1. Growth in mobile revenues
eMarketer estimates that retail sales via smartphones and tablets have more than doubled to £8.2 bn in 2013, accounting for 18% of total UK ecommerce sales. Tablet commerce has seen particularly high growth, reaching £4.8 bn. In 2014 mcommerce is expected to increase by 53.3% in 2014, more than triple the 15% growth rate for retail ecommerce.
UK mobile ad spend is expected to pass the £1bn mark in 2013, according to eMarketer, reaching £1.2bn (19% of total digital) – a 126.1% YoY growth. Mobile ad spend is expected to nearly double again in 2014 to almost £2.26 billion (32% of total digital).
2. Mobile devices will not ONLY “replace” desktops
It is no secret that we are deserting desktops for tablets and smartphones, and following tablet gifting bonanza this Christmas, mobile traffic is set to overtake desktop in early 2014. John Lewis is predicting that 2013 will see the UK’s first ‘mobile Christmas’ with traffic from mobile phones and tablets overtaking that from desktops for the first time on Christmas Day. But not only mobile devices will surpass desktops in terms of traffic, they will excel them in enabling people do so much more on the internet: anytime, anywhere. And marketers need to be prepared for the always-on consumer.
3. The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things and all of the devices associated with it are set to explode in 2014. Business Intelligence forecasts the number of IoT enabled objects to go from just under 1.85bn in 2013 to over 2.5bn in 2014 and 9bn in 2018 when they will account for half of all internet enabled devices. Imagine smart objects surrounding us in smart homes, offices and streets; everyday objects and appliances that can monitor their environment, report their status, receive instructions, and even take action based on the information they receive from our PCs, smartphones, and tablets. This will start an era when we no longer search for things, but they search for us and location-based marketing becomes ubiquitous.
4. Collaborative economy
Open, collaborative economy will create a real disruption for businesses. The phenomenon of consumers co-creating content and products, sharing ideas and resources with each other is on ascend. For instance, Airbnb has topped 10 million guest stays since launch and now has 550,000 properties listed worldwide. In 2014 companies will need to understand their role in this powerful movement.
5. Branded content
Engaging with consumers through content creation will be another growing opportunity for brands in 2014. Successes of 2013 include Red Bull Media House and EE’s GuardianWitness platform, and we will see more such initiatives going forward. Native advertising and close partnerships with established publishers will be cost-effective ways of content creation for brands.
6. The power of mobile + social + video
The combination of three biggest digital phenomena of 2013 will create another powerful trend in 2014, that of “visual sharing”. Success of Twitter-owned Vine, a mobile service for sharing six-second looping videos, and Facebook’s introduction of video on Instagram, mean that video will be the format of choice for people to share their moments and a go-to tactic for brands to engage with consumers.
7. Open marketing
Collaborative economy, rise of branded content and growing consumer empowerment will mean that brands will need to involve influencers in their marketing, that is marketing WITH influencers, rather than merely marketing AT them. By doing so, not only brands will benefit from positive word of mouth, but the power of ideas that influential consumers can generate.
8. Wearable technology
Wristbands, like Nike+ Fuelband, smartwatches, medical devices and smartglasses will drive the market of wearables further to estimatedof 125m units in 2017, according to Strategy Analytics.
Google Glass of course will steal attention in 2014, creating imaginative opportunities for marketers. Advertising will get even more targeted: location, content, context and mood-based ads, sponsored content cards, “pay-per-gaze” payment model, integration with print, outdoor, TV. And imagine how reach content partnerships are about to become.
9. Happiness and well-being
With money not being able to buy happiness, there has been an increased focus on personal well-being. “Mood of the Nation” research found that brands had a role to play in improving people’s level of happiness through being ethical, empowering people to be more active and unexpected acts of kindness. In 2014 we will see more brands differentiating themselves from competition through influencing how people feel.
10. Internet currency
In 2014 we will find out whether peer-to-peer currency Bitcoin will get traction or turn out to be as over-hyped and short-lived as Second Life.