It’s been a crazy year in the advertising, marketing and public relations worlds, as media continues to evolve and digital and social platforms demand more time and influence.
We at The Martin Group would like to wish you the happiest of New Years, and we look forward to working with you all in 2015. To put a bow on 2014, our continually expanding staff takes a look back at the most impactful industry trends of the year.
The push to update existing websites to responsive designs. Technology is always changing, and it’s more important than ever to have your company website enabled for tablets and smartphones. Who still uses desktop computers (for personal browsing) anyway?
—Christie Witt Berardi, Director of Business Development | Brand Manager
I’ve seen the hidden camera/prank have a resurgence more than in previous years. The most notable examples being the Bud Light “Up For Anything” spots or the Hallmark “fake interview” commercial (that was of course, immediately parodied by Bud Light). Another notable example is the Febreze ads where they spray the product on messes and lead blindfolded people to believe they’re in a freshly cleaned room.
—Terry Caber, Art Director
For the web world, I would have to say the updates for Google algorithms Hummingbird, Penguin and Panda. And from a design standpoint, I would say the long-scrolling “infographic” page has been a game-changer.
—David Cloyd, Digital Designer | Developer
It’s been fascinating to follow the rise and fluctuation of Native Advertising this year, as it’s gotten as far as appearing in print in The New York Times. Debate has raged about how this branded/advertorial content should appear online and in print (so it’s clear to the reader that it’s paid for by an advertiser and not strictly editorial) and who is producing it (the advertiser, an independent agency, an isolated team within the media company or traditional journalists). Content is king, so to me this trend is as positive as the rise in social media and opportunity for brands to be their own publishers.
—John Jiloty, Social Media Manager
Digital, digital, digital analytics, digital and digital.
—Tod Martin, Principal | Chief Creative Officer
Each year boasts new technologies and new ways for advertisers to reach their prospective customers, and 2014 was no different — from the continued rise of social media to the greater emphasis on big data and how to make marketing a more data-driven science. At the end of the day, however, good marketing or advertising is still about reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time.
—Kelli Putney, Senior Vice President | Brand Strategist
Online video content on news sites in particular has become very popular. Seems to be more videos available for consumption than ever before. As we all know, the user is forced to view a commercial with the option to “Skip the ad in 4 seconds” button. Watching these commercials is incredibly annoying, so I ultimately tune them out and skip the ad. It would be interesting to see how many people do the same. I haven’t met one person that had positive experience so I’m certain the numbers are high. I actually avoid video content at times because I know there’s an ad.
—David J. Riley, Creative Director
The integration of more traditional public relations strategies and tactics with new forms of social and digital communications will continue at a rapid pace as we turn the calendar to 2015. The use of video and visual content will also continue to emerge as important elements in communicating with target publics.
—Dick Shaner Jr., Senior Vice President | Public Relations
SEO, SEO, SEO. Any site worth its weight in gold needs to begin with an SEO strategy or you are leaving a large part of your ROI on the table.
—Lisa Strock, Senior Vice President | Client Services
—Andrew Ucci, Copywriter