4 Marketing Trends in 2014

It’s the new year and that time of year when we’ve rolled our sleeves up (or down if you are in the polar vortex) and focusing on what the next 12 months will mean professionally & personally.  Media plans are being written, strategies assessed & yes – marketing budgets defined. As I think about the year ahead, here are four trends I believe are worth paying attention to for 2014.

1. The rise of the “super consumer” & user-generated content

Move over bloggers, it’s going to be as some have called, “extreme consumers” and “mavericks, outliers, obsessives” that brands turn to for creating collaborative content for their online and social media.

Fashion brands like Free People are already tapping their customer base to reach new audiences through a user generated community board, “FP Me,”  their own online style community.

While integrating collateral created by fans is not new (brands like Bauble Bar are doing an awesome job at this with “the download” as have ASOS & the Gap), I believe that companies are increasingly going to turn to their expert customer to help with media, marketing & even innovating their product.

2. Ephemeral, or erasable, media is going to surge

Snapchat, the social media platform that deletes all uploaded media (the “snaps”) from their servers after 24 hours & vanishes immediately after viewing, is the app on all pundits lips and is already social media’s latest darling. With a “here today, gone tomorrow” mindset, this makes it an ideal network for brands to use when they want to promote flash sales, offer teasers for an upcoming launch, showcase new collections or highlight reactions at press previews.  Or even for retailers who want to offer “exploding coupons”.

Beauty brand Nars experimented with it in October, as did designer Rebecca Minkoff during the September shows at New York Fashion Week and just this week, HBO’s Girls joined in anticipation of their upcoming season three premiere.

Expect to see more to this over the coming months.  I bet it’s going to be used a lot more at New York Fashion Week in February.

3. Wearable tech will – literally – integrate the fabric of everyday life
With Google Glass being available to all in 2014 & the dominance of Nike’s FuelBand & rise of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear over 2013, more wearable media will be prevalent over the months to come.  Even at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, wearable media is taking center stage & technologies designed to connect all aspects of your life are being showcased (even down to toothbrushes that tells your phone how well you are brushing).

4. Content marketing will become standard practice

Content marketing has shifted from marketing hype to industry expectation.  As more business hire content managers (according to LinkedIn, there are over 8000 businesses seeking content marketers), content is no longer king – it’s de rigeur. As a result, quality & meaningful content will be needed more than ever.  As Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local shares on his 2014 predictions list, “if you think the social web is noisy now, in 2014 you’ll see more content than ever before. This means you and your business need to create better, more fun, and more valuable content in order to be noticed and to truly benefit from social media.

As you create your 2014 marketing & social media plans, what are your thoughts for the year ahead? Will you be using Snapchat for your business or plan on hiring a super consumer? Comment below or tweet me at @melissadewitte – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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