Trends Heading into 2014

By Bob West

 

“What’s going on out there?”

It’s one of the most common questions we field from clients planning their upcoming advertising activity, and I think we have seen enough in terms of 2014 RFPs and contracts to predict some key trends for next year.

Digital demand will be way up – This is clearly not a risky prediction, but next year’s inventory is being reserved at a much faster rate than in previous years as more dollars flow into the digital media.

Dynamic, rich media ads will be more prevalent – Web ads that expand when site visitors hold their mouse over them or ads featuring built-in video are common in the consumer realm and have been proven effective. So it’s no surprise to see ad buyers looking to use these same practices in B2B. How commonplace will they be in ag markets 2014? I’m not sure, but we have fielded more client questions on rich media ads and sent out more copies of our rich media specs in the last 30 days than we did in all of 2013.

Targeting takes off – Another example of marketers’ efforts to advertise more effectively is the rising popularity of targeted ad buys. Run-of-site ads have their place given the mass of impressions they can deliver, but clients are increasingly looking to only buy portions of our websites so they reach specific segments of the audience or deliver their message when that audience is engaged with particular content. (This targeting trend is equally apparent in the popularity of topical enewsletters that reach a particular customer.)

Content-based efforts start taking hold – Content marketing exploded as the hot marketing trend the past two years, and it will only gain steam in 2014. The biggest content marketing challenge facing companies will be figuring out exactly how to approach this concept given how different it is from other marketing tactics. Effective content marketing requires a thought-out plan covering an extended period of time – content marketing is not something to tackle project by project.

More attention going to mobile – Growers and retailers are no different than the rest of the U.S. population, so they are using their smartphones and tablets to get online more than ever. Advertisers have taken note and are figuring out how much budget to allocate to mobile options. Very few companies have jumped into mobile yet, and those that have done so are being cautious. Other companies have focused on building apps or interactive PDFs of print pieces to serve customers’ mobile information needs.

The author is the Director of Interactive Sales for Meister Media, and he can be reached at 440-602-9129 or bwest@meistermedia.com.

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