The Jolt! 12.18.2013

And so dear friends we come to the end of the year here at The Jolt! This will be the last issue until 2014 as I can’t imagine any of you needing a whack on the side of the head on Christmas Day; or being able to survive it come New Years. Fear not, I will continue to add to ck Curates which as always patiently awaits you 24/7/365.

How about the barrage of lists offering insights into what 2014 has in store? I collected some 25 of them thinking that I would do 14 Lists For 2014, but decided it was too much work for both of us. Instead I picked 8 that I hope will prepare you to take advantage of new opportunities. One overall observation – the Millenials are now driving the conversation being at once the most social and most elusive demographic to come along to bedevil marketers in history.

This just in from and had to be added Top 11 Marketing Trends For 2014. If you’re only going to read one, this is the one that brings all the rest together. I’ve been looking for a killer gift for my event marketing friends and I think Number Nine might be it:

9. More Maker Fairs And Meet-Ups

As consumers get overloaded and begin unplugging and masking their identities online, marketers will need to create more events and situations to give them a reason to interact with their brands in the real world.

When an ecosystem is under pressure and splits open, it’s known as “squealing,” and consumers will “squeal” in 2014, explained Sarah DaVanzo, chief cultural strategy officer at sparks & honey. More consumers will “hide” online via encryption and emoji-speak, such as glyphs and new typographies that confuse text recognition tools, as well as offline with surveillance-jamming wearables, cloaking fashion, and make-up and goggles that fool facial-recognition systems.

BTW I have no idea what a Maker Fair is but I am prepared to learn…

14 Meeting Technology Trends To Watch For 2014 is an extremely valuable list of resources on a range of topics from crowdsourcing to wearable apps. Definitely worth a look. Down at #13 is what should perhaps be Number One: Audience engagement becomes a top priority for events… Ya think?

Many of the fourteen trends in this article are involved in some way with participant engagement, a trend that will see increasing emphasis this coming year.

2014 Marketing Predictions With A Twist from Forbes. It’s a fun idea for a panel “If you had to pick one song title, song lyric, movie title or movie quote that best describes where you see marketing going in 2014, what would it be and why?” 

30+ luminaries responded (they offer a free deck so you can collect them all.) Jerry Maguire was the most referenced title. There is an interesting tension here between technology, the need to demonstrate ROI (show me the money,)and the realization that the target (that would be you and me) is getting harder and harder to engage – the recommended solution being ever more targeted content, made ever more available in varying shapes and sizes. My prediction? We’ll all need XL in-boxes.

I like Elizabeth Pizzinato’s somewhat apocalyptic vision – she is the Global Luxury Consumer and Digital Marketing SVP at the Four Seasons…

It’s the end of the traditional marketing world as we know it. But the brand stories and channels we can co-create with our consumers are more powerful, emotional and real than ever before.

I love the optimism of 9 Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions Of Dollars Next Year from market researcher IDC. Worldwide IT spending will grow 5% next year to US$2.1 trillion which is good news at my house. Money will of course continue to pour into the cloud. (to Cap or not to cap, that is the question.)

Perhaps the most interesting is Number Nine.


If you don’t know, Internet of Things. Remember it, because I predict that it’s going to be on a lot of POs and IPOs going forward.

By 2020, 30 billion inanimate objects will be made “smart,” and added to the Internet, controlled by apps.

By 2020, IoT will generate an astounding $8.9 trillion in revenues, IDC says.

The Future of Content: Upcoming Trends in 2014 is from Moz and it is much meatier than most. Chock full of good stuff. Let me draw your attention to Trend 3: Increased interest in content integration (content will be produced for multiple channels).

Here’s why it matters to those of us in event marketing. Content has historically been one of the key drivers for attending events. And despite the virtual onslaught, B2B content marketers (still) view in-person events as their most effective tactic. (There is a download with the complete report.) So it stands to reason that:

The seamless transition of content from online marketing channels (via social media conversations, PPC and display ads, and content on the site via case studies and videos) to in-person conversations and consumer experience will only grow in importance.

50 Content Marketing Predictions for 2014 includes an offer for a free 53 page e-book with thoughts and ideas from 50+ content marketing thought leaders. It is impressive to me that such a young discipline has amassed so many experts so quickly… Mighty high falutin’!

The comments  cluster around different approaches to heightening engagement, formalizing the content development process and the prediction that attention spans will continue to diminish. In this view, the future belongs to the agency that is the best at Instagram, Vine and SnapChat. Oh brave new world.

Jill Rowley at Oracle is one of many who recognizes the importance of content to sales.

The modern sales professional is a content connoisseur and an information concierge with a strong personal brand.

Top 10 Social Media Predictions for 2014 (Based on 2013 Moments) from Social Media Today. This is a good one to read for insights into Facebook and Twitter. No doubt we will all be watching the Superbowl to see how many companies try to come up their own Oreo moments.

Similar to how brands pay for product placement, I think companies will make deals with networks to learn a TV show’s storylines beforehand so that their content is even timelier.

We can’t call this list complete without something like Brand And Marketing Trends For 2014 which makes my list because of an idea I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere, 3. Category Is King.

I predict that this is going to give lots of people with commitment issues the heebie-jeebies. I used to work for a CEO who loved to say “it could be this, it could be that.” In other words, whatever it takes to make the deal. The author predicts that approach will soon be passé. Companies are going to have to commit to a category to own it. This is the ultimate manifestation of a long-tail strategy:

To engage smarter, high-expectation consumers, brands will need to be smarter about specific category values they can leverage.

Finally, two quickies. If you are still stuck on that whole giving thing, here is a list of the Top Apps for 2013 on iTunes.

And if you’re inclined to ponder the impact of technology on language, here’s this from Pinnacle in the UK: Selfie’ Named Word of the Year by the Oxford English Dictionary.

If this gaggle of wise women and wise men are to be believed, 2014 will challenge us to find more ways to tell our stories, demand more ways to engage our audiences and put more focus on analyzing and rationalizing the results. Perhaps most important, I predict that we’ll all be busy doing more things that our clients know they need.

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I wish you and yours all the joys of the Season. Thank you for your support and enthusiasm.

Please consider giving The Jolt! as gift to those who have been especially naughty or nice.

See you next year.