5 Marketing Predictions for 2014

2013 has seen more and more businesses recognizing the value of incorporating social media into their marketing strategies. Marketers have finally started moving beyond accumulating Likes and posting tweets to leveraging social connectivity to develop authentic consumer relationships.

2014 is poised to present even greater changes, challenges and opportunities for marketers. As user data gets bigger and the variety of consumer touch points grows wider, marketers must continue to optimize their strategies to connect with customers on deeper, more personal levels. Here are 5 predictions that we believe will shape the way marketers connect with consumers in 2014.

Social login distribution will grow.

While Facebook still maintains social login domination, as noted in our Q3 Social Login infographic, Google+ has made significant strides as an identity provider in 2013. We predict that this trend will continue in 2014, with regional networks like Orkut, Mixi and Vkontakte continuing to gain momentum overseas, and Amazon’s “Login and Pay with Amazon” offering landing the eCommerce giant a spot in next year’s top social identity providers list. Distribution aside, with mobile usage continuing to surpass desktop, we expect social logins in general to grow as users choose to more easily verify their identities across mobile devices with touch versus text.

Omni-channel experiences will reign supreme.

Earlier this year, eMarketer estimated that consumer time spent on mobile devices will overtake desktop by the end of 2013. The rise of mobile and social technologies has given way to more potential touch points for brands to reach and connect with consumers than ever before. 2014 is the year that marketers will be forced to develop and execute solid omni-channel strategies to create consistent, cohesive cross-channel experiences, or face the consequences.

Social login data will overtake cookie data.

In just one minute, 2 million Google searches are conducted, Apple receives 47,000 app downloads, and over 100,000 tweets are sent. Traditional cookies cannot effectively track and aggregate these petabytes of user data across devices and mediums. Logged-in user data is the only way for marketers to tie all cross-channel user activity to a single identity, turning anonymous users into known customers. We foresee social login data becoming the new standard for consumer insights, with successful marketers making the transition from cookie retargeting to fostering authentic consumer relationships.

Marketers will take data into their own hands.

While 78% of marketers have felt the pressure to become more data-driven in 2013, only 33% claim to consistently and strategically leverage consumer data in their marketing efforts (Teradata). We expect to see this number rise in 2014, with marketers taking charge by trading in restrictive IT infrastructure for flexible, centralized cloud storage databases. These databases integrate with user-friendly dashboards and third-party platforms to empower marketers to quickly access insights and adapt messaging to consumers’ real-time wants and needs.

Consumers will demand greater privacy control.

73% of consumers say they prefer retailers that use personal information to make shopping experiences more relevant, but 88% believe that companies should give them the flexibility to control how this information is being used. We predict that 2014 will see a crack-down on user privacy as consumers become more knowledgeable about privacy settings and data storage. Marketers that don’t request permission-based access to user information and provide a clear description of how this information will be used will lose touch with consumers.

While we have a sneaking suspicion that these five predictions will come to fruition in 2014, as long as marketers focus on connecting closer and growing authentic relationships with customers, both brands and consumers will reap the benefits in the new year.

By Rachel Serpa