 2013 Super Bowl. People were talking about the brand from all over the world. So of course, every other brand in the world wanted to jump on the bandwagon and gain some mass free exposure. Some, like Oreo, did it well, others…not so well.

However, rather than riding on the hype-wave of real-time marketing like last year, it has instead become more expected of brands to continue this trend. I can see 2014 being very competitive for real-time marketing opportunities amongst brands.

5. Social metrics

Marketers looking to track their social ROI will be more important and necessary than ever. With the use of real-time marketing, content strategy (blogs, articles etc…) and multi-channel marketing, it will be vital for marketers to analyse what’s working and what’s not. Facebook was ahead of the curve for a while, with it’s use of built-in analytics. But now the likes of Twittter and Pinterest have also caught on, marketers need to track their social activity; number of likes , number of comments, number of views, followers, RT’s, mentions etc…

6. Mobile friendly

Responsive web design has been on everyone’s lips for awhile, but not nearly enough of businesses have fully bought into the importance of mobile friendly websites – or those that have, have done a shoddy job. I see one of the biggest 2014 marketing trends to be a big overhaul of websites, user & customer experience, with mobile use at the heart of it all.

7. Media rich

Linking in nicely with my first two points in this article, any content you do produce needs to be interesting and engaging. Add photos, video, links, a way to include user generated content etc… Get the viewer engaged and involved. If you’re writing an article, it’s not enough to just write a big wall of text. Use relevant images and video. Do you have a brand that has a strong presence on Pinterest or Instagram or YouTube? Then include some of that into your content. Make it media rich.

What are your thoughts on my predictions for 2014 marketing trends? Do you agree, or do you see something different for the year ahead? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below, or come find me on Twitter, I’d be very interested to hear what you have to say. Thanks!