The digital marketing landscape is changing constantly. Each year, new tools, technologies, and platforms are introduced that subsequently shift marketing strategies.
In keeping with the theme of new digital technologies and strategies, here are four trends every digital marketer should be thinking about for 2014.
1. Interactive video experiences
As brands push past traditional impressions and toward true engagement, applications and services take over. Take videos, for example. A short video clip is able to convey a message much more effectively than static ads can, which is why sites like YouTube are popular and why we've seen the introduction of other video platforms, such as Vine, and Instagram's new video component.
Now, imagine an interactive video experience at street level with access to social media and new impressions. With these platforms available, agencies will be experimenting with interactive content to create and share brand experiences at street level in a social digital experience.
By generating content that speaks to multiple senses—primarily sight, sound, and touch—marketers can create unique experiences that engage audiences and create more powerful connections with their brands.
2. Cross-screen marketing
Though mobile is an increasingly important part of marketing, remember that just under half of all Americans still don't have smartphones, and mobile-first and mobile-only strategies make it difficult to target the less tech-savvy consumer. The answer to this problem: cross-screen marketing.
By creating integrated campaigns across multiple screens—TV, tablet, mobile, desktop, or interactive screens at retail locations or near the point of sale—marketers can reach people without smartphones and even more effectively target consumers with one or more device. That becomes increasingly important as the more tech-savvy customers consume media through more than one screen at a time.
3. Data-driven location-based marketing
The influx of mobile devices and the introduction of wearable technologies have opened the door to a whole new world of data collection. By harnessing GPS capabilities and layering that with other demographic and consumer information, marketers are able to deliver real-time messages. By using data to create a more vivid picture of a consumer—where you are, who you are, and what you like—marketers are able to paint a more context-aware picture of consumers and tailor the brand experience accordingly. By automating user analytics, marketing technology can become more predictive and thus more effective.
Also, as the barriers to mobile purchases and transactions continue to erode, location-relevant messages, especially those occurring near the point of sale, will become increasingly important.
4. Custom content delivery
In 2014, more marketers will understand the value in moving away from purely promotional messaging and instead focus on delivering new valuable content, opening the door for more connective advertising and messaging.
More brands will take on the role of publisher and producer, creating dynamic, content-driven sites that provide information that consumers are looking for. By using predictive data that generates unique content for their audiences, brands will offer a complete experience and build relationships with customers.