Regardless of the level of consumption over the preceding two weeks chances are the passing of a New Year won’t have gone unnoticed. And, as per usual, the arrival of another annum brings with it much promise for marketing agencies and their clients, providing they look in the right places. For marketers, the start of a new year always prompts speculation as to what new marketing initiatives and trends will be used to increase consumer engagement.
What will Marketing Initiatives in 2014 Bring?
It’s the question people have been trying to answer since last summer ended, when the earliest foundations for all those ‘Predictions’ features were laid. In truth nobody knows what’s about to happen, hence the commonly coined phrase about hindsight, and as such it’s beyond us whether the government will pass legislation allowing Dominos and Amazon to start using airborne drones- a la the U.S. military – as a means of delivering orders to doorsteps.
Elsewhere, though, we can offer some educated guesswork on marketing initiatives. Content strategy will continue to be a key buzzword on marketing tongues, with the importance of creating shareable articles, images and more, not to mention the knowledge of where and when to use those assets, already having become an industry doctrine for forward thinking brands and their advisors. Even the world of web publishing has begun to respond to this demand, with ‘native content’ (i.e. paid for by a sponsor but not an advert) now paramount in the revenue streams of sites like Buzzfeed and The People.
None of which is particularly big news. And ‘smart data’ shouldn’t be either, given it’s a logical next step. But, if you aren’t familiar already then let’s divulge. This isn’t a marketing specific concept, but one of those ideas that will change a great deal of experiences for people. The information already amassed by brands and companies is overwhelming, hence the term ‘big data’, but due to increasingly sophisticated analytics apps and software, experts are expecting marketing initiatives in 2014 to be all about ‘smart data’, wherein firms draw on a wealth of insights to create personalised experiences for consumers.
If that’s true then it’s a good thing technology is about ready to facilitate campaigns and marketing initiatives targeted at individuals. Apple’s new iBeacon system can transmit messages whenever an enabled device comes into range of a transmitter. Meanwhile, if we had a dollar for every time someone had uttered the term ‘machine thinking’ recently we’d be at the Bureau de Change right now. Repetition aside, machines capable of responding as we interact with them are due to become a lot more advanced, and this also means the ability for companies to target specific locations (and the public at those locations) will also increase.
The list could go on, and if it did we’d have to reference the promotional fallout anyone with an ounce of common sense will have picked up on over the last few years. In short, it doesn’t matter if you’re using email or a soft drink dispenser that doubles up as a catalogue for sofas, the public have well and truly had enough of the traditional spiel. So rather than straight selling, if the consumers we work so hard for the attention of deserve one thing surely it’s campaign ideas and marketing initiatives that entertain, educate or serve some other tangible purpose. After all, the difference in success between brands that appreciate this, and those that don’t, is already more than evident.