2014: What will impact the digital-marketing world?

By Paige O’Neill

I believe we will see five key trends impact the industry in 2014:

Big Data fuels real-time campaigns

The last year has seen plenty of talk about Big Data but 2014 will be when CMOs will start seeing it deliver proactive and actionable insights that can be applied to campaigns that are in flight. In particular, I expect to see businesses leveraging social and other real-time forms of data to measure the success of campaigns in real-time, enabling them to continuously evaluate the success of each channel and activity and make adjustments accordingly.

Mobile no longer matters

We will see the focus shift away from mobile; not because it’s not an important channel, but because the game has changed. The reality is that everyone is now connected all the time, no matter what device they use. Research from Google found that we are increasingly using devices interchangeably and simultaneously; 90% of multiple device owners switch between screens to complete tasks and 77% of mobile searches are done in a location where people are likely to have a PC available to them. The challenge is therefore not simply to make content available across channels but to take into account time of day, location, device and personal preferences to deliver an engaging, contextually relevant experience across any screen.

Prescriptive content will find the customer

The average online consumer has an attention span of just eight seconds. This means that you simply cannot rely on your customer finding the right content, product or special offer for themselves. You need to give it to them, before they even know what they want. Embedded, prescriptive analytics will therefore become far more common in 2014, automatically giving marketers actionable insights that allow us to predict what the customer wants, without them even having to ask. Content will find the consumer.

Continuous campaigning

Marketers cannot wait for retrospective reports on the effectiveness of a campaign in order to adjust messaging and delivery, because it would be too late. This became clearer than ever before in 2013. We will see an increase in online tools and solutions that will help marketers to tackle this on-going challenge. They need the information instantly to enable real-time responses. 2014 will see a rise in real-time marketing intelligence that integrates customer analytics with market insights to provide advanced targeting, real-time analysis and campaign simulation that lets you manage and control those critical marketing elements instantly from one online portal.

Marketing embraces the Cloud

I believe that 2014 will see a significant uplift in the marketing department’s use of cloud-based technology. Cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) have been around for some time but, to date, uptake within the marketing function has often been sporadic and piecemeal. As technology matures, and businesses start to realise the greater efficiency and agility that can be realised through on-demand applications, cloud technology will become a major enabler of all of the trends above.

About the author

As Chief Marketing Officer of SDL (LSE: SDL), Paige O’Neill brings almost 20 years of experience in senior marketing roles. She uniquely combines product marketing expertise with an extensive background in communications and PR and a passion for developing thought leadership programs that build strong awareness and differentiate companies from the competition. Her diverse experience crosses marketing software, enterprise software, mobile technology, cloud computing, green technology, social media, and supply chain software.

Prior to SDL, Paige served for over three years as Vice President of Marketing for integrated marketing leader Aprimo. Her thought leadership, messaging, demand generation and communications programs contributed to rapid growth and a successful acquisition by Teradata (NYSE: TDC). 

About the company

SDL (LSE: SDL) allows companies to optimize their customers’ experience across the entire buyer journey. Through its web content management, analytics, social intelligence, campaign management and translation services, SDL helps organizations leverage data-driven insights to understand what their customers want, orchestrate relevant content and communications, and deliver engaging and contextual experiences across languages, cultures, channels and devices.

SDL has over 1,500 enterprise customers, over 400 partners and a global infrastructure of 70 offices in 38 countries. We also work with 72 of the top 100 brands. For more information, please visit http://www.sdl.com.

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