Digital has taken the world by storm, upending the world of traditional advertising and requiring 21st-century marketers to become savvy about a broad range of digital advertising options that can include anything from SEO to social media to mobile. There's much to understand, much to keep track of, and much to stay on top of. That's the bad news. The good news is that digital advertising, unlike traditional advertising, is far more trackable, allowing marketers to determine what is working for them and driving the results they desire and what may not be as effective.
In the report "Digital Marketing Landscape: The Power of Digital Experiences in 2014," Demand Metric and ion say that a majority (59%) of respondents consider the creation of digital experiences to be either "high" or "very high" as a marketing priority. Furthermore, they found a relationship between those organizations placing a high priority on digital experiences and revenue growth: 76% of study participants reporting revenue growth in the most recent fiscal year had also placed a high priority on digital experience. Only 6% of those who reported declining revenue growth considered digital experience creation to be a high priority. While the authors of the report point out that they cannot show a direct cause-and-effect relationship, they still believe that "there is a connection that marketers should not ignore when setting marketing priorities."
While there are a wide range of digital advertising trends impacting content marketers, there are a few that rise to the top as those to be most focused on in 2014, according to those who have already actively embraced digital advertising and are attuned to the digital landscape. They include the following trends:
- Big Data
- Location-based communications
- Depth of content
- Micro video
- Multiplatform consumption
Big Data is CRM on steroids. The ability of marketers to gather, monitor, and measure increasingly large numbers of data points provides the ability to know more than ever before about market needs and actions. Of course, it's not just about gathering massive amounts of data. That data needs to be managed and, most importantly, content managers need to be able to draw useful conclusions from the information they now have access to and use that information to make meaningful decisions. An eMarketer report, "Key Digital Trends for 2014," suggests that "consumer expectations of immediacy have raised the bar for marketers to respond to expressions of interest across the customer journey and speedily respond with a relevant offer." That means that the demand for immediate relevance is likely to continue to grow as consumers become accustomed to being served up information that is uniquely relevant to them.
Not surprisingly, many small businesses feel that Big Data is a breakthrough concept only for those very large organizations that have the resources to collect and make sense of massive quantities of data. That's not necessarily true, but it is certainly a factor. Even smaller businesses can make use of data to help them more readily, and more impactfully, connect with their audiences.