With advancements in technology and the domination of tablet devices we all want to know what’s in store in 2014. Are digital experiences changing and if so how do you keep ahead of the game? We look at popular trends that will dictate marketing strategies over the coming year.
Making services and products appear more personalised isn't a new phenomenon, marketers have known for a long time that the personal touch pays off and is significant when it comes to conversion and retention rates.
Ensuring that your brand delivers a personalised experience has in part become easier due to a rise in the amount of devices and data available. When a person goes online they might well find a whole list of products popping up that are relevant to their search criteria.
The shear amount of information available online is giving marketers an increased insight in to customer preferences, patterns and behaviours. 2014 will see this go even further with more strategies aimed at tapping into personality and lifestyle choices.
So more data means more knowledge, and personalising the digital experience for customers can potentially lead to increased profits. However it is important to monitor and evaluate this information in the right way, making sure it’s meaningful and relevant to your target audiences.
One trend that is inevitable throughout 2014 will be the increase in content marketing. It’s now not enough to have information out there, you have to make the information meaningful, interesting and specific to your target audience.
This has largely been the result of social media platforms and tweaks to Google's search algorithms and it’s changing the way companies are promoting their work.
2014 will see more significance being placed on copywriters and written skills.
Hubspot's 5 top tips for writing content are:
- Educational: make sure it teaches people something or answers a question
- Newsworthy: make sure it relates to topical and recent news in your industry
- Infographics: people like visual content that is easy to understand
- Trends: tell people about trends and try to add some data or stats
- Videos: everyone loves watching a video
With 2013 seeing the rise of the tablet, 2014 will certainly see widespread responsive web design to improve usability for these popular new devices. People want to be able to access things any time anywhere and improving touchscreen usability will lead to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
This particularly impacts on design agencies, we've certainly seen a sharp spike in interest for responsive design this year.
62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales - Hubspot
Marketers will also think more about how content is displayed on tablet devices.
On the horizon is increased use of voice activation and natural language processing - you will be speaking to your device rather than tapping it - but until that day make sure touchscreen usability is a top priority in your marketing strategy.
Big data! Everyone’s talking about it, but who’s using it?
73% of marketer’s surveyed say improving data analytics will be a top priority in 2014 - Ayaz Nanji
So what do we mean by Big Data? Well it’s what it says really, it’s the collection of huge volumes of data from all kinds of user interactions which usually needs advanced monitoring tools to detect meaningful patterns.
Information is now being generated from more sources and devices than ever before and those that can monitor and manipulate this data can take the competitive edge. However, figures show that a lot of companies are overwhelmed with the shear amount of data available and are wary about spending too much time, resources, and money analysing it.
Therefore 2014 will see more monitoring and evaluation systems being designed specifically for big data and marketers will think more about how they can incorporate big data into their marketing strategies.
More and more significance is being placed on the importance of visual effects to increasing brand awareness and profit margins.
Our brains are highly visual and therefore a message that is portrayed visually will have much more impact than written words. This has led to the growth of infographics that instantly get the message across to viewers.
Videos are also becoming more important with popular websites like YouTube and Vine being used by millions around the world. Making content visually more appealing is going to be a top marketing strategy in 2014, so start getting creative now.