1. Responsive web design
In 2014, business owners and marketers need to go beyond responsive web design and ask: how are we meeting the mobile challenge? Our digital output needs to be compatible across a multitude of devices.
2. Content marketing
OK so this might be all you've heard about in 2013. But it's set to expand even further, and become even more vital to your marketing efforts in 2014. In short, creating brilliant content (whether in form of a video, article, blog post, or infographic) and marketing that content (whether through Google+, Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook) offers a cost-efficient way to connect with highly targeted audiences.
3. Professionally designed websites
Today's customer expects an eye-catching and well-designed website. If it's functional, innovative and memorable your customers are less likely to click across to your competitor's site. It's no longer optional - it's a market advantage.
4. Smart objects
By now, you've probably heard about the Internet of Things. As new gadgets and technologies emerge this year, there will be new ways to leverage these smart objects in our marketing campaigns and more effectively reach our audiences. Here's an example: Soon we'll be able to buy Google Glass. A recently released Glass app, Glashion, enables users to photograph clothing and accessories of passers-by and complete a comparison shop. Think about what those possibilities mean for marketers. Conversely there are the issues of invasion of privacy and accusations of Big Brother...
5. Paid organic social media
This jargon basically means paid marketing on social platforms. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn advertising are key, while newer platforms such as Pinterest. Google+ and Instagram will continue to open new ways for you to share your marketing messages.
6. Influencer marketing
i.e. directly targeting the decision makers and budget holders. Marketers are now returning to “old school” methods such as gifts and hand written notes in an attempt to catch an influencer's eye and start to build a relationship.
7. Loyalty marketing
Reciprocal loyalty is this year's thing, in which not only are customers loyal to a brand through advocacy and brand support, but the brand is also investing back into the customer through rewards, personalised experiences and customer service.
8. Big data personalisation
Big data has been around for a few years now. Now that we understand its importance, marketers will start to use the insights it brings for precise targeting and personalisation. No more “spray and pray” on your email campaigns!
9. Image and video marketing
This year marketers will use image and video marketing and tell stories in snippet form. Concise messaging and consistent branding will be at the heart of these little tales. Marketers will share a story faster – have a look at some of the best branded Vines of 2013.