3 Key Business Marketing Trends for 2014

2014 business trends

What business trends are on the foreseeable horizon heading into the new year?  Let’s jump in and explore what I feel are the top three listed below.

2014 Business Marketing Trends

#3 Social Media

A couple years ago this was #1. For a variety of reasons, however, the shine of social media has lost a bit of its luster.

This past year both Forbes and USAToday reported how social media isn’t working for small businesses in pieces titled, “Why Small Businesses Are Losing On Social Media” and “Study: Social Media a Bust for Small Businesses.”

Both were in response to a 2013 survey released from Manta research revealing that over 60% of small businesses reported they don’t see any ROI (return on investment) on their social-media activities.

That’s a big number and a strong indication that while many may have been partying with social media these past couple years, a lot of those folks are now feeling a hangover. It seems that the people making the most measurable money on social media are the folks charging you to tell you how to do it.

That said, social media certainly isn’t going away and it will continue to be an important element of a business marketing plan. In 2014, it just won’t have the lure it’s had in past few years.

#2 Mobile

While everyone has a cell phone, not everyone has a smart phone. And, certainly, not everyone has a tablet. But in 2014 more people will have both. Which is why more businesses will be conforming to a mobile market in 2014. It’s also the reason web designers are experiencing their biggest spike in business since 1997.

It’s called responsive web design which means that the site design will look as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop or laptop. At this point, most don’t. In 2014, they’d better. Also, more and more business is being done remotely and virtually requiring more and better mobile devices.

Lastly, mobile towers are expanding and networks are getting better and faster every day.

1# Online Video

You’d think that something that’s been around forever would be fading away. The opposite has happened with video. There are multiple reasons for this, The continuing serge in video-friendly mobile devises, the fact the Google has made video much more search friendly, and the simple fact that video is the most engaging of all media.

The explosion of Web video has spawned new monikers like “Explainer video.” That term didn’t even exist a couple years ago and it’s now one of the fastest growing searches on Google.

You’ve heard the saying, “You can never be too thin or too rich.” For 2014, add, “or have too much video.”

Trends Photo via Shutterstock

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John Follis


John Follis John Follis heads up Big Idea Video, creator of short format, high concept video that captivates and persuades prospects. According to Forbes, 76% of marketers expect to invest in video this year and make it their #1 marketing strategy. John Follis honed his talents as Creative Director and Co-founder of Follis/DeVito/Verdi, one of Madison Avenue’s most successful, award winning ad agencies.

33 Reactions

  1. Oh, I can definitely see why Mobile is on that list and why it’s number 2. Most people I know have a smartphone. I think with so many more people set to own one in 2014, I wonder if it’ll drive down prices and therefore make it more affordable for more people, resulting in even more people owning one.

    • I am expecting the prices to go lower. It is like Internet providers. It used to be so expensive back then but then it became cheaper and cheaper. It will become cheaper once people get accustomed to using it.

      • I think smartphones don’t need to be as expensive as they are, so I look forward to that changing in 2014 and beyond. That’s when I might decide to buy one, even though I actually don’t think I need one, to be honest. I’m happy with the simplest of phones.

  2. An interesting thing to try – if you check out your website stats over the last year and compare them to the previous year you’ll see how much growth there has been in these three areas. Google Analytics will can help show you % of website traffic that is mobile, as well as referrals from YouTube and social media.

    These 3 small business marketing trends have a definite impact on your website traffic so its best to stay on top of them and make the most of the growing opportunities!

  3. I definitely agree. These three are slowly making it big in the marketing world. With faster Internet and other media, video will not become intensely popular.

  4. Hey John, great read and right on with my prior research. Social media is still a huge factor if done right. Businesses should be using Social media for public relations, but companies don’t understand the type of people who hang out on social sites.

    Plus, mobile is the future. Everyone should have a focused mobile marketing plan for 2014, and know when to use a responsive theme vs. a mobile website.

    Finally, video will dominate, because of YouTube and Google Hangouts. If you aren’t familiar with Google+ hangouts, then you are months behind the competition,

    Thanks for the post!

  5. Rejuvenating article on business marketing trends for 2014, though everyone know how sluggish the market is as of now. But believe that we all can see a new ray of hope through the usage of social media, Mobile phones or faster connectivity & videos.

  6. And what’s about the apps? Would it be better for a real estate agency to build an app with all the real estate or is it better to build a responsive web design?

  7. Nice article. I think social media offers a contribution, but as a small business, it can eat up an immense amount of time. It’s difficult to build an audience, so I can certainly see how many businesses aren’t benefitting from their social media effort. Regarding responsive website design, I think it’s a crucial consideration. Year over year “audience” analysis in google analytics should tell that story. Video offers engagement and it’s becoming so easy and accessible. It humanizes the story.

  8. Ivan Widjaya

    Mobile is definitely a huge trend not to miss in 2014.

    People are using their smartphones and tablets more than ever before, and the trends reveal that many people even use their smartphones more than laptops and desktops.

    • Thanks for the comment, Ivan.

    • Mobile will definitely blow up even more in 2014. However, I do worry about some people’s obsession with them (e.g., walking down the street, head down, completely engrossed in a smartphone when you should be looking where you’re going). Unfortunately, I suspect habits such as that are set to increase next year too.

  9. Martin Lindeskog

    John: Looks like plenty of companies don’t know how to use social media… ;) And couldn’t video and mobile be social media channels too?

    • Video combined with Social Media (for those who know how to do it right) is the perfect combo. It’s just that video is much easier to understand and get excited about — especially when it’s done right.

  10. Hey John, right on! These are actually the top 3 things I’m working on for marketing my remodel business. Thanks for confirming my hunch! I am curious to see what types of videos work best for gaining a new audience or credibility in a field like mine? Before and afters? Meet the team? FAQ’s in video format? Also, I think there is definitely going to be an increase in professionally produced videos, but I think that impromptu vids from a flip cam are going to be just as powerful when it comes to interacting with your social community… thoughts?

    • Glad my piece resonates with you Matt.
      You asked a bunch of really good questions. They just require more than I can answer in this little reply box. So, feel free to buzz me directly if you’d like to discuss 203-569-7515

  11. Great read. I’ve been watching this online video trend for the past couple years and I knew it was going to be big. I think you’re right on John. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I think that now and in the future, the number of mobile users will increase significantly, because it’s not just phones and tablets, but also other devices connect to the network with an unusual screen resolution!

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