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33 Digital and Hotwire Digital Trends Report : Niche social networks : Digitisation of retail : Pre-emptive computing : From customers to community

by on February 4, 2014 in Advertising, Apps, Apps & Software, Ecommerce, FaceBook, Gadgets, Google, iPhone, Lead story, LinkedIn, Metrics, Mobile, Mobile Marketing, Mobile/Tablet, Online Advertising, Pinterest, Research, Retail News, Social Media, Tech, Twitter

Trends : Hotwire and 33 Digital today announced the launch of the fifth annual Digital Trends Report 2014.

Each year our specialist teams examine the concepts, applications, and mindsets that we predict will change communications for good. Last year we highlighted the rise of big data, digital health, and social business. This year, the trends are focused on digital maturity rather than the emergence of new technology.

For anyone in communications, 2014 will be a world where privacy will be built into services, artificial intelligence will take over from human advisors, digital artisans will take centre stage and companies will be able to serve each and every customer individually thanks to the adoption of social business principles. It’s going to be an exciting year.

The ten trends for 2014 are:

  1. Niche social networks – networks such as Strava for cyclists, StyledOn for fashionistas, Jelly for knowledge-sharing and Current for businesspeople have emerged, meaning that social media management for clients will have to examine the relevant industry-specific networks as well as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn;
  2. Data for the moment – the infamous Oreo Superbowl tweet has gone down in social media history, but in 2014 reacting to audience and other data immediately will become commonplace; the trick will be in combining that data and creativity for flawless campaign execution;
  3. Digitisation of retail – shoppers are no longer limited to the digital versions of bricks and mortar stores or online ecommerce behemoths. Instead content providers will become virtual storefronts, where producers sell directly to interested consumers;
  4. Death of anonymity in the wake of the NSA revelations, brands will strive to regain our trust in privacy. For communicators, this means ensuring transparency, accountability and instilling confidence in use of data;
  5. Preemptive computing – Google Now already predicts what information you need at any given time, and this level of pre-emptive computing will come into its own in 2014;
  6. Social media in school – instead of shunning social media, schools will start to use it to their advantage, with platforms like Edmodo and Skype in the Classroom specifically designed to improve education;
  7. The digital artisans – as the public have fallen in love with aged effects from Instagram, sketching on iPads and USB typewriters, this penchant for the vintage will have a knock on effect for companies as brands strive to create the same feel for homely authenticity revealing the story behind the brand;
  8. From customers to community – customer services and social media have been coming together for years, but 2014 will be the year that customer services loses its reputation for starched-collar-stuffiness and community managers gain the authority of the organisation;
  9. Big media is back – business models for the media are shifting, but the biggest opportunity is the change in expectations for the media consumer: we’re all big media now;
  10. Measurement – it will become essential to properly provide ROI on communications activities, and the breadth of digital tools available mean that measurement will become commonplace across communications strategies.

Peter Sigrist, editor of the report and MD, 33 Digital, comments, “This year, we expect our clients to be impacted less by new service launches, and more by the opportunities presented by those that exist. This technology has now passed the fascination period of ‘how it works’, and instead brands and communicators will simply ask ‘what can we do with it?’”

Alex MacLaverty, UK Group MD at Hotwire, said, “Our annual report represents some of the most forward-thinking and specialist knowledge that our team has to offer. Over the last five years we have correctly identified many of the technologies and behaviours that have shaped the communications industry, and the shift to wide-scale adoption now is just as significant. What is most exciting is how we translate this knowledge into more effective ways of engaging with our clients’ customers and the wider influencer base.”

Visit the Digital Trends Report website to view excerpts from the report or download the full PDF.


About Hotwire

Hotwire is a global PR and communications agency, dedicated to being the global alternative, an agile and innovative challenger to the established order, delivering breakthrough communications campaigns to the world’s most ambitious businesses. Since launching in 2000, we’ve emerged as one of the fastest growing international communications consultancies in the world.

We are home to the brightest and most ambitious communicators, challenging the status quo through innovation, unrivalled transparency and deep sector knowledge. Our group includes sister agencies 33 Digital and CPR, and together we work on global campaigns through our wholly owned offices in the UK, US, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and those of our global affiliate network.


About 33 Digital

33 Digital is an international digital PR and social media agency that specialises in building integrated, measureable and beautifully crafted campaigns for some of the world’s best-known companies and brands. We drink a lot of coffee, know a lot about digital communications and operate at the cutting edge of consumer and corporate technology and behaviour.



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