Technology and marketing will forever be intertwined. We all know how quickly technology evolves, and as marketers we must adapt to the constant flux of long term and short term trends. The year 2014 phoneplanneris already half over so it’s time to take a look at the latest digital trends.

Mobile First

Adapting to the mobile market is a must from this point forward. It is crucial to have a business that is equipped for mobile devices. Around 15% of all global web traffic comes from mobile devices, while 61% of people prefer brands that provide a good mobile experience.  Every piece of content you create needs to be designed with mobile in mind. The mobile market has disrupted almost every industry as year over year growth continues to break its own record. Another explosive year is expected, so just always remember to always ask the question, how will that look on a mobile device?

Design Finally Matters

This trend goes hand in hand with the mobile takeover. User experience is no longer a “nice to have” rather an essential ingredient to online success. A great design will ensure that your brand looks beautiful and delivers an enjoyable online experience for the end user, so they continue to return time and time again. Make it simple to navigate through your website and provide a clear path of signals on their journey to drive an action (fill out a form, purchase a product, or leave a review).  A great design and user experience not only prevents negative emotions but sets you apart from the competition. Innovative, fast-growing tech companies are built for the future. Can you keep up?

Promoted Content Only

With Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram all rolling out smart ads, say goodbye to a free audience for your content. Start planning for the future and expect to pay to reach your audience using these platforms. Though, remember this is the way advertising has always been. We’ve all watched social networks evolve with new features and tools for marketers. And now promoted content has taken hold of almost all of them. The value has proven to keep organizations around as a social audience has become a main source of modern marketing. As most things, social reach won’t come for free anymore. If you want that engagement then you’ve got to pay for it.

NYNYBye-Bye Banners

Banners just aren’t growing like the rest of digital advertising. There is a realization that the entire page can be an open canvas. Creativity now has more space instead of being stuck in the corner of a page. Marketers can connect with customers and offer some sort of value, blurring the lines between content and sponsorship. Studies show that consumers are 25% more likely to view and 13% more likely to share native ads rather than banners. Native advertising is projected to hit $4.57 billion by 2017. While remaining effective marketers will be faced with the challenge of creating interesting and impactful content to excel in the digital era and beat out the competition.

A mobile friendly, beautifully designed and natively promoted online business are four key takeaways from 2014. There are many other trends that affect our business in the world of marketing and technology. What are your thoughts on the latest media trends?