Silicon Alley Players Chime in on What 2014 Holds

By ​Jacob Ajwani

January 10, 2014

From Twitter, Rocket Fuel and Criteo IPOs to record-high online sales for the tech community and ecommerce, 2013 turned out to be a huge year.

2014

So what does 2014 have in store? I posed the question to New York’s burgeoning digital community to get their take on global ecommerce trends, mobile’s continued climb toward domination, and emerging acquisition strategies. Here’s what they had to say.

Ben Plomion, VP Marketing @ Chango

Once upon a time, different groups within a digital marketing team were divided by clear lines. But as programmatic techniques have spread from search to every other corner of the digital marketing world, the lines have blurred. Meanwhile, paid, owned, and earned media are as blurry as ever. Who owns Facebook Exchange—the social media team or the paid media one? And for that matter, what happens when someone likes an ad on Facebook? Is this social lift paid or earned? How about Twitter's tailored audiences (aka Twitter retargeting)? In 2014, expect to see media buyers taking credit for social lift. And you can bet that social managers will try to take credit for native ads.

Jon Mendez, Founder & CEO @ Yieldbot

Marketer's worlds are going to change in 2014 because of the abundant versatility and new insights now available in marketing channels. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, (and our own, Yieldbot), are all bringing the things marketers want: massive scale, first-party data, brand-safe environments, performance pricing, cross-device delivery, and ease of buying. Expect dollars from all ad budgets to start flowing into these channels in 2014 and for marketers to experience success with them.

Evan Schwartz, CEO @ Actionx

With phone and tablet usage displacing desktop/PC, marketers will put a greater emphasis on multi-screen efforts and delivering a relevant, clean, and efficient experience regardless of device. Additionally, marketers will focus on building comprehensive and more accurate profiles of their users, utilizing privacy-friendly data pulled from multiple devices that enable effective engagement efforts across channels. Today’s consumers are always connected; responsive design, user segmentation and targeting, deep linking, and dynamic creative will be a focus for marketers and brands looking to improve the customer experience.

Mitchell Reichgut, CEO @ Jun Group

In 2014, brands will use Facebook differently. Social tools are now ubiquitous and brands will use Facebook more like a traditional media property (i.e., a place to run pre-roll video through native ads) and less as their de facto social platform. In this new model, brands’ owned properties will become primary destinations for their consumers, with sites like Facebook acting as traffic drivers. Red Bull, for instance, had great success with Felix Baumgartner’s space jump.

If all this sounds familiar, it’s the same marketing model brands used in the late-1990s. Back then, the strategy was known as “sticky content.” This time around, brands are armed with the ability to drive significant numbers of people to their sites via social, and to engage them once they’re acquired. This was a crucial element missing in the initial iteration of the model, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out this time around.

Adam Chandler, Head Of Global Programmatic Revenue @ Millennial Media

More than ever before, more open roads are leading to the brands directly. With the explosion of new marketing needs given automation trends, consumer adoption towards "me" media, always accessible mobile devices, plus the many actionable ways to use your customer data, brands are adding new people into the marketing process whose titles don't have marketing in them. Everything from tech, data, and marketing automation now have a stronger presence at a brands HQ.

Darren Herman, VP of Content Services @ Mozilla

As CES 2014 highlights the innovation around “The Internet of Things,” we are going to begin to see devices become increasingly smarter which takes an entire infrastructure that did not exist previously.  If we want devices to be aware of each other, operate independently and dependently, then we need an ecosystem that provides compute power, storage, accessibility, and most importantly, instructions.  I believe one of the key areas of innovation in 2014 will be around the creation of instructions, which allow devices to be predictive, context aware, and an asset, rather than a liability.

Jacob Ajwani is a former strategic services director at Monetate. As an early member of the Adobe Test & Target team (back when it was called Offermatica), Jacob became an established voice within the industry, pioneering personalization strategies for premier brands such as Audi, Disney, and Condé Nast. Between Monetate and Adobe, Jacob spent two years as vice president of client services for Cognitive Match, which focused on display ads, big data, and relevancy. Jacob is also an avid guest-blogger for Econsultancy.com.

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