CK Insights is a new series on our blog featuring CK team members’ perspectives on timely topics.
2014 promises to be another year of excitement and change in the marketing-communications world. With so much to look forward to, we asked CK team members: what’s in store for 2014? Here’s how five of our colleagues responded.
A (Necessary) Evolution in the Content Frenzy
Much like the mid-1990’s (when content was first crowned “king”), every corner of the marketing landscape was swept in 2013 by a torrent of talk about content marketing strategies, native advertising, the collapsing walls between “paid versus earned” and a million variations on the same theme. Given the speed at which things move today, this cycle is evolving fast. It’s already clear (again) that “content” in and of itself is no silver bullet. Pushing to publish without a strategic view of what is truly, authentically interesting, relevant and helpful to your key constituencies leads to more noise and less value. In 2014, expect to see increasingly nuanced dialogues about the role of content in different channels, different permutations and for different purposes. And expect to see more pressure on the scalability of many native advertising approaches and platforms – based on the ROI they can deliver (or not) to the companies paying to access those audiences.
-- Anne Green, President and CEO
Further Media Transformation Across Multiple Channels
Over the past few months, the media landscape has continued to change. We’ve seen the likes of AdAge and New York magazines cut their number of annual print issues in half, while bolstering digital offerings. More outlets have transplanted traditionally broadcast coverage to the Web, and some – like MTV – have created news segments on Instagram. NBC News recently announced it will work with the video start-up NowThis News to produce brief news segments for Vine, Instagram and Snapchat. In 2014, I’m looking forward to seeing how the media landscape will continue to transform, and how brands will respond to these adjustments.
-- Ben Murray, Account Coordinator
Significant Impact from Congressional Elections
The 2014 congressional elections will significantly alter the dynamics of the political landscape at both the state and federal levels, and certainly affect the manner in which organizations approach their public affairs campaigns. Whether companies / organizations are looking to influence the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or shape the debate on immigration reform, the results of these elections will inevitably affect political relationships and key areas of public policy and resources. Therefore, it is incumbent upon public relations and public affairs consultants to closely monitor these developments throughout the year in order to inform broader strategic initiatives.
-- Matthew Panichas, Senior Account Executive
Pinterest Gaining Further Ground with Businesses
In 2013, Pinterest raised $425 million in funding, introduced Place Pins, started testing ads in the form of “promoted pins” and gained a lot of ground on other channels in terms of social sharing. The site on which we all love to spend hours pinning is certainly taking off in a big way. They recently acquired VisualGraph, a startup that creates image recognition and visual search technologies. In 2014, we are going to see an increasing number of companies creatively utilizing Pinterest. For visual brands, it will be a key part of marketing / communications plans. I look forward to seeing the impact the site will have on businesses.
-- Dana Schwartz, Account Executive
New Platforms and Features to Engage Online
Advertisers will continue to look for new ways to engage consumers online, especially through video. Facebook’s entrance into video advertising is causing a stir. Although some predict the tactic will alienate users, the CMO of Subway restaurants – an early-adopter of Facebook video ads – has already been quoted as saying the ads “worked pretty darn well.” Here’s the bottom line: as always, the content of the ad will drive the user’s willingness to sit through it. If the ad is interesting or if there is great content behind the ad, I’ll wait. If I’m not psyched about the content, I’ll move on. Once again, the PR industry has the opportunity to create engaging content for our clients, so they can leverage it successfully online, and pair it with targeted advertising.
-- Abby Trexler, Manager, Client Services