At the end of each calendar year, countless articles and blog posts are written about “what to expect,” “what’s next,” all forecasting trends for the year ahead. “Trend spotting” is evident and helpful in countless industries and digital marketing is no exception. In the digital media sector it is safe to say that such trend spotting is grossly exaggerated, misinforming the masses. Just check your Twitter feed and see how littered it is with links to various blog posts where the author is looking into his magic crystal ball, trying to predict what will be, “the new black” in digital marketing and advertising.
There is a problem with this. Forecasting trends doesn’t make those trends a reality now or even in the distant future. They are often derived from opinions, ideas, or pipe dreams of the writers who are publishing such pieces. Sure it is fun to read, but the fact of the matter is that it’s not so likely that these “trends” will come to fruition in the coming year or ever. People fall into changing their focus from doing what they know and fine tuning their efforts to shifting gears entirely in hopes that the “trend” they wish to capitalize from pays off. How many times have we read about the “smart refrigerator”? Do you have one at home? Do you know anyone who has one at home? No. A true, consumer-ready refrigerator does not exist. Just as some of the most exciting trends forecasted for the advertising market have proven to be bogus.
Forecasting trends doesn’t make those trends a reality now or even in the distant future. They are often derived from opinions, ideas, or pipe dreams of the writers who are publishing such pieces.
Most businesses, and ours is no exception, make projections. When my associate, Dmitry Shevchenko, and I sat down to put together a presentation about trends in digital marketing before The European Summit we had one goal — to present trends that have a much bigger chance of becoming reality during 2014. We wanted to be a little more down to earth. Give everyone who listens an honest hope and look into the future – not deliver outrageous information.
Because we realize that the audience we penetrated was limited to those who were in attendance at the show, we wanted to offer XBIZ World readers a chance to access our projections and insights as well. Now, we offer our list:
No one could have missed that one of the big buzzwords in recent years has been the big data. According to me, the two most important fundamental functions/aspects of “big data” is to:
• Collect data; and,
• Analyze that data to make better decisions.
Many people have realized the importance of data and have therefore started to collect it, but few actually analyze all this information.
In fact, marketers have access to one of the best “big data” tools, perhaps without even thinking about it. I’m talking about Google Analytics (if you use another statistical tool that’s fine too). This gives you access to massive amounts of data, which if used correctly, can give you unique insights about your visitors with new features such as “universal analytics” and “attribution modeling” facilitating the work.
2014 is the year when we will see data-driven marketers — for real. The guessing game is over, it’s time to make informed decisions.
All search engines — whether its Google, Bing, Yahoo or search on Facebook is improving all the time and now is using all available information to deliver increasingly relevant results. Because of this, we must constantly improve our sites and our content to improve our SEO rankings.
It’s no secret that social presence has been important in SEO for a long time. However, we at ADAMO Advertising believe that this year will need to have a socially credible writer as the sender of the content increase. A good example of this is Google Authorship where you can connect to their content on Google+.
As the use of smartphones has exploded, the use of search on these devices has skyrocketed. When it comes to mobile, it is the geographic context of the greatest interest because the user frequently is in motion. Search results with geographic relevance are highly profitable, which means that content linked to a specific place is gold.
Email has been re-born again thanks to mobile! In fact, email marketing live in most, but the difference is that we are now reading these emails on mobile phones instead of the computer. According to Litmus, we can see that over 50 percent of e-mail distribution opens on the mobile. A large part of these mailings are open only on mobile. You cannot underestimate the importance of having mobile custom e-mail in 2014.
Thanks to the increasing value of inbound marketing, it has never felt more right than now to proclaim that “Content is King.” But with more and more focusing on content it becomes harder to stand out. In 2014, therefore, we see more of the really good content, where tone and culture is recorded to feel really relevant to the reader.
“Storytelling “ i.e. the use of storytelling to bring your message across is nothing new in marketing. Why? Because everyone likes a good story better than marketing mumbo-jumbo. This technology is growing even stronger on the web.
This trend is a new design pattern for presenting content. The technique is called “cards” and entails breaking down their content to smaller components. This makes it possible to adjust the amount of information to a screen size by different views available for the cards; compact, standard and detailed.
Great services that have already embraced the trend is Pinterest, Google Now and the “discover” feature in Spotify.
A well-known expression, “A picture says a thousand words” sums it up greatly. It is a credible guess that visual marketing is probably the most effective type of marketing, second only to word-of-mouth. Therefore, it is not unexpected that marketers love to embrace new services to disseminate messages through pictures such as Pinterest and Instagram. The importance of these services is bound to increase exponentially in 2014 and beyond.
After pictures, video is next. With the launch of Instagram Video and Vine, there is good reason to believe that the use of video in marketing will be taken to a new level during this year.
All in all it is our objective as an advertising company to remain ahead of the curve, keeping our eye on the future and evolving as the market does – not filling our clients with false hopes or chasing untried methods to monetize their campaigns.
Judy Shalom is CEO of ADAMO Advertising.