9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2014


I Want a Big Check

Do you remember seeing Ed McMahon showing up at a door with balloons and a huge check? The prize patrol for Publishing Clearinghouse was seared in my memory as a child of the 80's. I mean look at this amazing commercial:

2014 is the year of personal marketing. For the first time you can be Ed McMahon on the prize patrol. You can deliver a huge check (or whatever you're marketing) to every one of your customers and make them feel like they've won the sweepstakes. Why? Because it is especially for them.

 5 Marketing Trends for 2014

There are five major trends to look for and take advantage of as a marketer in 2014. All of which will help you give your customers the feeling of personally winning a million dollars.

 1. Big Data Meets Personal Data

Big Data Marketing Recipe BookBig data was a buzzword in 2013, but what most businesses learned is that having lots of data and information about their customers, industry, and competitors don’t provide answers. Someone needs to summarize and highlight action steps from the data.

In 2014 look for big data to combine with personal data. As a business, you have information about your customers, including what they’ve purchased, how much they’ve spent and how long it’s been since they’ve done business with you.

All of this customer data can and should be combined with the digital big data to identify who is in buying mode. Knowing the person’s name and contact information will allow marketers to send the $1 million sweepstakes offer to the people who are checking their mailbox waiting for it.

Our free Delicious Data recipe book will share examples from our automotive marketing efforts that you can apply to your business in 2014.

2. More Ads Less Organic

Navigating Social Media Paperback

We’ve reached the tipping point where social networks are now trying their best to monetize.

Facebook publicly admitted that it is making it more difficult for businesses to appear organically. If a business wants to have more than 1-2% seen rate on their posts they’re going to have to pay.

As ads are added to Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, expect the ability to reach your own audience organically to shrink. This means you have to strategically choose where to spend your time online and know the best ways to make your content stand out.

To help you navigate the crowded social media waters, download a free digital copy of our book Navigating Social Media: A Field Guide. This field guide will help you choose where to spend your time so you can pay less and reach more customers.

3. Reemergence of your Home Base

Look for marketers to double down on building their own platforms in 2014. Instead of focusing solely on Facebook fans or Twitter follows, smart marketers will use these networks to drive signups to emails lists and subscribes to their blog.


As a business, you have complete control over your website and email list. You don’t have to check a box agreeing to any changes the platform might make.

What’s even better, customer acquisition via email has quadrupled in the last four years and has a customer lifetime value about 12% higher than average compared to 1% higher on Facebook and 23% below average for twitter.

In 2014, it’s back to the future for marketers.

4. Personal Messaging and Marketing

We’ve witnessed an explosion in personal message tools like SnapChat in the past months. Expect this trend to continue well into 2014.

These tools point to the power of immediacy and the importance of being personal. People want to use technology to talk to people and brands they care about.

As a marketer, this means the axiom that you should be personal and real in your marketing is still relevant. Also, consider how to best use your current platforms to add time-sensitive information to people who know you. You can experiment with SnapChat but the big takeaway is giving people who know you an incentive to read and act on your marketing immediately.

5. Visuals FTW

Infographics and images will continue to attract more visits and improve conversion rates for marketing content.

The fastest growing platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and even SnapChat are built around images (yes, selfies count). As a marketer, take great photos, create amazing designs or learn to search the Flickr commons to find images that will attract visitors to your content.

We saw the power of visuals this November as we launched our first social media education book, Navigating Social Media. We tapped the infographic design firm Lemonly to create an infographic for the launch. Within three weeks our blog post with the infographic had more views than almost all pieces of content we created the entire year. As you can see in the infographic below, sharing interesting data visually will attract more customers to your businesses in 2014.

The Year of Personal

edmcmahon-big-checkMake 2014 the year of personal. Use data, visuals and personal messaging to improve the success of your website, social media, and email.

This is the year that you can deliver the oversized check (or whatever you're marketing) to your customers and make them feel like a million bucks.

Where to start?

To help you navigate the personal, digital marketing world in 2014 we have two free resources for you:

1.  Our Big Data recipe book shows how you can send an email and start marketing based on a combination of big data and personal data.

2. Our new digital marketing book, Navigating Social Media: A Field Guide, is available for free as a PDF and for purchase as a paperback and audiobook. Download the Field Guide to learn how to choose the best online channels for your marketing in the personal world of 2014.

Social Media Infographic – Click to download your social media field guide.