Upward Brand Interactions’ 2014 Marketing Predictions
We don’t have a crystal ball, or an in-house psychic, but that didn’t stop our team of marketing pro’s from compiling a list of industry predictions for the coming year.
The Need for a New Kind of Agency
In 2014, organizations will turn to integrated partners/agencies, not niche players to help them achieve marketing success. Brands need to be communicating the same message in different ways to different audiences. As a result, agencies will need to be solid players in a number of categories…not just one or two. Agencies who can excel equally at content marketing, web, search and branding will be a force to be reckoned with.
Content (and Context) Will Continue to Reign
Websites will cease to be the holy grail and will simply become the vessel for content delivery. In turn, content will get richer and everyone will get more comfortable creating it. There will be a heightened focus on imagery, infographics, stories and video.
Speaking of video, this content format will continue to play a key role in the marketing mix. In addition to making content consumption incredibly easy on the viewer/consumer, it allows you to reinforce your “words” with visual and emotional connections. With the rise of content marketing, and as a result, storytelling, this medium will continue to gain momentum in 2014.
A New Way to Socialize
Social media will no longer be a major focus of marketer’s campaigns. Instead, it will be viewed as a piece of a larger marketing effort—a vehicle, or channel, for distribution of content. As focus shifts from promotional social media marketing, brands will become more customer service-oriented and tuned in to opportunities to serve their customers via these channels.
Streamlined & Simplified
Web design will get simpler to put the focus on multi-screen versatility, usability and UXD. We will begin to see more flat design with less drop shadows–think Windows 8. Websites themselves will also become simpler, with clean navigation in order to enhance the mobile experience, and we’ll see a continued rise in single page websites with parallax scrolling.
Speak to ME
Data will drive the creation of ever-sophisticated widgets to bolster site engagement metrics, and create more value for users trying to make decisions and learn through exploration. Micro interactions will be more thoughtful and fun; gamer-like actions will enhance sites. Responsive design and being device agnostic will pull focus from device-based apps to web based apps.
Screens will pop up everywhere…on your restaurant table, in department store dressing rooms, and even your shopping cart.
We are not saying that longform will disappear forever, but rich media such as video, gifs, Snapchat, Vine and Instagram are grabbing more consumer engagement and viewership. For example, Instagram has capitalized on this demand and has recently added direct messaging features. The growth of this app will continue and the functionality and design of it and its competitors will be exciting as it unfolds in 2014.
Living in the Present
The Oreo Super Bowl ad is still the best reference of culture jacking. Content marketers will incorporate more of these real-time conversations and relevant posts instead of relying solely on their own editorial calendars and scheduled postings.