It took me a while to go through the 26 interviews made by Ekaterina in her "2014 Digital Trends And Predictions From Marketing Thought Leaders" article in Forbes. I hope this summary in 11 bite-size quotes will help you make sense of digital in 2014 and inspire you to reach new heights in your own business.
1) "In 2014, the Marketing Department will fall out of love with social media and responsibility for the medium will shift even further into other corners of the organization, such as PR and Customer Service.
Augie Ray, former Forrester analyst and Voice of Customer professional
2)"2012 was the year of acquisition, large fan/follower numbers, and fast-growing communities.
2013 was a year of engagement and content optimization: marketers realized that vanity numbers were not enough, that to continue to show real growth and solid KPIs they needed to engage their communities in a more meaningful way.
2014 will be a year of advocacy: marketers realizing that with growth of their social communities stagnating and the big content machine churning 24/7 they need a more cost-effective and more impactful way to reach current and new customers long-term in a sustainable way. "
Mark Curtis, CEO of BRANDERATI
3) "One of the biggest trends I am seeing involves brands acting as producers – going beyond the publisher mentality and setting up newsrooms and production studios."
Michael Brenner, Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP
4) "In 2014, we will see increased pressures on companies of all sizes to pay to sponsor their posts to get more visibility, as getting consumers’ attention in social media becomes increasingly difficult. This will be hardest on small businesses, who obviously have fewer resources than big brands. Social media will increasingly become a pay-to-play channel."
Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local
5) "If 2013 showed us anything it’s that content is king and in 2014 those who use it wisely in their marketing plans will succeed. Marketers can capitalize on content in the upcoming year by making it compatible across all screens and distributing across their social platforms."
Jeffrey Hayzlett, primetime television show host on Bloomberg
6) "In 2014, the amount of data created will provide a treasure trove of insights for marketers. Not only does it let marketers know where their customers are but when and how fast. Obviously there is a huge risk here given the sensitivity of the data but the trick here is for marketers to provide the right value in exchange for this invaluable data."
Aaron Strout, Managing Director at W2O Group
7) "In 2014 expect to see companies leverage communities as a forum for customers to share their voice and also get answers to their most pressing questions from not only their peers, but also support and product experts at their vendor of choice."
Vala Afshar, Chief Marketing Officer for Extreme Networks
8) "Led by news/information websites (including Forbes) and fueled by social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Pinterest, native adverting is back and 2014 will be the year that Advertorial 2.0 becomes a major part of the marketing mix for most companies. This has far-reaching implications for consumers, authenticity, journalism, marketing budgets, and the role of agencies and whether the future is more “social” or more “media.” I’m betting on the latter."
Jay Baer, digital marketing consultant and author of the NYT bestseller Youtility
9) "In 2014, branded content marketing will be everywhere. You’ll see more brands launch their own content platforms, similar to what we’ve already seen with P&G, Adobe and Coca-Cola. But it won’t stop there. Native advertising continues to roll and we’ll be seeing more branded content in our favorite media platforms as well."
Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute
10) "Marketers begin to understand the value of reaching people while they are walking or driving via audio content."
Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner
11) "We already know that we don’t search for content now, content finds you. In 2014, we’re going to start seeing how brands and products find you."
Ragy Thomas, CEO and founder of Sprinklr