2014: The Year of the Sophisticated Digital Experience

December and January. I love this time of the year, because everyone comes out with their predictions and trends for the new year. Last year it was responsive design. This year? Well, Forbes claims 2014 is the year “big data goes mainstream.” ClickZ says “2014 is the year marketing automation gets the recognition it deserves.” And lots of folks are predicting this is the year content marketing "finally grows up." We agree with all of the above. Whole-heartedly. 

We also know that more data, better marketing automation and smarter content marketing means that highly engaging digital experiences will be mandatory as well.

This year, we predict that highly relevant, smart, user-centered creative takes a front seat that will carry through 2014 and beyond. And Forrester agrees!

Digital experience delivery was ranked #2 on the top technology trends, making the point that:

Savvy marketers understand that it is no longer enough to just present a solution’s benefits. The story of a solution and its benefits must be delivered through an impactful and memorable digital experience.

Savvy marketers are putting digital experiences high on their priority list for 2014

In our own research conducted in December, along with Demand Metric, we found that 59% of digital marketers rated digital experience creation as “high” or “very high” priority. Among various digital marketing initiatives, creating rich, compelling digital experiences is clearly one of the higher priorities. 

59% of digital marketers rate digital experience creation as “high” or “very high” priority

59% of digital marketers rate digital experience creation as “high” or “very high” priority

More importantly, we found that a relationship exists between placing a high priority on digital experience marketing….and revenue growth.  If fact, 76% of organizations that place a high priority on creating digital experiences reported revenue growth this fiscal year.

76% of organizations that place a high priority on creating digital experiences reported revenue growth this fiscal year.

76% of organizations that place a high priority on creating digital experiences reported revenue growth this fiscal year.

For companies reporting declining growth, only 6% place a high priority on digital experience creation. While this is not a cause and effect relationship, there is a connection that should not be ignored when setting marketing priorities.

The digital marketing landscape is evolving rapidly

As we know, the digital marketing landscape is evolving very rapidly and the number of approaches is virtually unlimited. The website, landing pages, microsites, mobile optimized pages — they are capable of driving brand perception. 

However, we found responsive design was ranked first as the most powerful approach to positive brand perception, followed by content targeting.

Organizations reporting revenue growth are aggressively exploiting these more sophisticated approaches to drive brand perception and revenue growth. 83% of companies deploying advanced digital experiences reported revenue growth in 2013.

Organizations reporting revenue growth are aggressively exploiting more sophisticated digital experiences

Organizations reporting revenue growth are aggressively exploiting more sophisticated digital experiences

So what “advanced” approaches are marketers focusing on in the upcoming year?

The report shows an uptick in content targeting, conversion paths, microsites, personalization and responsive design for 2014.

The data doesn’t reflect the diminishing importance of the website, but it does reflect increasing sophistication and diversification in the creation of digital experiences.

Go big or go home.

2014 is the year that compelling, intelligent, and integrated digital campaigns, and thus experiences, will be mandatory.

Not optional.

Now is the time to go big or go home — deliver a fantastic, relevant, engaging, targeted, personalized experience. Period.

Do you think 2014 will be the year of the sophisticated digital experience? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

The Digital Marketing Landscape: The Power of Digital Experience in 2014

The Digital Marketing Landscape Study provides us with some highly encouraging stats…and some tremendous insight and advice from analyst Jerry Rackley.

We encourage you to register to receive the free 29-page report

Enjoy!