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.

How Wearable Computing Helps Me Lose Weight

After exploring the early iterations of wearable computing, I decided to buy the new Nike Fuelband SE. It is interesting walking around with a sensor on my arm. I am actually learning some interesting things about my lifestyle, which help me to lose weight.

But first, let’s discuss the expanding gut problem.

I’ll admit it. I’ve gotten fat over the past year. Ever since I blew my knee out, the pounds have been adding up, and the belt knotches have been slipping. About 25 pounds to be exact.

Now, I was in really good shape before the knee blew out thanks to running the Tough Mudder, BUT, matters have gotten a little out of hand. It is time to reign my waistline in.

Plus I wanted to try out wearable computing. I didn’t like Google Glass when I was given a chance to wear a headset, in large part because I am blind and don’t want to wear contacts. The Galaxy Gear wrist watch is neat in concept, but has some issues.

Then there’s this weight issue. So I decided to go with a wearable fitness sensor, and opted for the new Fuelband SE over Fitbit. I made the choice based aesthetics and Nike’s social community.

Coach Fuelband

Comparison

Yes, Fuelband has a couple of issues, but I really like it. The app (currently only on iPhone) is great, and let’s you log-in special activities. You can see performance, compare with your peers, and set goals. If I want to share online I can.

Within the Nike+ Community I can better gage my performance on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Further, the data is providing insights into my weight problem.

During the period when I was gaining weight, I was on client site four days a week (through October 11). I still go in one day a week, and this week I wore my Fuelband. Guess what? I was so sedentary that my activity level dropped by 50%, even after a 40 minute workout at the facility gym. This showed me how important a couple of 10 minute walks a day are.

Second, I am actually quite activenow that I am not on client site. Yet the pounds are not slipping away as quickly as they have in other times of high level fitness activity. This points to a dietary issue.

Yes, I have been eating too much of Soleil’s mac & cheese, and half-eaten cupcakes, and everything else that she doesn’t eat. Plus we eat much more meat these days than I am used to. Ah, the quest to feed the baby protein. Caitlin admits that generally we could be eating lighter.

I can always ratchet it up a notch on the fitness front, and intend to do so. At the same time, Fuelband is showing me the problem lies elsewhere.

All in all, wearing a sensor on my arm has been less intrusive and much more helpful than I imagined. A big thumbs up for the early generation of what will surely be an evolving mobile computing technology.

Do you wear a Fitbit or Fuelband?