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Four Trends That Will Disrupt Marketing in 2014

crystal ball

Up for some crystal balling? We reached out to several industry creative and strategy types to share with us what they see on the horizon for 2014. What will we see? Some predictable stuff like the continued growth of mobile and experiential. And some no so predictable…such as the proliferation of Emoji Economics. No, seriously.

Read on to see what’s coming your way in 2014.

Less is More

Brands with the confidence in their assets and how consumers navigate their assets will break through. The need for less and less marketing fluff on pack will ensure more real estate on pack for what really matters to consumers. Looking for the brand I love and the variant I want. Playing out the old adage, “Now that I have found you, like you, want you–what do you have to offer me? What varieties and depth can you offer me?” How many brands can strip away to the core assets and still be identified at shelf? Allowing the brand to visually breath at point of purchase while the remainder of the category stands and screams at the consumer.

- Fred Richards – Global Creative Director at Brand Union

Art and Copy

2014 and the maturity of content marketing will necessitate the resurgence of the foundational skills that built this industry.

Same old tools deployed in new, more effective ways. As image-centric content gains traction, a premium on the ability to quickly create small bits of visual storytelling will be at an all-time high. This is what the best print ads have always done. Look no further than the early stages of OREO’s famed “Daily Twist” work to see what role print played in arguably the most revered real-time social marketing campaign to date.

Additionally, the good old-fashioned craft of writing will once again return to its rightful heroic place. Marketing experts like to point out that “it’s all about storytelling”, which I agree with, but you can’t just say that and expect it to happen. You actually need storytellers to tell those stories. In my opinion, the best storytellers are the ones that cut their teeth on long copy ads romanticizing products with emotion and relevancy. Leveraging those skills will advance content marketing efforts tenfold.

Content marketing, when done well, marries the parts of advertising that creatives love with the parts of advertising that consumers want.

Great creatives and savvy clients understand this, which bodes well for 2014.

- Jordan Atlas, SVP/Executive Creative Director at Ignited.

Infinite Media

We have spent the last decade putting the world on the Internet and now we will put the Internet on the world. This will put a greater focus on experiential; not as a category of marketing but as a way to see asset creation and communication. The role that mobile will play is not as another screen but as a remote control for your world. It’s the trigger that turns TV into a digital billboard, a print ad into a 3-D hologram, a street corner into a live-gaming platform. Now the silhouette and form of a logo can activate a brand experience on any package or sign. We are entering a time when media channels are limited only by our imagination, a time when color, shape and sound themselves are the channels we use to distribute our experiences.

- Jason Marks, Executive Creative Director at Partners+Napier, a Project: WorldWide agency.

Emoji Mania

At Sparks & Honey we have identified 96 “Elements of Culture” for 2014 that fall into five categories: Media & Language; Humanity; Aesthetics; Sci & Tech and Ideology. We refresh and remap our Elements of Culture every 90 days. One trend we track is EMOJI ECONOMICS.

In 2014 we are going to see emojis (little text characters to add context and emotion to missives) go mainstream and beyond teens and Millennials. With privacy top of mind, encrypted typography and glyphs are trending as people try to obfuscate their communications. “Emoji speak” appeals to privacy seekers, as well as catering to our puzzle mania.

But, importantly, what do emojis say about our culture? In an increasingly image-based culture, semiotics will need to evolve to include new forms of language such as emojis. A job of the future is “emoji semiotics.” In addition, can Emoji Power Rankings be used to keep a pulse on the mood-state of the nation? Yes. The number one emoji – for the 75th consecutive week – is Smiling Poop (see image). This emoji perfectly sums up the American psyche now going into Black Friday and 2014: generally happy despite the world being in the crapper.

This is due to mass shootings, natural disasters, ineffective government and uncertain healthcare and retirement, amongst other things. Americans are hunkering down to 2008 levels. Gallup Poll’s consumer confidence index has plummeted over the course of this year. And the Vice Index predicts that spending on “vices” (liquor, gambling, prostitution) are falling and will be at 2007 levels as we enter the new year. It’s going to be a sober 2014, but Americans will cope. They always do.

- Sarah DaVanzo, Chief Cultural Strategy Officer at Sparks & Honey

Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by Flavio~

About the author: Steve Hall

Steve Hall is a marketing professional, publisher, writer, community manager, photographer and all-around lover of advertising.

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