Trends to watch in 2014

Another year has come and gone so this seems a good time to pinpoint some trends that will affect businesses in 2014.

Another year has come and gone in the world of marketing so this seems a good time to pinpoint some trends that will affect businesses in 2014.

Going into 2013 trend spotters predicted that building relationships would be one of the keys to operating a successful business. According to them this will also hold true for 2014.

Social media will remain hot for the time being, but there are some concerns that businesses should take into consideration. For example, according to one U.S. study by Piper Jaffray, trend-setting, techno-savvy teens are beginning to switch allegiances when it comes to social media preferences.

In three separate surveys from the fall of 2012 to the fall of 2013, Facebook dropped from 42 to 23 per cent while Twitter remained relatively constant at 26 per cent and Instagram rose from 12 to 23 per cent.

Content marketing will remain one of the driving forces behind successful communications programs. For those not familiar with the term, here’s a definition I came across which puts it into perspective.

Your customers don’t care about you, your products or your services … they care about themselves, their wants, their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they will actually pay attention to you.

This leads to another related trend when dealing with customers: the need to build trust and credibility. Marketers must be able to engage in useful, respectful dialogue, and most importantly provide an enjoyable experience for their customer.

Mobile marketing will get even bigger. It has been predicted by some that sales of smartphones will exceed PC sales, and by 2015 tablets will outsell PCs by 60 per cent. Despite the “hype” around social media most businesses need to make sure their website is working well.

Integrating marketing strategies, which has been on the list of trends for a few years, still remains one of the key priorities for companies. It is becoming more and more essential to align social, media, print, Internet, events and everything else under one umbrella rather than seeing them as separate components.

With the incredible array of communications media available, marketers need to pay special attention to word-of-mouth engagements. According to one research company, Keller Fay, only 10 per cent of consumer conversations occur online; the other 90 per cent occur elsewhere: parties, social gatherings, chance encounters.

As the proliferation of communications opportunities grows, no person or company can or should become master of them all. The decision for 2014 is to choose the ones that work best for you and get rid of the rest.

Lastly, the trend setters remind businesses that conventional media still works well. Just look at the latest issues of consumer magazines and the number of inserts that come with your weekly newspaper.

Take the time to look at the trends taking place in your business. To paraphrase one of Yogi Berra’s ‘Yogisms’: If you don’t know where you are going and establish some goals, you might not get there.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at joesmith@shaw.ca.

Just Posted

Open house opens access for those suffering from vision loss

Pat Chicquen understands how isolating losing vision can be, which is why… Continue reading

Valley SPCA overwhelmed with 45 cats taken from local property

Many of the cats have never been around humans, or have never been touched or handled.

BIG READ: The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery Comox fisherman,… Continue reading

Applications open for record bursary, scholarship funding at North Island College

Current and future North Island College students can now apply for scholarships… Continue reading

Second Stage Players present laughter and love in We Are Family

Get your tickets early to see the Evergreen Club’s Second Stage Players’… Continue reading

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Water bottling debate continues

Merville resident says plenty of water in Aquifer 408

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Most Read