Anybody else eager to unwrap their 2014 digital marketing plans, if only to get access to next year’s funds? We here at Brandsplat love the smell of freshly baked goals and the new budgets that accompany them, and we know it’s hard to wait. So let’s take a look at the digital marketing trend predictions from seasoned analysts across the Internets together to pass the time. You know, just in case there’s something out there you can use to convince accounting to let you crack into those 2014 funds a little early. Here are five predictions for 2014 digital marketing trends that you might have missed:
1. Where it’s at: Location-based marketing is the new black, according to several analysts. Using GPS technology to send multimedia content specific to a consumer’s geographical location directly to that potential customer’s mobile device helps shorten the distance between want/need and the point of purchase. Current apps include Ban.jo, Path and, yes, even Foursquare. Google Wallet and other similar tools are being refined to speed up payment methods (just wave your smartphone!), so when you combine “you’re already there already” with faster checkout, you can see why this is bigger than that big data everybody’s talking about.
2. Mr. Big Goes Small: Speaking of big data, one agency’s already got an Alice in Wonderland “drink me” approach to big data. Helen Graney, managing director of Jack Morton Australia, says brands must look beyond the data themselves and use them to improve the customer experience. “The way we interact with brands is rapidly evolving and as customers become increasingly empowered, it has never been more important for marketers to understand engagement and experience trends moving into 2014,” she says. If brands can establish an authentic connection with their consumers, they’ll pay more, she says. Better is the new big?
3. Personality’s not just for the office holiday party: Ben Romberg at Tug sees brands developing more distinctive online personalities in 2014 in the same way that people have a digital personality on a social network. This also means occasionally going head-to-head with a competing brand. “Lots of brands are bringing their digital personalities to life using a characteristic tone of voice, a figurehead, spokesperson or mascot and on occasions challenging or engaging with other brands or competitors,” Romberg says. “We expect to see this continue and develop as new digital technologies enable consumers to form relationships with the companies they love and products they purchase.”
4. Nobody’s perfect: “Imperfection and even outright ugliness — the quirky, the messy and the clearly flawed — are taking on new appeal in a world that’s become all too polished or mass-produced,” note the folks at JWTIntelligence. “The imperfect is coming to feel more authentic, and also more comforting and meaningful.” Of course, “imperfect” was also the hottest beauty trend of 2012, so we’ll see where this goes.
5. Engage, engage, engage: Brands that want to connect with youth audiences in a credible way must create and publish engaging, clever bite-sized content, says Emily Cramp of Thinkhouse. “Young people want to be entertained; customizing content for image-centric platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest, mastering the art form of storytelling in a 6-second Vine video or 140 character Tweet, or finding a presence on Snapchat means social media diversity for brands is firmly on the agenda.” Speed, humor and personality (there’s that word again!) will help brands shine, she adds.
But what say you, dear readers? Are there trends on your 2014 digital marketing plan that we missed? Let us have it in the comments section!