The following is a guest contributed post from Frans Van Hulle, CEO and Co-Founder of ReviMedia.
What a year it has been…The government shut down, Twitter went public, Miley Cyrus twerked and Apple started becoming average. But, what happened in lead generation? Well, 2013 has overall been an interesting year, with four main trends emerging that continue to evolve in 2014:
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking
There has been an industry-wide effort to set higher quality standards. Lead buyers tend to demand higher quality leads, preferably quality coupled with quantity. This has caused an increase in the use of lead verification systems to filter out any sub-standard leads and decrease the occurrence of fraud.
No one likes fraudsters
The fight against fraud continues and ties in with an overall effort to achieve higher lead quality. We’ve seen big players cleaning up their act demanding more quality from their publishers, implementing LeadID and taking matters more into their own hands by working more closely and directly with publishers.
The customer is king and the king doesn’t like robocalls
The Federal Communication Commission established additional rules to further protect consumers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) which protect consumers from unwanted autodialed or pre-recorded telemarketing calls. The good news is that this will force many companies to adapt to these new rules by finding new ways to connect with consumers. And, most importantly, the end user experience will improve.
Use “Social Media” in your status update – everybody will like it
Social Media has become an extremely important channel for lead generation and will continue to grow in 2014. It’s not only manifesting itself as one of the most important distribution channels for content marketing, social networks have also provided marketers with tools to gain more customers. Twitter introduced new Lead Generation Cards which allow businesses to post expanded tweets promoting their content and offers. Facebook overhauled its ad-buying platform, making it simpler for companies to identify objectives and target audiences
Mobile – it’s kind of a big deal around here
Mobile traffic has increased dramatically over the course of this year. Over 1.2 billion people worldwide access the web from their mobile devices (Digital Marketing) and 58% of all US consumers own a smartphone (comScore). Considering that mobile traffic accounts up to 15% of global internet traffic (Internet Trends 2013) companies are under a lot of pressure to optimize their websites and services for mobile users. Mobile ad spend, app development, responsive design and overall mobile presence have received much more attention this year, a trend which will continue in the New Year. Marketers are now also mobile specific functionality, such as Click2Call, at their disposal which allows customers to get in touch with advertisers right away.
What to Expect in 2014
- Social media will most likely continue to be an essential distribution channel for marketers. Next to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn will gain more importance in reaching customers and clients. LinkedIn will become especially important in B2B Marketing. Therefore, Social media ad spend will surely continue to increase in 2014.
- Mobile will continue to establish itself as a dominant channel, with companies attempting to make integrations between mobile and web channels more seamless. Mobile real-time bidding platforms will make up a large percentage of mobile ad buying and continue to evolve technically.
- Content Marketing will play a big role in 2014, with increased focus on visually stimulating content, such as video. Moreover, mobile content will gain importance as mobile usage is further taking over. This will force marketers to think about how to create and promoting engaging content for mobile users.
- Automation will be a really big deal in lead gen in the New Year. Automation has been recognized as a vital tool to make lead generation processes more efficient and further increase lead quality. Automating lead gen processes can not only speed up administrative and technical aspects of lead generation, but can also help to set certain norms and standards in the industry. In 2014, we will see an increase in companies that either outsource to technology providers or invest more in automation tools.