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Trends to Watch in 2014 from Altimeter Group

Charlene Li

About 2014 on graph

As we launch into 2014, the analysts at Altimeter each pulled together a compilation of trends and issues they are watching closely this year. Below is a link to each post as well as a synopsis of some of the top themes we are exploring.

As you read through each post, you’ll see that there are commonalities and overlap. This isn’t a surprise, as we have multiple people researching different aspects of customer experience, big data, innovation, and digital marketing. The diversity of thought and approaches is what makes it so interesting -- we each bring a different perspective that is valuable to the research.

We would love to hear from you, and hope that you’ll contribute your perspective, best practices, case studies, and expertise to the research we conduct in 2014. Feel free to comment below or email us at research@altimetergroup.com.

Trend #1: The Integration of Digital, Social, and Mobile in Marketing and Content

The World Wide Web celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and it’s fitting that many of us at Altimeter will be looking at how the different elements of digital -- especially around marketing and content -- will become further integrated in 2014.

Andrew Jones writes about how marketers are finding it harder than ever to engage with customers when attention fragments across channels. He’s looking at how social enhances targeting and personalization in existing customer engagement channels such as email and advertising. One trend he’s following closely is how tech giants like Oracle, Salesforce, and Adobe have made investments and acquisitions to offer cross-channel offerings that aim to “close the loop” in marketing.

In the world of content and media, Rebecca Lieb is tracking how media continues to converge, collapsing into blended, converged forms of marketing like native advertising and real-time marketing. Technology companies are following suit, and Rebecca is tracking the impact of moves such as Adobe merging their Marketing and Creative Clouds and Oracle snatching up Compendium and Eloqua. The emerging integrated content marketing technology “stack” reflects the realities of companies breaking down silos to integrate organizationally the collaboration that happens today on an ad hoc basis.

Trend #2: Data is the New Disruption

From Trend #1, you quickly realize that data and analytics form the foundation for these activities. Susan Etlinger continues to research how organizations can master data, and points out that organizations are moving from questions like “who owns it” and “who funds it” to the next wave of issues such as “who gets to see it, change it, and administer it.” She’s also researching how the biggest challenge of “Big Data” will continue to be the sheer variety of data types -- and will look at how organizations are investing in a diversity of expertise and technologies to manage it.

Trend #3: Disruptive Digital Transformation

Lastly, Brian Solis and I are looking at disruption and transformation from several angles. Much of the work we did in 2013 together looked at social business strategies and how social is becoming converged in the organization. In 2014, Brian continues to research this trend, where social business becomes a way of business, not a stand-alone or bolt-on strategy. A key focus of his will be on how creating an integrated customer experience leads to digital transformation and a culture of innovation.

And I’m going to conduct research on two fronts in 2014, the first being how companies extend that culture of innovation into disruption strategies. I’m also extending my research on leadership and organizations to look at how companies are engaging empowered employees and designing holistic strategies that create and define the future of work. Note that we have a cohort of executives who are just coming into power in their 40s -- and they have spent their entire careers with the internet as a backdrop, so things are going to steadily and quickly shift with the changing of the guard to digital natives.

From all of us at Altimeter, we hope you enjoy these posts and we again encourage you to share these trends and contribute your ideas, examples, and best practices.

Links to Altimeter Analysts Trends to Watch Posts

Andrew Jones: 2014 Trends: Organizing Around the Social Customer

Brian Solis: 2014- The Embolden Years -- Change Agents Lead the Way for Digital Transformation

Charlene Li: Disruptive Trends to Watch in 2014

Rebecca Lieb: Nine Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2014

Susan Etlinger: 2014: The Year of Data Disruption