As another year passes and a new one begins, the marketing playing field has turned squarely to digital concerns. Our predictions for trends that will dominate marketing frontal lobes in 2014 stand out, not because they’re new, but because we believe they have now become vital to every brand’s survival.
In four important areas of digital discipline, we predict 2014 will see these trends go from one-off extras to firmly planting their place in the Marketing toolbox.
1. Mobile will be mandatory. The process is already underway, mobile searches are dominating SEO growth with a resulting 70% of mobile searches leading to online interaction with in one hour. This is three times higher than the same search done from a laptop.
And usage is on its way up. An impressive 87% of all connected device sales in the next three years will be tablets or smartphones. In 2014, businesses will simply have to invest in mobile marketing to be competitive. One-size-fits-all digital design is no longer an option. Multi-platform content must become part and parcel of the marketing mix in 2014.
2. Visual content will dominate social media. It’s always made perfect sense: People are visual. If science says 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, it stands to reason that videos were shown to increase an average page conversion rate by 86% last year. Even simple images have had a similar success history.
Because visuals get an idea across instantly and simply, your company’s ability to graphically, photographically or video-graphically express itself, establishes it as a trusted brand that makes life easier for its customers.
3. Marketing departments will need to be like engineering departments. The past platform of mainframes, PC’s and local networking have been replaced by what’s called the “Third Platform” of Mobility, Social, Big Data and Cloud Computing. A whopping 63% of businesses that are using marketing automation in these technologies are outgrowing their competitors who don’t.
Although experts don’t predict marketers will actually have to become engineers this year, Joe Chernov, VP of Content, HubSpot projects a year of turning a portion of the marketing reigns over to the nerds. “The first wave of this fusion will involve engineers sitting with marketing people to help the company ‘hardwire’ growth in the product.”
4. Content marketing must strive for excellence. Sure, online content has been coming into its own in the past few years, but this year it will need to come up to speed in quality. Whether it’s practical native advertising articles, excellent short films, clever photo captions or simple instructions for commerce sites, text provides the backbone of what consumers read, watch, listen to or skim over on the Web.
No longer will your customers tolerate long, boring corporate copy, endlessly droning on about the company and its excellent opinion of itself. The attraction to useful, well-executed consumer-centric communication will get noticed this year. The rest will not.
In 2013, we “Blogged Out Loud” about digital, experiential, social and native approaches to multiple targets including women, Millennials, Latinos, College students and teens. Who knows what innovations 2014 will bring to the table? What were your challenges this past year and how do you plan to achieve your goals in 2014?
Whatever you accomplish for your brand this year, we want to thank you for joining our conversation in the past and hope that, in the future, you’ll continue to find our content useful and maybe even a little entertaining. Happy New Year!