Predicting the 2014 Marketing Trends

crystal-ball_blurWondering what to think about and plan for in 2014 for marketing and increase your bottom line?  Well I do!  It’s that time of year when strategic planning and budgeting are in their final stages. What are the major trends for 2014 and how should marketers align themselves to make the most of their marketing dollars?

First we need to make sure we are on mutual wavelengths.  Which category do you fall in?

I’m a ‘Smart’ Marketer

  • A Smart Marketer keeps up with the latest marketing trends and adjusts their plan accordingly.

I’m an ‘Other’ Marketer

  • Other marketers just keep doing the same things again and again!

Are my ‘Smart’ Marketers ready to read forward?  My crystal ball tells me that these 2014 marketing trends are what business owners and Marketing teams should count on and plan for:

  1. Tablets, tablet and more tablets
  2. Mobile Marketing has become even more mobile
  3. Cloud Computing;  up in the air or business reality
  4. Content is the New Marketing

Tablets, tablet and more tablets

Over the last few years there has been a surge in the popularity of mobile devices, and in 2014 the trend will be still upward. Many schools now provide tablets to students; my kids have iPad minis for class! Apple released the iPad Mini to compete with Samsung Tablets, and is about to release the next generation of iPhones, iPads and iPad Minis.   Microsoft designed Windows 8 with touchscreen capability, for use on Tablets as well as traditional PCs. Recently, Microsoft gave away 10,000 Surface RT Tablets to educators at the International Society for Technology in Education conference. Tablets will continue to chip away from desktops and laptops, which translates to more mobile devices accessing the Internet than ever before.

Take away

Are your website, landing pages, and emails optimized for these new devices?  The answer should be yes or its time to make fundamental changes.  I.e. stop reading this blog and call in your web team.

Mobile Marketing has become even more mobile

No matter how you slice it, the trend towards the bigger piece of the Web access pie is from mobile devices. In fact, 2014 shall mark the first time that online access is greater from mobile devices than desktops or laptops. Ericsson estimates there will be over 50 billion connected devices in circulation by 2020, including laptops, tablets and smartphones. In fact, phone calls are one of the least popular features of smartphones.

Take away

Stop thinking about your prospect customer sitting in front of their computer, they are on their mobile silly!

Cloud Computing;  up in the air or business reality

Have you noticed how much work can be done through cloud services? At our company we have moved most of our critical operations to cloud platforms.  For example, I use Nimble for CRM, TeamworkPM for project management, Quickbooks online for accounting, Box for sharing files and folders, and Google shared drive for worksheet collaboration. My laptop is slowing becoming a ‘dummy terminal’.  Cloud Computing benefits include cost effectiveness, convenience and simplicity – and more businesses are realizing this.  Employees are more effective and efficient; resulting in saving IT costs and helping the bottom line.   Since cloud computing allows people to access their data from any device (see Trends #1 & 2) connected to the Web, logically it makes sense that people expect information to look mobile-friendly, load quickly, and be easily accessed. If it’s not, they move on to the next site.

Take away

If you catch yourself thinking “Gosh, I wish there was application that did ‘this’ in helping with my marketing initiatives”, there probably is an online solution.

Content is the New Marketing

Blogs, social media, newsletters, webinars, e-books, photo­sharing, videos or case studies are just a few of the sharpest tools your company ought to invest in. What this means for you, as a marketer, is that your content should be more about developing deeper relationships and engagement with your buyer personas, and less about expanding the size of your social reach. Develop content that your customers need and want, and make sure it’s mobile friendly.

Take away

First, the information age is here and your customer is now smarter on what and how they receive their information.  Second, don’t start with which social media platforms your company should be marketing on; that’s just wrong, wrong, and wrong.  Start with a premium content strategy that targets your customer persona.  Are you set up to create and deliver this premium content?

Bottom line:

There is no doubt that more and more people are moving away from desktops to connect to the Internet. They read their emails, do research, read e-books, watch webinars, share photos, shop, and more. As you develop your strategic plan for 2014, keep these marketing trends in mind by developing relevant content so that it is easily viewable and accessible.   These are the trends for 2014?   Do you agree or disagree?

About Michael Senger

Michael Senger is an energetic, results-oriented Senior Marketing Professional with almost 15 years experience in strategic online marketing. Before joining Hidden Peak Interactive, Michael successfully led the launch of StoneMass, a web marketing agency. Michael also spent 8 years at Symantec, directing their Global Online Marketing initiatives leading a diverse global team of matrixed team leaders and digital/online agencies leading to successful global results.

Michael has a MBA in Marketing Information Technology from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

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