New Year, New Trends! What’s Coming Up For The Digital Marketing World In 2014?


This blog posting is my favorite series to author; I’ve been posting a list of 10 digital marketing trends in ’11, ’12, ’13.  So what’s happening this year?

Last year we say further consolidation in the industry, just about the entire Email Service Provider industry got bought by Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle.  Digital marketing is nearing 1/3 of all ad spending.

Microprocessors are giving us the promise of the anytime, anywhere promise to all of our devices.  Look no further that prime-time program, Intelligence, to take America on a journey of immediate access to “Big Data”.

Here are the top 13 Digital Marketing trends for 2014:

  • Email marketing become personal
  • 3rd party data providers make the news
  • Tag management goes mainstream
  • Gamification coming to a software near you
  • Digital TV begins tracking you like web analytics
  • Personalization software solutions explode
  • Content marketing
  • CMO’s and CTO’s become friends again
  • Wearable screens
  • The internet of things
  • Responsive design will force the hand of website re-build projects to re-tool
  • Location based marketing
  • User Experiences will take on a larger focus 

Email marketing becomes personal

Personalization engines and their associated algorithms will take wild leaps ahead and far outpace the marketers’ ability to properly deploy them.  The super-computing power going into big data, the business intelligence capabilities and software innovations, the quant and stat guys, micro-economists, and consumer psychologists are all coming at big data.  If that weren’t enough, bring in the database, network and software innovators.

The technical pace of innovation is outpacing marketers’ adoption of personalization engines.

So, in response to the industry’s slower than expected adoption, the innovators went back to email, which usually has the highest ROI in most companies.  Look for more personalized experiences that user the following types of data ∫t the moment you click the email as opposed to at the time the email was sent to you:

  • Content that changes based on the weather at the time you OPEN the email
  • Advertisements that may watch your internet behavior and adjust the default ad based on the cookies of websites you visited
  • Product recommendations and pictures that had gender specific and activity specific segmentation based on your registration on the website after the email was sent to you.

Have you ever heard of Bluekai, eXelate or Axiom?  They collect data for targeting at scale.  The NSA made big news this year with their outrageous collection of personal information at the Personally Identifiable Individual (PII) level.

The totality of information marketers are able to collect is very different.  In the case of marketers, the data being collected is subject to privacy policies and End User License Agreements.  When marketing is relevant, it adds value and that’s why it has such a high Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Did you know that Ghostery is tracking over 1,796 technologies that track you online?

The BlueKai Exchange offers over 30,000 data attributes across in-market, demo, geo, psycho and occupational categories to power all direct response and branding campaigns at the right ROI.

These capabilities are going to be something that we hear a lot more this year.  Let’s hope that the marketers who use this information will do so with a high degree of responsibility on how they use it.

Tag Management Systems go mainstream

You haven’t heard of TMS?  It’s just like a Content Management System (CMS) but instead of allowing marketers to directly update their webpages, it allows marketers to directly manage the tags that run all of the digital marketing technologies deployed on their pages.  The big players are BrightTag, Ensighten and Tealium.  But Google Tag Manager and Adobe Dynamic Tag Manager are in the game as well offering free solutions.

LCG runs a series of studies to see the market share of TMS in the IR100 and the largest Travel websites.  Findings reveal that TMS solutions are becoming mainstream with over 45% of the IR100 adopting TMS solutions.

Marketers have a lot of digital marketing technologies deployed on their websites.  But they don’t have enough staff to manage the pace of change.  IT departments are unable to help since they are being tasked to do more with less themselves.  TMS solutions provide efficiencies, improve quality and even help lower the costs to test new technologies.


By Paul Lima, Managing Partner at Lima Consulting Group.

About the Author:

In 2004, Paul founded Lima Consulting Group, a consultancy focused on digital strategy development, conversion optimization, and analytics. He approaches digital marketing with the strategic thinking and no-nonsense execution you would expect from a former commander of the Pentagon¹s cyber-warfare unit. Paul is best known for his framework: Think, Tool, Do, Measure, which he designed to help clients develop a cohesive, integrated methodology that optimize their portfolio of strategies, tactics and campaigns. With offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Philadelphia, Paul¹s team is well-positioned to reach Latinos in the US and abroad.



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