With 2013 just behind us, let’s take a look at the key trends that marketers need to follow closely throughout 2014. Having scoured the internet and carefully followed the latest developments during 2013, here are three key trends to monitor in 2014:
1) Consumers will demand greater privacy
What could happen in 2014: Disgruntled consumers will arrange mass boycotts of various corporations, using social media to orchestrate their protests. Furthermore consumers will respond to firms’ requests for personal details with great scepticism.
Implications for marketers: Seth Godin’s legendary permission marketing principles may no longer be as effective. Permission marketing is based on the premise that consumers who agree to receive marketing communications are more likely to respond favourably.
However, growing privacy concerns may mean that very few consumers give ‘permission’ to share their email addresses and other details. Hence, marketers need to look at utilising non-digital permission techniques – Mars have done a great job of this by creating a highly innovative M&M’s world.
2) Advertising and product placement will be everywhere
What has happened in 2013: Consumers are long accustomed to seeing Aston Martin cars in James Bond films; this is perhaps the most famous and successful form of product placement in history!
However, there has been a recent surge in consumers’ and media providers’ acceptance of product placement in 2013. The US hit TV show ‘Breaking Bad’ is an excellent example of this.
What could happen in 2014: TV show producers and film studios will allow almost any part of their screenplay to be customised to accommodate brands. If they are willing to pay the right price, brands can specify, for example, what Marge Simpson buys at the supermarket. Even scripts will be influenced by marketers: Pepsi may even be able pay South Park to discredit Coca-Cola.
Implications for marketers: Highly customizable and advanced product placement is a unique opportunity to overcome marketing clutter and reach consumers in innovative ways. This will be a very effective advertising tactic for sellers of low involvement products, such as Cadbury chocolate. Therefore, subtle product placements can result in viewers subconsciously develop favourable attitudes to featured brands.
3) 3D Printing will go mainstream
What has happened in 2013: 3D printers have entered the market and are now available for sale to consumers – check out Amazon to see one for sale!
What will happen in 2014: The cost of 3D printers will fall dramatically. As such, Hewlett Packard plan to launch a reasonably priced 3D printer in 2014. Lower priced machines will rapidly increase consumer uptake of 3D printers and create a new viable market segment.
Implications for marketers: 3D printing is a unique opportunity to launch mass customisation marketing strategies for consumer goods. Namely, marketers can now sell products that are made uniquely to the consumer’s requirements, which may involve specifying the colour of their new iPhone case for instance. Alternatively, Coca-Cola may extend their ‘Share a coke’ campaign to allow consumers to print their own bottles?
In summary, if 2013 is anything to go by, 2014 looks to be a year of rapid change. Consequently, marketers should closely monitor privacy attitudes, product placement opportunities and 3D printing availability.
Author: Josh Blatchford
Josh Blatchford is a marketing student from the United Kingdom and editor of Manifested Marketing. Manifested Marketing is a blog dedicated to helping business and marketing students understand concepts and theories through the use of relevant and interesting examples.