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Over the course of 2013, TheMail’s inaugural year, we were very lucky to have a number of great guest authors and industry experts offer up their own professional insights and personal advise on our site. Many of our guest authors run their own successful performance marketing, mobile, or email marketing companies and brought their unparalleled knowledge to TheMail and our readers on a regular basis. So, as we prepare for 2014, we wanted to catch up with a handful of our contributors and find out what they thought were the biggest trends of 2013, and who the industry should be looking out for in the year ahead.

Alex Genadinik, GlowingStart.com—“I feel that most people were having a difficult time with SEO. Google created quite a mess for webmasters, and nearly no one is satisfied with the volume of their search traffic. This caused a plight to other platforms like YouTube, Quora, social sharing. Additionally, I have seen a tremendous rise in volume and popularity of people promoting their businesses via their own podcasts.”

Alex’s 3 to Look For in 2014:

  1. Jason Calacanis is launching Inside.com, which should have a big impact on YouTube.
  2. Larry Page is absolutely firing on all cylinders with Google.
  3. And in podcasts, the EntrepreneurOnFire business podcast is gaining great popularity. And of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention my own YouTube channel, which I have big hopes for in 2014.

Michael Beck, HomeFinder.com—“Google continued to combat spam with several algorithm changes, most critically hummingbird, making gaining position in natural search results even more difficult. It’s clear that the future of Google SERPs is going to be heavily weighted toward paid placement (CPC & Shopping), knowledge graph (direct answers to simple questions), local, and in-depth content from top sources (WSJ, NYT, WAPO, etc.) in that order.”

“Email continues to be a valuable conversion, nurture, and engagement channel. The transition to mobile-first is now imminent, as many programs are seeing a majority of engagement on mobile devices.”

“Vine has had a big impact on social feeds, consuming a lot of engagement attention on Facebook and Twitter. With auto-play now the newsfeed standard you can expect for Vine to play an expanded role in 2014 marketing programs.”

Michael’s 3 to Look For in 2014:

  1. Upworthy—They seem to have hit the viral content sweet spot. Look for them to gain on and possibly surpass Gawker and Buzzfeed in 2014.
  2. Vine and Giphy—Images perform better than text, and auto-play “video” performs better than images. These two are uniquely positioned to have an impact on how we market.
  3. Sean Ellis—Growth hacking is entering a coming of age, and Ellis is the chief representative of the movement toward better, more data driven and sustainable marketing.

Jesse Aaron, Mashbout.com—“Social monitoring is definitely one of the biggest trends in performance marketing. It allows all marketing areas, even design and development teams, to gauge brand image, find pain points, and directly engage potential customers. People freely express their true dispositions to brands and businesses online, which offers more accurate insights for marketers. “

Jesse’s 3 to Look For in 2014:

  1. One brand this really rocking digital marketing is Riot Games. They’re ushering in a new era of professional gaming and NAILING marketing initiatives on all fronts: local, mobile, national, global, social media channels, content, contests, and more. Now that’s all in-house.
  2. Two agencies to keep following are Razorfish and,
  3. BREAKFAST. They’re digital marketing trailblazers and show no signs of slowing down.

Eder Holguin, Ideal Media—”I think the biggest trend we saw in 2013 and will continue to see next year and for years to come is the transition to mobile marketing. Mobile marketing is, and will continue to be, the fastest growing trend in the near future. With the projected share of the US population with smartphones at 50% by early 2014 and 25% worldwide, it is very clear that the market will continue to shift from web to mobile.

Eder’s 3 to Look For in 2014:

  1. Vungle—An in-app video advertising platform, recently announced its Series A funding in a $6.5 million round led by Crosslink Capital with participation from existing investors Google Ventures, AOL Ventures, 500 Startups, SV Angel, Maynard Webb, Scott McNealy, Tim Draper, and others. The company also announced a milestone this month—Vungle has racked up 2 billion video views since its founding last year.
  2. XL Marketing—With the recent acquisition of Adchemy, a real-time analytics provider; and the acquisition of Intela, a performance-based lead generation and email marketing company based in London XL Marketing positions themselves as a marketing and CRM company that uses a combination of data and technology to help brands find and retain customers.
  3. Ampush Media—Ampush is a technology company that helps advertisers achieve measurable business objectives on mobile-first native platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. AMP 2.0, their marketing software takes the complexity out of native platform advertising by combining programmatic media optimization tools with rich audience data and end-to-end measurement solutions to deliver targeted reach at scale.

From Google to Vine, and email to podcasts, our contributors certainly noticed a wide variety of trends in 2013, proving once again that the performance marketing industry is constantly evolving, adapting, and growing. With 2014 right around the corner, we’re excited to see what new trends come with it and in what direction the industry goes. To stay up to date with all of the latest happenings in 2014, make sure to subscribe to TheMail’s newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep your campaigns one step ahead of the curve.

For more performance marketing stories and exclusive content, make sure to like TheMail on Facebook, follow on Twitter, subscribe on YouTube, and sign up for our Email newsletter.

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.

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Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.

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