The buzzwords of 2013 were big data, programmatic buying and personalisation. In fact, according to Google Trends, programmatic buying didn’t even exist as a term until late 2012 and by November last year search interest for the term had soared.
Econsultancy’s Chris Lake was on the mark when he said in last year’s predictions that it would be about catering for the right kind of audience. All of these trends were, to one extent or another, about using data to automate better customer experiences.
And while 2013 brought us memorable creative marketing and ad campaigns – such as Coca-Cola reintroducing that Diet Coke guy, TalkTalk making us feel united with the ‘Nothing’s gonna stop us now’ advert and Three’s #DancePonyDance – it is questionable as to how effectively brands managed to capitalise on these data-led trends. Marketing of 2014 will dig deeper than that to find out more about why audiences purchase certain things. Brands will invest heavily in understanding customer buying behaviour, customer preferences and delivering the right content in the right format.
Chris Lake, head of content, Econsultancy
“Brands have by and large woken up to the idea that quality content is worth investing in, and it is a proven way of attracting and enchanting audiences. It’s great for social, even better for SEO, and can really help to shift the brand metrics that matter.
“Digital content budgets are finally starting to claim a bigger slice of the vast sums spent on rubbish TV ads, and long may that continue. In 2013 it was very much YouTube first, TV second, with regards to things like The SuperBowl. It’s just the beginning. I actually think that we’re on the cusp of a new golden age in advertising, but don’t tell the ad men.
“I guess 2014 will be the first truly mobile World Cup, following on from the Olympics, where a majority of web visits were from people using mobile devices. For many companies mobile traffic may eclipse desktop traffic, so the rise of responsive and adaptive web design should continue apace.
“Big data, while an interesting area, is largely all talk and no action. In any event, making sense of little data should be a far higher priority for most companies, and far better for customers.”
David Murphy, editor, Mobile Marketing
“The rapid shift towards programmatic buying that we have seen in mobile advertising in 2013 will continue. This must, to my mind, leave some of the ‘traditional’ mobile advertising networks disintermediated and therefore with no real role in life. Marketers will also continue in their efforts to get to grips with the multi-screen consumer and offer seamless engagement experiences across TV, smartphone, tablet and other connected devices. Many companies are working hard to crack this, but I don’t believe anyone has yet.”
Dr Magda Hercheui, editor, New Media Knowledge
“I think the most important news in marketing for 2014 will be those related to tools and mythologies, which help marketing professionals to better understand their audience.
“The market should be paying more attention to providing more relevant content and better measuring the impact of good content in building brands.”