This time it really is the year of mobile, say many working in the marketing space. Without consulting each other, marketing vendors offering their predictions for 2014 nearly unanimously say mobile is dominating the conversation.
The one outlier, Boston-based marketing services provider Extraprise, says marketing automation will accomplish the year's main trend of brands becoming "one with the customer's journey."
That journey may start through mobile devices, says Gurbaksh Chahal, founder and CEO of San Francisco marketing software provider RadiumOne. While forecasts are calling for mobile ad spend to rise 19 percent, Chahal predicts technology linking consumers' desktop computer registration information to their mobile devices will allow marketers to "target tailored messages to consumers across their devices without using cookies or other questionable 'fingerprinting' tactics." He bets on a 30 percent increase.
Customers will be increasingly reading email on their mobile devices, says Brennan Carlson, SVP of product and strategy at Emeryville, Calif.-based marketing software provider Lyris. "By 2017, it's predicted that 78 percent of U.S. email users will access email via mobile," he says. "To successfully reach the always-connected customer, marketers will master mobile optimization in 2014."
This year, mobile sites will have to contend with "phablets," which are phone/tablet hybrids, says Hadas Sheinfeld, vice president of product management for Israeli marketing services providers ClickTale.
Some call it an increasingly mobile world. As Jeff Corbin, founder of New York-based app providers theCOMMSapp puts it while noting PC shipments are down and tablet shipments are up: "Mobile just is."