Forecast: Big Marketing Improvements for 2014

Have you checked the Chinese calendar? 2014 is the year of the horse. According to, “the spirit of the horse is recognized as the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves.”

Sounds similar to what is happening in marketing for 2014. We’re unceasingly trying to improve.

So what exactly will improve this year? We’ll see growth in global and U.S. ad spend, larger marketing budgets and marketing improvement because of new tech in 2014.


Global Ad Spend Forecasted to Grow

Three research firms announced their predictions for global ad spending in 2014. All are bullish predictions as the world economy sputters along.

ZenithOptimedia and Magna Global seem most optimistic for bigger ad spending growth. Look for the next wave of ad spend growth in what ZenithOptimedia calls “youthful markets”―countries with a young population such as Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.

  • ZenithOptimedia predicts a 5.3% increase, up from 3.6% in 2013.
  • GroupM predicts a 4.6% increase, up from 3.3% in 2013.
  • Magna Global predicts a 6.5% increase, up from 3.2% in 2013.

Using the most moderate prediction from GroupM, a 4.6% increase would bring global ad spend in 2014 to $531 billion, up from $508 billion in 2013.

Global ad spend Increasing in 2014 | Infographics

U.S. Ad Spend

Predictions for the U.S. ad spending are a bit hazier. Key events such as the mid-term elections, the World Cup and the Winter Olympics will drive an overall increase in ad spend.

GroupM is predicting a mere 2.9% increase for a total of $161 billion in U.S. ad spend. However, we will focus on eMarketer’s forecast for U.S. Ad Spend from 2011-2014. Each year, the percentage of increase is small, but the amount spent in billions is still huge. For 2014, eMarketer predicts spending up to $177.76 billion.

U.S. total Ad Spend | Create infographics


B2B Budgets Grow

According to the 2014 BtoB Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans survey, 52.5% b-to-b marketers will see their budgets increase in 2014. And in those elevated budgets, all bets are on mobile and content marketing.


Marketing Budgets Grow in 4 Areas

Nearly all marketers (98%) plan to increase or maintain their spending in 2014, according to the Global State of Marketing 2014 report from Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

That is a very general stat. Let’s get specific. Into which marketing tactics are they planning to invest that extra cash? The four areas stealing marketers’ focus are the following:

  • Data & analytics (61% plan to increase budgets in this area)
  • Marketing automation (60% plan to increase budgets in this area)
  • Email marketing (58% plan to increase budgets in this area)
  • Social media marketing (57% plan to increase)

Clearly, advertising isn’t the only big player in spending increases.

How many Marketers will increase spending on these 4 tactics? | Create infographics


Predictions for what to expect for marketing in 2014 aren’t far off from our 13 Trends Sure to Impact 2013: inbound marketing, content marketing, brand visualization, mobile, data, lead nurturing, retail everywhere and the integration of all tools to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.

Don’t expect transforming changes this year. But one thing everyone is saying: digital marketing strategy will be more important than ever. Marketers will continue to find new ways to reach their audience through digital and mobile marketing as more wearables, appliances and electronic devices are web-enabled and Internet-ready.

Happy 2014, the year of the horse. What will you improve this year?