Its that time of year we all look back on the year that has been and what the year ahead might bring. 2013 was definitely the year that even the most stick in the mud businesses realised that Digital and Social marketing is the new marketing. I was also the year I hope that businesses realised that having a Facebook profile and Twitter account does not make a Social Marketer, at least not a successful one.
Googles trends graph shows the rapid increase in Digital Marketing
So here are my is where I see effective Digital Marketing in 2014:
2014 Digital Marketing Tends
- Mobile – Do I really need to say this? Yes it seems so. Mobile is the future and yet many businesses are still way behind the curve. 2014 is going to be the year we see mobile start to dominate channel traffic. The desktop is dead, multi device mobile is the future and you need to prepare for it now. Can I access your content or complete my purchase on my phone? Tablet? Smart watch?
- Content Marketing – Its still king and the success will be in balancing Paid, Earned and Owned to maxium effectiveness. If you are not content marketing then you will lose out to those that do. This means, photo, video and written content.
- Responsive content – But straightforward content will no longer be enough, it will need to be responsive, not just for the platform it is consumed on, be that mobile phone or the ever growing number of Smart TVs or new generation games consoles. But also using location and device sensors to serve up relevant tailored content to users. For example if I was looking at your business website while sitting on a bus in Zurich, then I get the offers and directions to the Zurich store as part of the dynamic responsive content. Remember we need to make it as simple as possible for users to commit to a purchase.
- Device Tracking – The challenge here is to be able to follow our customers across their various devices. Customers might click on a Facebook ad on their phone, then follow it up on their tablet later. Not only do you need to track this for conversion and ROI metrics but you also want to be able to remarket where necessary.
- Google+ – Yes Google+ the ever growing behemoth of forced user sign up is here to stay now we all have an account, and once the issues of merging various Youtube, Gmail, Google+ etc have been resolved it will become a powerful tool for Business.
- Tracking Data – With the continued improvements and changes to Googles Analytics 2014 will be the year that tracking final moves away from the IT guys and into the hands of Marketers. Creating and implementing remarketing and campaign tracking without the need for web developers should make this a massive tool for marketers.
- Mobile – Have I mentioned how important mobile will be?
- SEO – The continued growth of personal search will be mixed with more social signals and the end of back link value. Context sensitive earned back links will probably be the last ones to bring any SEO juice. With the continued growth of Google Analytics and its use by marketers, then I think we will also see Google use this data for SEO, page exits, bounce rates, time spent on page and many more factors might soon start to influence your ranking.
- Facebook in decline – Okay maybe thats just an attention grabbing headline, Facebook is an will continue to be an important tool. But only for a certain demographic. To 16-18 year olds its already dead and buried according to recent research in Europe. Its seen as place for old people. Once parents feared what their children might be doing on Facebook now the children fear what their parents are posting! So where does this leave marketers. Well I think in 2014 we will see a more concerted move to instant and more closed social media. Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat and a whole host of other messaging apps will fill the gap.
- Privacy and Data – The fact is most young people don’t care about this as much as some older internet users do, and this presents continued opportunity for Marketers. As discussed above, responsive and relevant messaging will the the important factor in its use. Big data is here to stay.
- Social CRM tools and integration – Bringing you social and CRM data together as a powerful tool to target market.
finally not so much a direct marketing issue, but 2014 will see UX & UI designers move away from flat design again.