My Big 5 Marketing Predictions for 2014

I am presenting a free Vocus webinar this Wednesday at 2 p.m. on the five big trends that will impact marketers in 2014. Vocus is a client of Tenacity5 Media.

Everyone wants to know the most important trends of the new year for their marketing program. After reading thousands of posts and reports and sifting through corresponding data about marketing, these are my five bold predictions for 2014, and what you should do about it.

Trend 1: Mobile Begins to Dominate

Google Glass will grab the headlines, but old-fashioned mobile marketing will command the budget. Thanks to responsive and adaptive designs, geofencing, and diverse mobile media properties, businesses can deploy customized campaigns to attract customers on the go. As ROI increases, expect mobile specific efforts to become the next marketing boom.

Key Statistic: In 2014, 3.7% of the total U.S. ad spend will be mobile ($6.2 billion). We saw 81% growth this year in the U.S. market, with that rate slowing down to 61% in 2014 and 53% in 2015, when mobile will make up 8.4% of the total ad spend. Source: ZenithOptimedia.

Trend 2: Wearable Moves to the Wrist

Wearable computing hype will move away from the head to the wrist. Google Glass is too awkward and clunky to be anything more than a niche product. Meanwhile, Nike+ FuelBand and Fitbit continue to show how wearable computing can quietly be accepted in day to day lie. Expect Apple and Samsung to take advantage of the form factor, and define the market.

Key Statistic: Google Glass will move 21 million units in annual sales by year-end 2018. Source: BI Intelligence

Trend 3: Vine Becomes a Major

In 2012 we saw the rise of Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+. 2013 was promising but less successful with Vine and SnapChat.

But toward the end of the year interesting acquisition chatter between Facebook and SnapChat commanded the headlines. Then Facebook delivered a vain attempt to replicate video messaging functionality on Instagram (the McDonalds business strategy strikes again).

There are serious monetization issues with SnapChat. Facebook is turning the Instagram platform into something for everyone, and at the same time nothing distinct.

Vine is already tied into Twitter’s ad platform, and will benefit from its unique video only format. Expect Vine to breakthrough in 2014 because of its simplistic utility, short video, and Twitter’s increasingly successful ad platforms.

Key Statistic: At the end of September, Twitter-owned Vine grew a whopping 403% between the first and third quarters of 2013 according to Mashable, Statista and GlobalWebIndex. That makes the video app the fastest-growing app of the year; it now has more than 40 million users. Source: Business Insider.

Trend 4: Native Advertisers Clean Up

As native advertising continues to expand and infiltrate traditional publishing and social media, consumer trust will decline and legal action will increase. Brands and media properties alike will come to understand the impact sponsored content makes on trust. Native advertisers will clean up their offerings, and brand reputation will take precedence over short term gains.

Key Statistic: The most popular forms of native advertising in 2013 were blog posts (65%), articles (63%), Facebook (56%), videos (52%), tweets (46%), and infographics (35%). Source: Hexagram.

Trend 5: Marketing Automation Improves

The potential for marketing automation is well documented as is its impact on the bottom line. But most automation solutions are hard to use. Marketers don’t have the analytic and technical skills to succeed.

What is hard must become easier. Companies will put pressure on their teams and vendors to make marketing automation more useful to their businesses. Training and user interface evolution will make marketing automation a bigger success.

Key Statistic: Just 16% of B2B companies use automation solutions extensively, and 14% of B2C companies leverage the solutions set.Source: Research Underwriters and Ascend2.

During the webinar I will provide actionable steps if you would like to explore these trends and stay ahead of your competitors. I hope you will join us!

Featured image by Desmond.


  • I think you have hit on the key points for ’14 Geoff. Interesting your shift-to-the-wrist with wearable. Perhaps a softer and easier move as we embrace this emerging tech. Not so much in our face, so to speak. Wishing you the best this season.

    • My experience being around people wearing Glass is that both they and the people around them find them to be too weird to be anything more than a novelty. Too much, too quickly I think!

  • Both my sons own and wear fitbits.

  • You missed the biggest one! Consumers start to figure out how to protect their privacy online ! :) (you know I had to throw this in). Evidence is the growth of SnapChat (of course, the reality of SC protecting privacy is suspect but it is evidence that consumers want to do this).

    On the wearable trend. Yes for fitbit, no for watches. I see little market acceptance of the Samsung Gear (despite marketing everywhere).

    Happy Holidays !

    • LOL, perhaps a pizza bet is happening here! We’ll see on privacy. I agree that SnapChat is popular because people want to be people without getting indexed or criticized privately, but they still seem to give up their data without thought. Thanks for weighing in, Shaun.

    • Not sure I feel these are bold predictions as much as informed response to trends. #2 is a big one missing some meat though. Q: What is the market segment that is growing there? A: Quantified self. The “watch” that succeeds will tell time as a secondary feature much the same way the smart phone eschewed phone quality for computational power. I think Apple will stick to what works and make the primary feature of the device to gather metrics on our health using sensors that help them tap into a burgeoning billion dollar market. @shimane:disqus, if these health devices do come to fruition, do you think they will normalize people to the idea of sharing their health statistics online?

  • I like these trends @geofflivingston:disqus . I think the biggest one I still cling to as “having to move mountains” in 2014 is Vine. When it first came on the scene, I hung my hat on identifying it as the way consumers would be advertised to moving forward. With attention spans dwindling by the second, if you can execute on a creative and memorable “sell” in 6 seconds — you win marketing.

    I like your native advertisers clean up trend too. I think my angst with sharing content based around how little fact-checking is done kind of ties into this trend too. Trust is a huge key (and trend) in 2014 and beyond, and I think consumers are going to start to push-back against brands and content curators/news publishers that don’t have trust at the foresight. I’m tired of being shared something, and then re-sharing it, only to find it wasn’t real.

    Good stuff bud!

    • Totally agree, Vine is definitely the farthest reach of the five. More than any they have the biggest struggle, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we are seeing a bit of a Facebook versus Twitter replay.

      That being said, it does seem have gained some serious traction, albeit in a Tumblr-esque fashion. I was playing with it as I wrote today’s follow up piece for Vocus, and sure enough, there was some significant traffic.

      I agree on the native advertising front, and I think it has done quite a lot to erode not only trust in advertisers, but friends who repeatedly don’t screen content. It’s frustrating for everyone!

      Hope you are well with a big holiday planned, Ryan!

  • Mate,

    I can’t agree with your 1st point (among all). Great write and yes, we can’t deny the importance of mobile.

    If you are not doing mobile now, bye bye business in 2014!

    Thanks for sharing.

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    […] Big 5 Marketing Predictions for 2014 are; mobile will begin to dominate marketing budgets as a whole; wearable computing will arrive, […]

  • How did the webinar go, Geoff? I’m waiting for my new wearable tech…but I’m waiting for the Amiigo wristband since it has the heart monitor and a few other VERY COOL features.

    Let’s hope that social media monitoring and analytics pop to the top of the list, too.

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