Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted a survey of past (and current) predictions about the future of the marketing industry. Along with those predictions of trends in the industry, many of the sources I surveyed also pointed out what they think the big challenges of 2014 will be. Whether or not they end up being 100% accurate, it’s helpful to at least consider how your company will handle the complex realities that arise as technology advances.
Marketing, the “Native” Way
We’ve seen plenty of sources emphasize the importance of content marketing in general, but this year the weight is on a particular type of content marketing: native advertising, such as promoted social media posts and location or map-based consumer suggestions.
SmallBizTrends.com listed growth in native advertising as their biggest prediction for 2014, pointing out the waning effectiveness of traditional web display ads. But how much should your company spend on native ads vs. the budget for other forms of marketing? It depends on your industry, your specific promotional goals, and your target audience. Think it through; even if your company doesn’t deem it necessary to devote much of its resources to native advertisements now, it probably will in the future.
Runaway Mobile: Tracking Users Across Multiple Devices
In 2014, there will be more mobile devices on earth than there are humans to operate them. As smartphone and tablet usage become standard, advertisers have to adapt. Businesses already recognize the importance of making their websites responsive for these devices, but the next challenge will be learning how to track users across multiple devices.
Think about your typical day: You might start reading something on your phone at the breakfast table, then bring that article up again to finish it on your laptop when you get to work. If your company is trying to go paperless, you might bring a tablet to your meetings and continue reading. While this increases the number of opportunities for marketers, it also makes it more difficult to develop an accurate customer profile.
Additionally, marketers will need to develop new ways to track consumers who are concerned with privacy. Millions of Snapchat users – who signed onto the services initially because of its promise of privacy – had their personal data compromised recently. How can we, as marketers, encourage those who are concerned with privacy that the information they type into a lead form will stay in the right hands?
Big Data: One in a Million
Perhaps the most important prediction – and challenge – of 2014 and beyond will be how to make sense of the enormous collections of data we’re now capable of gathering. As computing power increases and the cost of that technology decreases, we’ll have to devote more time and effort to ensure that we’re using that data effectively.
New Media and Marketing put it best: “Data without insights is worthless.”
Distribion’s multi-channel marketing platform is designed to help you and your business tackle the challenges of the future. Learn more about our solutions, then contact us for a personalized assessment of your business’s needs and how we can help.
About the Author: Sharon Eliza Nichols created the Facebook group “I judge you when you use poor grammar.”, which grew to almost 500,000 members. She turned the content into two books, “I judge you when you use poor grammar.” and “More Badder Grammar!”, which have sold 90,000+ copies. Sharon has a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, she’s been featured in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and she works in marketing in Virginia.