It’s that time of year again – tinsel, lights, too much food and digital predictions for the year ahead. With a host of digital experts touting what we can expect in the year ahead, I have curated what I believe to be the most interesting predictions for 2014.
1. Pay to play becomes crucial in social media
Augie Ray, former Forrester analyst suggests a focus on paid media will eclipse earned media in marketing strategies. As Facebook and Twitter continue to monetise their social platforms and brand noise continues to rise – it is going to be harder to succeed in the social space unless you pay to play. Thus in 2014 brands will leverage paid as an important part of their social strategy more than ever before.
2. Content attracts media spend
According to Adam Vincenzini from Kamber, an Australian content agency, 2014 will be the year where content promotion takes a bigger chunk of media spend. As brands have been heavily investing in content production in recent years, brands are recognising that this great content is often not gaining the reach / visibility to gain maximum impact. Thus in 2014 we will see more and more publishers creating content solutions to enable brands to work their content assets harder.
3. The internet of things (IoT) will accelerate
According to Quartz, 2014 will be the year the internet of things takes off. Quartz suggests until recently, connecting a device to the internet was expensive and difficult. But in the past year or so, companies like Qualcomm, Intel and Texas Instruments have created inexpensive, power-efficient chips that enable pretty much anything to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, or to a mobile phone via a standard called Bluetooth Low Energy. As a result innovation by big corporates as well as start ups will accelerate in 2014.
But what does this mean for marketers?
One of the most notable outcomes of the IoT, is that these smart technologies gather a tremendous about of data and for marketers trying to already grapple with the tremendous amount of data already available the IoT adds another level of complexity. Although this challenge will probably not be one marketers need to tackle in the year ahead given the IoT is still emerging.
4. Location-Based Mobile Commerce
According to ExactTarget, location based mobile commerce will begin to flourish driven by technology and application innovations like iBeacon.
Kyle Vanhemert in his inWired article described the potential of iBeacon;
“You step inside Walmart and your shopping list is transformed into a personalized map, showing you the deals that’ll appeal to you most. You pause in front of a concert poster on the street, pull out your phone, and you’re greeted with an option to buy tickets with a single tap. You go to your local watering hole, have a round of drinks, and just leave, having paid—and tipped!—with Uber-like ease. Welcome to the world of iBeacon.”
5. Social TV opportunities expand
Whilst second screen usage is not new, few brands have taken advantage of it – particularly when it comes to tapping into the social TV trend. Millward Brown believes 2014 will bring a host of new social TV opportunities. According to Millward Brown “the social TV opportunity will be expanded as Twitter introduces additional audience-based targeting opportunities. Millard Brown writes “based on their data connecting TV to social media usage on the second screen, Twitter will be able to define like-minded communities organized around TV viewing habits. Eventually this will lead to more sophisticated psychographic targeting when those audiences are further segmented based on other interests and habits. For brands that are title sponsors of a show or an event, this means they will be able to continue targeting their show-specific audience long after the event itself, and not necessarily just when those people are tweeting or reading about show-specific content.”
6. Privacy concerns give rise to disappearing data
In an era of Big Data, marketers equally need to grapple with disappearing data. In 2014, David Berkowitz, Chief Marketing Officer of MRY believes marketers are going to have to come to terms with disappearing data in the social space with new social applications like Snapchat gaining momentum. Such a trend will make it more difficult for marketers to track and target consumers. Equally as companies seek to capture more data than ever before consumers will increasingly prioritise privacy, which puts pressure of law makers to legislate against the capture and storage of various pieces of information. Search marketers already have to come to terms with disappearing search query data from Google – expect much more of this in the year ahead.
Watch: Game-Changing Digital Predictions for 2014