2013 has all but come and gone and as the New Year gets closer, it’s time for many marketers to make strategic decisions for their business in 2014. With Google’s latest Hummingbird update, a rise in content marketing, and an increased, industry-wide focus on mobile, the stage for the upcoming year has pretty much been set. But although we have our own expectations for what will happen next year, we wanted to ask some of our industry leading friends to give their perspective on the current state of the industry, and share their predictions for 2014. We asked heavyweights such as Adam Riemer and Max Teitelbaum, and renowned performance marketing companies such as Revenue Ads and Affiliate Traction to weigh in on where the industry is going, and they all gave very insightful and generally interesting answers. To find out what the industry leaders expect to happen in 2014, read their answers below!
Max Teitelbaum—Greater consolidation of the industry with leading publishers starting to roll up into larger entities. The continued rise of programmatic and mobile buying greatly increasing scale for affiliates that can properly leverage it
BananaAds.com—Mobile will continue to grow as a niche (industry wide, international as well), affiliates will push more and more international traffic as the rest of the world picks up on the performance marketing niche, and as developing countries like Brazil become more internet friendly, performance marketing businesses will sprout up in those markets.
Murray Newlands rises to new heights and becomes Internet marketing multi-billionaire, overlord of entire Internet marketing industry, controlling with vast and resolute powers. His armies of Internet marketing slaves increase his wealth to unheard of levels. He will be named as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2014.
Adam Riemer—Merchants are getting smarter and older models will begin phasing out with more speed. Coupon sites with adware and that rank for URL + coupons will begin getting removed from programs and adware sites will be completely removed at a faster rate. The NY Times and other publications are bringing awareness and more companies are understanding who adds value and who does not.
Greg Shepard, Affiliate Traction—Impact Radius, LinkShare, eBay, AvantLink will pick up market share. Commission Junction will lose market share. The PMA will grow and become more international. I can see smaller agencies staying and focusing on SMB and larger agencies giving the network-managed services a run for the business. Retailers will understand discounts as a necessary, content will continue to be a focus and affiliates will become hybrid discount, shopping, and content in order to stay a part of the retailers mix. Canada and Australia will become a larger focus for merchants looking to diversify easily, as these are English speaking markets and nice cultural matches. More publishers will move into these markets as they see the wave building. Murray will finally be working with us. Affiliate Traction will expand into more global markets.
Dylan Stout, Revenue Ads—Short term: New Year’s resolutions mean increased health awareness and desire to lose weight. Garcinia Cambogia extract will peak along with Muscle supplement offers in January. Mobile browsing will continue to pull market share away from traditional desktop web surfing. We see nearly 60% of all email being opened on a mobile device currently. A couple years ago that number was half that. We see mobile gaming and app installs really picking up even more steam next year. With the Internet becoming more accessible worldwide, US based affiliate should really expand their horizons and look for opportunities in other countries with lower barriers of entry and higher ROI’s.
Long Term: With more consumers browsing on mobile devices applications like Google Wallet, it will forever change affiliate offers. One-touch payments will make it easier for consumers to purchase.
Dixon Jones, Majestic SEO—New functionality will be the only content that will generate traction. I believe that the only content worth a damn is content which talks to new innovation and new functionality. Of course, opinionated content and increasingly life blogging will still swamp our bandwidth—but users are taking mental and physical steps to block out anything that isn’t a signal of something new. They need to block it out…so whilst life blogging increases, increasingly the content stream will only be read by the writer and a few close friends. But it you are he first person to build a time machine…well THEN you have something to write about—and so do the people you share that with for a while.
Content will become increasingly ephemeral. Nobody wants to keep this stuff in their heads for more than a few seconds any more. There’s too much other stuff in the head and the next lot of data overload is just a click away.
Overall the general consensus seems to be a focus on mobile, and an industry-wide move towards consolidation and specialization—essentially brands, networks, and publishers alike are looking to be the best in their niche, rather than going at things with the one-stop shop approach. Whether you agree or disagree with these predictions, or have some of your own, make sure to leave them in the comments as always, and make sure to subscribe to TheMail in order to get the latest industry news and stay a step ahead of the curve!