Digital Media

The Makegood: 2014 Year in Review

The_Makegood_Tag_CloudAs 2014 begins to wind down there seems to be a ‘year in review’ article or list around every corner. So the staff at The Makegood figured we would jump on the bandwagon and take a trip down memory lane ourselves. We kicked back, grabbed some eggnog, reread every article and discussion, and consulted our analytics data to come up with the 3 hottest topics of 2014.

1. Mobile. As mobile usage finally surpassed desktop in 2014 according to comScore, it is no surprise that this topic has become a hot-button for marketers large and small. Similar to when time spent online passed time watching TV, the audience is new and exciting and valuable. However, as Nolan Brown pointed out ‘it feels as though we in the advertising industry have dubbed each year “the Year of Mobile.”‘ These words cannot be more true. Mobile has always been on the verge of a break through and in 2015 we should finally move on and focus on creating campaigns specifically for this audience. Mobile finally got a huge boost from Apple in 2014 with the release of the iPhone 6 Plus or their version of the ‘phablet.’ This release could result in a new frontier for marketers, especially within retail. As Adam Epstein pointed out, size does matter… when it comes to mobile. ‘Consumers are more comfortable completing transactions via their device when the screen for that device is larger. Its seems that mobile device manufacturers are hearing the same thing from consumers as screen sizes are expanding.’

2. Social. A regular among the hot topics for the past several years, it is no surprise that social and specifically Facebook was discussed frequently on The Makegood throughout 2014. Facebook used to be the young hip uncle who you loved having around, but has slowly migrated towards the uncle you can tolerate on the holidays. Marc Baskin wrote a great piece about Facebook, highlighting how different generations engage in the platform. As he says, ‘I also find fascinating my kids’ evolving attitudes toward Facebook. Five years ago my son couldn’t wait to turn 13 so he could sign up for the site. He has since joined but hasn’t written one status in over a year.  He and his sisters trend toward Instagram, Vine and other more visual forums’. Facebook’s challenge will be how it adapts to the fickle millennials.  Another interesting topic discussed throughout 2014 is the usage of social data to develop ‘digital DNA on an individual basis’ as Higinio “H.O.” Maycotte points out. With this information we can better understand how to communicate to our audience effectively. By knowing what they are most interested in, we can begin to ask the right questions and begin building a relationship with our audience.

3. Programmatic. With technology advancing at warp speed, programmatic buying was supposed to replace all humans with cyborgs who would do our jobs at a fraction of the cost and time. Unfortunately, as many authors noted in 2014, this is not and should not be the case. Tom Hespos recently discussed the idea of humans vs machines, pointing out that ‘marketers need to know what’s going on behind the scenes of their media buys, adopt their own standards, and enforce them.  Machines can’t do this.  Humans have to’. Tom went on to say that it is marketers responsibility to ask the tough questions of publishers and we cannot rely on machines to do it for us. We saw similar topics addressing how too much automation and complexity can actually cause a slowdown, as Katrin Ribant points out in her article ‘Data Shock: Wasn’t Programmatic Supposed to Make Our Lives Easier’?

As we look to 2015, it will be interesting to continue to follow these topics and see if they remain hot.  Or will they be replaced by new, shiny topic in 2015?

The Makegood will be on its annual holiday hiatus starting December 24 and will return on January 5, 2015.  We wish all our readers, followers and everybody in the media business a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.  See you in 2015!