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.
A friend's son, who spent the last year in Austria teaching leadership classes for a church group, met an Austrian woman and they hit it off. So before he returned to the U.S. just before Christmas Day, they mapped out a plan to keep dating while apart. They would rely on Internet technology. The idea to use a video chat service to have a conversation with someone halfway around the world isn't new -- but technology like Skype made it a whole lot easier in 2013 to connect with friends, family, loved ones, and business contacts.
Twitter's stock rose 76% this month surging 182% since the company's IPO in early November. The shares closed Thursday at $73.31, but on Friday some began questioning the company's business model, even calling it faulty after conducting a two-year experiment.
UPS and FedEx were swamped this year moving and delivering packages. I attribute the chaos to the uptick in online sales. This year, I did most of my shopping online with only one snafu. The backup only affected one gift from me, flowers, an order we canceled because UPS admitted to not having the capacity to deliver the flowers as promised. The delays didn't stop consumers from searching online and buying gifts for themselves and loved ones, even on Christmas Day. In fact, Christmas Day online sales rose 16.5%, compared with the year-ago day, per IBM's Digital Analytics Benchmark report.
E-Card and Lifestyle Web sites got a traffic boost in November as Americans began planning their holiday activities, per comScore. The data firm released metrics Tuesday just prior to the holiday break.
Product listing ads (PLAs) have a higher potential to brand products and services compared with text-based ads because they include an image along with the text. Marketers supported by Rimm-Kaufman Group clients spent about 85% more in Q4 2013 compared with the prior year, per a J.P. Morgan research note.
Status message question asking (SMQA): That's how some researchers at Microsoft describe the ability to post a question in a social status feed and get answers from friends or followers. It explains why Bing integrated the Facebook social sidebar into its search engine.
Remember when search marketing companies first began to delve into services supporting campaigns on social sites? Now a slew of these agencies that got their start in direct-response advertising have made a play to turn social into the same type of media. Of course, Facebook and other social sites need to lead the way, but search marketers have developed the tools to support endeavors. Forrester Research caught that trend early and built a Social Wave report based on 45 criteria.
Marketers will transform marketing departments from cost centers to revenue-generating business units in 2014. Data helps with this transition, along with digital key performance metrics. Just ask Google and Bing executives. Most media-buying budgets no longer sit in silos, and about 20% of the marketing budget now goes to integrated multi-screen campaigns. For the most part, bidding and buying happens in real-time. In fact, 74% of growth in real-time bidding based on programmatic buying methods occurred this year.
Marketers have found that smartphones are the consumer's link from the digital to the real world when searching for products and services. In fact, 60% of shoppers often think of using their smartphones when researching local purchases and 72% use their smartphones when shopping in local stores, according to a Local white paper. Buyers are getting involved in mobile and marketing faster than companies can support them, according to IDC.