Business marketing last year was a roller coaster ride. We saw new platforms, new channels, new roles and new tools pop up all over the place. It’s as though innovation and growth is speeding up all around us and we are surrounded by opportunities to reach new customers and delight them.
It’s been an exciting year for sure. But what’s next?
1. Omni-channel advantage. This past year we saw huge developments in mobile analytics and mobile marketing, which combines in 2014, enabling us to take advantage of omni-channel marketing.
This year, entrepreneurs and marketers need to go beyond just responsive web design and creating supplementary mobile apps to ask ourselves: how are our companies meeting the mobile challenge?
We need to be cross-device compatible and raise the bar on mobile customer experience. Are you taking advantage of the feedback opportunities? Are you capturing the data and leveraging it for personalization? This year it’s all about the omni-channel marketing advantage.
2. Smart objects take over. By now, you’ve likely heard about the Internet of Things but are you participating as a consumer or a marketer? As business managers, we should keep an eye on how these smart objects change the consumer’s expectations around user experience and engagement.
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.
3. Content marketing continues to explode. We spent the last year getting our company onboard with inbound marketing and content creation as the way to grow our businesses. From that we saw new tools built, new communities created and new resources emerge to help us make our case.
This next year will bring the solidification of this new arena through things like better content analytics and measurement, new job titles such as chief content officer, and new forms of content grow in popularity. I, for one, am most excited to see content marketing bring beautiful, original, inspiring stories to the masses.
4. Paid organic social amplification. This year, marketers will turn their efforts and budgets toward paid marketing on social platforms. Twitter advertising, Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising are prime with readership and opportunity for us to meet our next customers. Newer platforms such as Pinterest. Google+ and Instagram will continue to open new ways for us to amplify our content in less intrusive ways to meet customer needs.
5. Influencer marketing is now part of your job. These past few years we’ve seen the rise of social media, and then the mainstream adoption of it and now from that we are left with a huge opportunity to leverage influencer marketing. This year will bring teams dedicated to social outreach, outlandish influencer campaigns and a turn toward offline.
Marketers are now returning back to “thank you” gifts, hand written notes and tangibles to catch an influencers eye and build a relationship. We will see more of that in the coming year.
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