Image courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net ID-100142632

Image courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital marketing is the new black. It is everywhere.It’s moving, changing, morphing, penetrating, here is what to watch for in 2014.

1. 78% of CMOs Can’t be Wrong about Content!

The bulk of CMOs believe that custom content is the future of marketing.

Marketing has been departing from promotional sales information and further embracing the approach of delivering help and value to customers. The goal of engaging with prospects and the customer base is now predominantly content-centric.

As more brands take on the role of publisher and producer of branded content they are finding themselves becoming media companies. To feed the beast and continually produce content, the org chart needs more and more “editors” and “content __” roles.

As the top marketing priority, content strategy, production, and curation are taking a bigger and bigger chunk of the budget. Over half of many large companies’ marketing departments are now responsible for content.

But content is a team sport. The need to manage the production and sharing across the organization for consistency and maximum efficiency is becoming critically important.
Strategic guidelines must be in place for the content creation, maintenance, process, and governance, not only for internal departments but in concert with external agencies.

Next move: predictive data that generates unique content for specific audiences, allowing brands to offer a complete experience and better build relationships with customers.

2. Video Killed the Radio Star

Ok, no radio about it but the facts are that YouTube is not only a key platform for online video marketing and advertising, but it is also the world’s second largest search engine.

People love video. If a picture says a thousand words, a video conveys exponentially more. Audiences watch advertising videos longer than they give their attention to a static image advertisement. People seek out sources of information and how-to videos from all sources.

Technologies such as ad stack and in-line advertising, in combination with native-looking contexts are making tempting video even easier to access. And it works!

Next move:

How about interactive, augmented reality videos that are personalized to your audience’s interests? What a fantastic way to create unique and engaging experiences between brands and customers.

3. On Demand, On Location

Location-based marketing is the hottest new trend in tailoring marketing efforts in time and place. With all the check-in programs in use, the GPS enabled apps, and the ubiquity of our mobile devices from smart phone to wearable technology, it’s a data collector’s dream.

Overlying demographic and consumer information with GPS locational data, and you have an enormity of predictive data that can be used to target consumers with specific, timely advertising straight to their mobile device. It’s a marketer’s dream.

Next move:

Catch the 91% of American adults who have their smart phone within reach 24/7. Now cater to them by delivering special offers that hold personal value in function of the consumer’s specific location and predicted daily itinerary. And when the consumer can get the e-coupon from the local coffee shop just blocks before, slide on in for a deal and pay with their smart phone. Ca-ching!

4. Cross Device Campaigns

While almost half of Americans don’t have a smart phone, we’re all on electronics now (hey look your 3-year old is downloading an app on your tablet right now!)

Data profiles follow across devices, so digital campaigns should be coordinated to targeting all devices from TV to tablet, mobile to desktop, and even including interactive screens at point of sale.

Even personal fitness monitors now sync up with more than your Tweet-Brags, connecting to a Walgreen’s loyalty card as well. Fitbit will wirelessly connect with our phones and tell us when it is time to get up off the couch. Medical information can be relayed directly to the doctor as well as to your cloud-based tracking system for consultation on any device.

Next move:

Now that Google has purchased Nest, the Internet of Things will connect our non-consumer personal residential lifestyle data to the compendium of online-derived information out there on each of us to completely serve each of use anywhere via anything we connect to!

5. Social Media Competition

While Google+ hasn’t had the same landslide as Facebook, and doesn’t fill the same function as LinkedIn or YouTube, it does have strong social referral value, especially when it comes to search engine results.

Over 90% of marketers already say they use social media for business. And last year, there was a huge surge in popularity of new networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine. These upstarts fulfill very different niches, but also send strong social signals, making them valuable for indexibility as well as providing new opportunities to build brands and connection with customers.

Next move:

Foursquare and seven tweets ago, YouTube took an Instagram Pinterest in my Facebook. You pulled out your Ban.jo and LinkedIn your Vine on my List.ly. In a Snapchat my Pulse did a Flipboard, now we are on a Path!   What!? I dunno.

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