Blog Trends

Top 5 Marketing Trends of 2014

It’s that time of year again. Time to look back on the 2014-that-was and reflect on what moved us and mattered. Many of the uber trends of mobile, social, and cloud continued to gain traction. Others seemingly out of favor came back in new forms, while a few gave us a glimpse of what should be top-of-mind heading into 2015. As someone who meets regularly with new clients, I get to hear first-hand from CMOs and marketing executives about their issues and pain points. These were the top topics in 2014.

Nimble Content

The interest in content marketing and the desire to produce frequent and useful content picked up steam this year. The cost and resource implications of frequent publishing, however, also became reality. One of the biggest trends was the need for a strategic roadmap to guide all content and ensure activities laddered up to marketing objectives. This recent dose management site is an example of GLG content strategy coming to life for Philips Healthcare. Agencies, including ours, have had to rethink the scale and speed of our teams, from writers to technologists to graphic designers. The trend toward a lean, newsroom-style approach will help to keep costs low and publishing output high.

Social Integration

For some, social media is still climbing the wall of skepticism about marketing return on investment. Still, there’s no doubting the increasing number of consumers on social and the maturing of social marketing tools. Social listening tools like Brandwatch, content aggregation tools such as Tint, and new platforms like Twitter video give marketers more ways to connect and measure the effectiveness of their efforts. GLG’s recent #LoveLi campaign for Babolat and #mysimplepleasure for LG Electronics showed what happens when integrated tools connect a great idea with a smartly run social campaign.

Hello Watson

IBM’s 2014 announcement that The IBM Watson Group would become a separate business unit set off a wave of interest in cognitive computing. I had a chance to attend the global Watson launch at New York’s Astor Place along with my GLG colleagues to see the first wave of Watson apps in retail, travel, security, non-profit, healthcare, veterinary medicine, and more. Leveraging Watson for marketing and advertising is fresh territory for marketers, and there’s been a ton of interest in the opportunity to control big data more effectively with Watson and innovate through the enhanced scale of human expertise.

Expanding Cloud

For senior marketers, the days of building and launching websites once every three-to-five years are over. Today, CMOs need to evolve their digital presence constantly, while the performance, compliance, and security demands are higher than ever. Luckily, cloud-based marketing has come along to enable enterprise-level capabilities at a fraction of the previous cost and time-to-market. Cloud marketing services, such as CSUITE from GLG, allows organizations to move from allocating huge capital budgets to managing consistent monthly spend and being able to continuously update their digital experiences. Platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google, and IBM Cloud are the leading cloud solutions today and will continue to gain market share in 2015.

Brand Story

As marketers move toward the vehicles of social media, mobile platforms, content marketing, and cloud-based delivery, the need for a clear brand identity and message has become acute. In the last 12 months, I’ve seen a real uptick in marketers looking for strong brand strategy, audience insight, brand architecture, positioning, and visual expression as a way to avoid becoming a commodity in an increasingly commoditized world. For many marketers, tactics and technology have become the path to showing measurable ROI. The problem is, if you don’t know who you are and why audiences should care, no mix of vehicles or technology will matter. As technologies mature and the realities of content generation become clearer, the need to communicate a compelling brand story is more desired than ever.