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2014 Marketing Trends Dictionary

Cut through the hyperbole – find out which of the many marketing buzzwords flying around have substance behind them. Which strategies will make your messaging more successful in 2014?


If you’ve been in marketing for a while, you’ll have seen countless buzzwords rise and fall.

This is our guide to the marketing buzzwords doing the rounds at the moment. We’ve given them all an ‘importance factor’ – pointing out the trends we think will take off in 2014 (and the damp squibs!) We’ve given the trends a score out of 5; 5 out of 5 being the most important.

1. Location-based marketing

The cell phone is a hotbed for marketing opportunities – especially with its ability to receive targeted content via its GPS, depending on the user’s geographical location. And it’s worth noting that 91% of us have our cell phones close to hand 24 hours a day.

How important?: 4 out of 5

2. Image-centric

Image-based content is coming to the fore – witness the explosive popularity of social media sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest. Expect this sector to swell further in 2014, meaning that marketers will need to double down when considering the “shareability” factor of the photos they use on their blogs, social media platforms and websites.

How important?: 3 out of 5

3. Google+

The search engine giant has become aggressive with Google+, offering marketers a social media platform that boasts phenomenal access to targeted marketing – thanks to its arsenal of personal information, personalized searches, social signals and more, all in one place.

How important?: 3 out of 5

4. Responsive websites/email

With mobile predicted to be the largest area for revenue generation in 2014, rolling out screen-scaleable designs across all your site- and email-based marketing promotions is imperative. With more and more of us using cell phones and tablets, multi-screen behavior must be managed; the customer must be able to access your message in a viewable format on any platform.

How important?: 5 out 5

5. Content curation

Content discovery apps like Flipboard, Pulse and Fancy are continuing to grow, allowing users to collate information of interest to them in one self-curated hub. Such apps offer huge potential to marketers to create relevant, engaging content that will be picked up by such users and, better still, viewed and shared by others.

How important? 3 out of 5

6. Micro-video

Expect “micro-videos” created using the likes of Vine, Snapchat and Instagram to increase. Short, snappy and imaginative videos lasting between three to 15 seconds offer marketers the chance to impart their message in a form, factor and length ideal for impatient browsers.

How important? 4 out of 5

7. Custom audiences

The concept of “custom audiences” is so new that many haven’t heard of it – so what is it? Any email address can be turned into a unique 32-character string that is exclusive to that address. This “hash” can then be tracked across the entire web. Facebook, for example, will let you upload your customer hashes and, in turn, will tell you when a customer is using the social media site. You are then offered the chance to push an ad to them immediately. The potential for truly targeted messaging is huge.

How important? 2 out of 5 now – but by end of 2014, we predict 5 out of 5

8. Real-time marketing

Any marketing messaging is usually set in stone, launched into the wild with a finite shelf life. Real-time marketing is constantly “live”, evolving and updating its messaging via data analytics through channels such as Twitter or Facebook, delivering a newsroom-like experience for your brand, instead of a one-off message.

How important? 2 out of 5

9. Social proof

The latest buzzword topping marketing trends lists, “social proof” is simply proving to potential customers that your products are trusted by existing customers – thus acting as “proof” that your products can be, well, trusted. And the best way of attaining said “social proof”? See “social signals”.

How important? 3 out of 5

10. Social signals

These show that your existing customers like you and/or your products, via what customers are saying about you online to their friends. There are several types of social signal – customer reviews/ratings, social media Likes/Shares, video or written testimonials and even celebrity endorsements. The more opportunities you offer customers to let their views be known, the better. As long as they actually like your product, that is…

How important? 3 out of 5

11. Gamification

Defined as the “process of using game concepts and mechanics to engage users and change behavior”, gamification allows you to present your marketing messages as “games” or fun challenges that the consumer can interact with via point-scoring, voting and other game-style mechanics.

How important? 2 out of 5

12. Content

Forget the latest marketing trends – content remains king. We all react positively to high-quality content. And if you want to build high-value audiences, content remains the best way to achieve it – now, in 2014, and beyond.

How important? Perpetual 5 out of 5!

For more information on how to make your marketing shine in 2014, download our free eGuide: All-in-one vs. best-of-breed: what software does a CMO’s team really need?

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  • Jo Nicholson

    Yay for content still being king! With all these new fangled methods of getting us to buy things, you’ve got to wonder if us poor content writers won’t be out of a job at some point in the future :/

    • adestramarketing

      Hi Jo, unlikely you’ll be pleased to hear! Great content is at the heart of all these trends – and to keep creating great content marketers need to have good writing and editing skills, or find someone who already has them.