A new year means new predictions for marketing in the upcoming year, so what do you need to look out for in order to stay on top of the latest trends in marketing for 2014? Below is a list of just a few of the trends predicted for 2014:

Content Marketing
2013 had all eyes on mobile marketing, but a recent survey of top marketing executives shows that content marketing has dethroned mobile as the number one concern of marketers in 2014. Content marketing consists of marketing related activities focused on attracting and engaging customers through relevant material to your business, i.e. blogs and white papers. Integrating content marketing into all channels of marketing is gaining popularity, with 78% of CMO's believing that content marketing is the future of the marketing industry. This shift from traditional promotional marketing means marketers need to readjust their mindset and focus on the content their customers are interested in and can use.

Social Media
Businesses are utilizing social media channels more frequently to promote their brands and engage with customers in a way they were not able to do in the past, such as responding to followers' tweets and posts. Although the use of social media is nothing new to marketers, the number of social media channels is growing each year. Not only do businesses need to be active on Facebook and Twitter, but also Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, and more. New metrics indicate that image and video content accounts for majority of web traffic, with 90% of all web traffic comes from video.  

Mobile Marketing
Although mobile marketing is no longer the number one concern of top marketing executives, it remains at the top of the list for many CMO's. Advertising spending on traditional platforms like TV and radio is decreasing, while spend on mobile advertising is increasing. Organizations are increasingly making the investment in websites that are either compatible with mobile devices or mobile versions of the site itself.

Knowing who and where your customers are, is one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy, making it all the more important to be able to gather this data quickly and easily. So as new and more advanced tools for analyzing big data are developed, marketers need to learn how to utilize these tools to their advantage.

Across all of these trends we see a need for a strong digital and technology department within the organization in order to successfully deploy these strategies. An investment in technology and a strong relationship between IT and marketing departments of an organization are more important than ever with social media and mobile marketing as top trends for 2014. Similarly, having a system for analyzing and understanding relevant data will be essential for tracking customers and providing the best content to your content marketing strategy. 

In general, 2014 looks to be an exciting year for marketing, as trends are emerging that shift the focus away from traditional practices and into the digital and content-related age.
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Megan Connell

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