Mobile/Location-Based Marketing Predictions For 2014 From 10 Experts

As we close in on the end of the year, it is helpful for us marketers to think ahead to what the coming year will offer. While I plan to do another “trends” post in early January (see what I had to say for 2013), in this post, I’ve asked several of my mobile-savvy colleagues […]

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piperjaffray As we close in on the end of the year, it is helpful for us marketers to think ahead to what the coming year will offer.

While I plan to do another “trends” post in early January (see what I had to say for 2013), in this post, I’ve asked several of my mobile-savvy colleagues to weigh in on what 2014 has in store when it comes to mobile and location-based marketing.

What’s interesting is that a few key themes started to emerge, including context, wearables and location moving away from being a platform and becoming a data play.

Given the fact that there are five book authors (five including me), a CMO of a public company, three company founders, the VP of digital marketing for one of the best-known liquor brands in the world and the president of the Location Based Marketing Association, you could do worse than getting your insights from this crowd. Of course, none of us are Mary Meeker, whom I will interview on Marketing Land one these days, but then again, she is a hard act to follow.

owyang2Jeremiah Owyang, Chief Catalyst of Crowd Companies
The world will “assemble” around us, using mobile technology. Mobile and location services will enable us to find resources that we need in context and on demand. In many cities, we can now hail a town car or a driver using Uber, Lyft or other technologies. Soon, we can have our favorite food delivered to us, key clothes in our size, or find an office space we can quickly work at — in a frictionless manner.

In addition to being an entrepreneur and company founder, Jeremiah is a long-time blogger focusing on all things strategy and marketing. You can read his prose here.


reed2Rob Reed, founder of Momentfeed

At MomentFeed, we’re calling 2014 the “year of the Instagram strategy,” and we’ve published an eBook on the topic. Instagram is no longer optional. Much like Facebook and Twitter, it is a necessary channel for brands of all sizes. This is because Instagram commands so much consumer attention, and that attention is entirely mobile. Instagram provides the most compelling visual medium for communicating brand messages and engaging with loyal customers. Plus, it is absolutely critical for reaching teens and Millennials. I’m also very bullish on Snapchat, but it’s not yet clear how brands can participate on a consistent and meaningful basis. So while 2014 is the year to invest heavily on Instagram, it’s also the year to observe and test Snapchat.

In the upper right-hand corner, Aaron has included a graphic that shows the shift in teen social networking preferences from 2012 to 2013, illustrating my point. Some read it as “Twitter #1.” I read it as Facebook and Twitter on the decline with Instagram doubling in one year (and Snapchat entering the top three by the end of 2014).



Lisa Pearson, Chief Marketing Officer at Bazaarvoice

Data is becoming the currency we use to negotiate new relationships with brands, and we’ll use it, in mobile, to barter with businesses. As we enter a store, all of the personal data we wish to share — past purchases, reviews, sizes, shopping lists, shipping preferences — will be immediately available to the retailer via our mobile devices. And in return, we’ll expect a highly personalized experience: Relevant deals, product suggestions, store maps, mobile checkout, and more.

Here is a link to Bazaarvoice’s blog where Lisa is a regular contributor.


khan2Asif Khan, Founder & President Location Based Marketing Association

2014 will be the year location-based marketing is understood as a data play and not a platform. I’m especially excited about the role technology will play inside the store. Indoor positioning has been hot for a while, but new methods of tracking consumers via BLE and magnetic fields from companies like Indoor Atlas and iInside make this something retailers are investing heavily in. Another area to watch is the connected car. Recent partnerships between Placecast and Aha Radio, and navigation screen integration by Roximity, are just the start. Watch also for Google Glass in the windshield by the end of the year.

Bottom line, think of location as the new cookie — it’s about tracking people throughout their day, across places, devices and all media types.


schneider2Michael Schneider, VP of Marketing at Skyhook Wireless
(and co-author of Location-Based Marketing for Dummies)

Context becomes more scalable and secure in 2014 with better ways to personalize messaging without using personally identifiable information. IP location trust and increased precision allow the attachment of rich, venue-related context to mobile web requests. This gets us closer to the promise of “relevant content delivered everywhere.” Leading the charge are self-service, real-time bidding DSPs like PocketMath.


isreal2Shel Israel, co-author Age of Context and Forbes contributor
2014 will be the first year in 50 in which marketing becomes less unpopular. Why? Because it is the year that marketers start using context to send messages based on who people are, where people are and what they may actually want.


hayden2Tim Hayden, Author – The Mobile Commerce Revolution (Pearson, May 2014)

2014 will see the rise of location-push email and SMS/MMS text offers. For the brand that has capitalized on advanced social listening and mobile advertising, or may have an app used by many customers, this represents a huge step in the direction of personalization. The most powerful smartphone messaging (email and text) can now be sent to customers based on location, time and behavioral data, and that will help brands be more contextually relevant.


elwood2Andy Ellwood, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer, BOND

Author’s note: Andy was also the director of business development at Gowalla and senior director of business development at Waze.

Now that my predictions from the past couple years have come true, ubiquity and usefulness, (#humblebrag) the next trend for local will be unexpected uniqueness. Now that I as the consumer have become comfortable with my phone, and thereby my apps, knowing where I am and telling me to order the Chicken Parm, I expect originality and enhanced experiences to be the next scalable application of location.

Andy blogs at and is regular contributor to Forbes.


salt2Simon Salt – Author, Social Location Marketing and CEO, IncSlingers

I think we are rapidly approaching the point where location ceases to be seen as a separate element of marketing and, like social before it, becomes a natural part of communications. It is the most natural element in Mobile; consumers can relate more easily to the relevance of location. This makes it an area that marketers need to leverage.


parker2Adrian Parker, Vice President, Digital Marketing at Patrón Spirits Company
In 2014, I predict that the mobile advertising market will finally mature to the point of adding value to consumers beyond paid display. As social and mobile converge, publishers and platforms are beginning to develop specifically for mobile, increasing brand confidence to invest where consumers are spending time.

Adrian blogs regularly at

So, there you have it. Some smart predictions from ten very smart marketers, authors and entrepreneurs. As I mentioned in the introduction of this post, my own mobile and location-based trends will be coming in early January. If you have suggestions you’d like to see covered, feel free to e-mail them to me or leave them in the comments below.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Aaron Strout
Aaron Strout is Chief Marketing Officer at integrated marketing and communications firm, W2O Group. During his tenure with the company, he has served as President of WCG and head of W2O's technology practice. Aaron has 20 plus years of social media, mobile, online marketing and advertising experience, with a strong background in integrated marketing. Prior to joining W2O, Aaron spent time as the CMO of Powered Inc. (now part of Dachis Group), VP of social media at online community provider, Mzinga, and as director of digital marketing at Fidelity Investments. Aaron is the co-author of Location Based Marketing for Dummies (Wiley) and writes a monthly mobile/location-based marketing column on He also recently launched the What 2 Know podcast (iTunes) which features industry leaders talking about innovation and best practices.

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