5 Wishes For Marketers In 2014, Rather Than Predictions

Predictions are plentiful during the final 24 hours of a calendar year. I'm not going to predict the rise in programmatic ad buying. Nor will I predict the rise of a cookieless world that allows brands to target ads to consumers who hopped from an Internet-connected television to a smartphone to a desktop before completing the sale. While it's difficult to say for sure what will happen in the future, I'm absolutely certain I have five wishes I hope marketers will turn into resolutions to achieve success in 2014.

In 2014, I wish marketers will:

1)  Bring Online Advertising Into The Supply Chain.  I hope marketers will work more closely with their company's IT department to connect the dots across multiple data silos within their organization. It means integrating ad serving and retargeting systems with online ordering systems; enterprise resource management platforms; customer relationship management tools; reverse logistics when consumers buy online and return the item; inventory management; and warehouse, shipping and auto-replenishment systems. CMOs will take more control of the IT budget in 2014, requiring CTO and CIOs to pay attention.

2)  Develop A Total-Cost-of-Customer Formula.  I hope more marketers will develop models to determine the total cost of their customers and build that cost into marketing campaigns. It's common to look at an enterprise or search engine optimization platform and determine what it cost the company over five years to run the package, but few analyze their customer base to determine the total cost of targeting and retargeting ads to specific types of consumers. Marketers should integrate this number into the total cost required to acquire and keep a consumer during their lifetime. Omer Artun, CEO at AgilOne, tells me between 5% and 10% of marketers use this model to determine the lifetime value of customers. It requires marketers to determine the revenue from the customer, minus the cost of the product, minus the returns, and minus the marketing cost it took on every order.

3)  Secure Data Even Tighter.  I hope marketers will take the threat of data theft more seriously as personalized advertising campaigns, programmatic media buying, and cross-channel marketing increase. As automation picks up in online marketing and advertising, it will require companies to watch their data more closely. Think again if you believe the data is safe among the emerging, technically advanced platforms and cloud computing storage systems.

4)  Realize Keywords Take A Backseat To Sentiment.  I hope marketers realize there are other ways, aside from search engine keyword data, to support and optimize content. Think about the structure and connections created by Google's Knowledge Graph and Microsoft's Satori databases. It should give marketers a clue as to the future of search engine optimization.

5)  See Product Listing Ads And Paid Search Ads Converge.  I hope marketers will learn to work with a new type of search marketing ad format in 2014, combining product listing ads and paid search ads. No, Google and Microsoft have not announced anything yet, but they will. The ads will support video and voice activation on a variety of platforms such as desktop, mobile and Internet television.

Happy New Year! Be safe. See you in 2014.

Please take a moment to share one of your wishes (or predictions) in the comments section of this post.


"Women blowing out candles on a cake celebrating 2014" photo from Shutterstock.

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