Happy New Year! Last year was a great year for digital advertisers and marketers with advances in technology and paradigm shifts in the digital landscape.
Needless to say, these changes were only the initial signs of bigger advances on the horizon. In this post, we'll be discussing some of the implications of these changes and where we see things heading in 2014. It's time to put down your eggnog and holiday cookies and resolve to make 2014 your best year yet for digital marketing.
1. Branding, branding, branding
Focusing on branding will be paramount for digital marketers in 2014. We are all gathering more and more information from the web, using online channels to research, learn, socialize and shop. As such, intelligent and intentional branding online is an integral part of a successful branding equation. Digital platforms are the perfect landscape and eco-system for providing brand information to consumers, allowing advertisers to efficiently educate consumers about products and services. A key part of branding success in 2014 will be providing better engagement tools for your consumers. We're going to continue to see companies focusing on videos and high-resolution creative marketing to engage their consumers in the digital arena.
2. Keep your target audience engaged
Consumer engagement will need to be constant as we head into 2014. By the end of 2013, it was estimated that there were 1.4 billion smart phones in use, or one phone for every five people in the world. We use our smartphones for everything and most people maintain a constant connection to the digital world with search, content and social media. If you aren't keeping consumers engaged across all online mediums then someone else will. Social media, as we saw in 2013, is one of the most important avenues for audience engagement. In 2014 we'll be seeing platforms mature to allow companies and consumers to engage more immediately and interactively. In addition, developments on analytical platforms and computing will allow advertisers to react to consumers in real time and across different channels, resulting in a better user experience for their consumers.
3. Mobile devices are here to stay
The paradigm shift to mobile devices that we saw in 2013 will continue in 2014. Mobile devices are more than a phone for us, eclipsing all other tools to become the most advanced computing tool that mankind has ever had. The 2013 KPCB Internet Trends report indicates that mobile users check their smartphones on average 150 times a day and Cisco forecasts that the mobile data usage will increase 13 fold by 2017. In addition, it's estimated that consumers are exposed to 5,000+ ads per day with much of that exposure happening on mobile devices. If your family gatherings at the holidays look anything like the picture below, you know that mobile is here to stay.
Start this year out right by re-examining your mobile marketing strategies and campaigns to ensure that you are taking advantage of marketing opportunities across devices.
4.Take advantage of real-time opportunities in digital marketing
In the era we live in, fast is simply not fast enough. We use our smartphones and devices to immediately gain access to information and resources that used to take a long time and a lot of research to obtain. This powerful computing leaves a trail of data that is invaluable to digital marketers. As such, digital marketers need to resolve to analyze their data faster and faster, utilizing the tremendous developments in technologies to analyze trends and react in milliseconds.
For example, prior to Real-Time Bidding (RTB), advertisers were much more restricted with bidding and targeting opportunities on display networks. As a result, the return from display channels was usually less than other networks. However, RTB creates tremendous opportunities for marketers and provides more targeting and segmentation opportunities. Advertisers can have more control over display advertising and even buy a single impression using very specific criteria. Powerful computing tools analyze user behaviors and advertiser's criteria in milliseconds and serve the ads to users. This will certainly have a great impact on return from the network. A similar methodology has been utilized and proven effective in financial markets, allowing millions of dollars of stock exchanges to be completed by computers very effectively and efficiently. The power of computing on RTB will be the driving power for display network. In 2014, there will be a focus on developing the right algorithms so that digital marketers can react in real time and you need to be prepared and ready to take advantage of these algorithms to stay ahead of your competition. Digital marketing is a game for the nimble and quick- get ahead and stay ahead of your competition.
5. Big data love
In 2014, big data will transform from a hot buzzword to an absolutely integral part of digital marketing and online advertizing. Big data is being broken down into smaller, more digestible chunks, looking less like a scary monster and more like golden nuggets of invaluable information for marketers. This year, advertisers will be focusing on refining and enriching the data available to them, leading to more in-depth analyses. These analyses allow companies to deeply understand user trends and utilize these trends to hone their online marketing, allowing them to target consumers more specifically across devices, seasons and geographic regions. Big data is a virtual mine of client information for companies, allowing them to tie together their brand, audience, and marketing plans in real time across all devices. With the powerful information we gain from this data, you can harness your companyÈs potential in a way that was inconceivable even a few years ago. If you are ready to take advantage of this big data, it will allow you to be more efficient with your advertizing budget and reap an even greater return on your investment!
In conclusion, 2014 will be another record-breaking year for digital marketing. WeÈll see technologies that we never thought possible even at the turn of the century. The most successful digital marketers will be the agile, quick-on-their-feet marketers who embrace these powerful technological advances and use them to increase their return on investment and grow their businesses and brands.