Continued push for quality content; with Google and other search engines continually improving their search algorithms in favour of relevance and quality, the SEO and marketing benefits of superior, custom content will remain high on the agenda across the long term.
Mobile marketing; mobile is becoming an increasingly important platform for marketers. However, the growing variety of devices will make all-inclusive strategies unachievable. Define clear expectations around what you can achieve and balance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements.
Video marketing; now video can be shared across mobile devices and Facebook has enhanced their mobile ads platform to accommodate; the savvy online marketer will get acquainted with apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. Visual content is a must in any 2014 campaign!
Social Media diversification; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are joined by new networks like Google+, Pinterest, Vine and Instagram.
Techno paranoia will grow in 2014; better awareness among individuals is increasing concerns regarding privacy invasion. As a result, marketers should expect people to opt-out from most data collection when given the opportunity.
Trounce techno paranoia with TACT
Facing the challenge of online privacy
Marketers are predicting that one of the most challenging trends we will face throughout 2014 will be a rise in public awareness regarding online privacy invasion. As a result, data collection may become increasingly difficult, with individuals preferring to opt out wherever possible. To combat this trend, online marketers must manage consumer loyalty, working harder to gain confidence, provide a sense of security to pave the way to comfortable sharing.
The value of data
If you handle personal information about individuals, you have both legal and ethical obligations to protect that information . Consumer data is an invaluable asset, providing us with the ability to personalise the customer journey and quantify marketing success. Unfortunately, well publicised data breaches and black-hat marketing have undermined public confidence.
The EU is overhauling data legislation to reflect changes in technology, social media and cloud computing. Due in 2012, the legislative proposals will focus on four central principles: The right to be forgotten, data transparency, privacy by default, and universal data protection.
In the meantime, marketers cannot afford to wait for public and private policy to catch up to technology and the marketplace. It remains down to businesses themselves to ensure they operate within an ethical framework around the collection, use and protection of consumer data.
To counter this trend towards techno paranoia, Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, has developed a useful new set of ‘data values’  to guide us on how to protect the data assets in our care.
TACT: transparency, added value, control and trust
Designed to inform our approach to how we handle personal data to help drive better products, services, value-added offers, rewards and recognition. The four core principles of TACT are:
Transparency: Inform customers on the specific data being collected, how it is being collected and how it will be used. Be clear and make the information easily accessible.
Added Value: Compensate customers for providing personal data. Apply explicit value exchange by leveraging loyalty programme rewards, partner benefits, exclusive experiences, or other exclusive information.
Control: Give customers control over the data they have provided. Tell them with whom the data is being shared and provide easy to access opt out facilities at every step.
Trust: Build consumer confidence in data security. Use personal data only in the manner in which you promise it will be used. Share it only with named partners. Collect only data you need. Use data collected to build consumer value.
“Privacy by Design” is another term that marketers may want to learn. By embedding privacy into the design of business practices, privacy and data protection compliance is designed into systems holding information right from the start.
1. International Privacy Laws: http://www.informationshield.com/intprivacylaws.html
2. New Data Values Whitepaper, 2012, Aimia Institute, http://www.aimia.com/files/doc_downloads/WhitepaperUKDataValuesFINAL.pdf
Understanding EU Cookie Law 
Cookies enable websites to gather data about visitors and users. The cookie law requires EU businesses to inform consumers of what is being gathered, and enables them to choose to participate in this or not. The intent behind the cookie law is to increase the options available for consumers to protect their data privacy.
Cookie laws apply across the EU, although are implemented differently in each country. A US website with UK visitors ought to be asking for consent from those UK visitors according to the UK legislation. Any business whose website is exclusively targeted to non-EU audiences will not have to comply.
Any EU website not compliant is open to enforcement action from the regulators. While most country regulators take a measured approach to enforcement, there are mechanisms for registering complaints and investigating them. The safest approach is to take action now to become compliant.
This need not be a difficult process.
Steps to compliance
1) Carry out a free cookie audit of your site at The Cookie Collective website 
a) that you’re using cookies
b) on what cookies you’re using (and why)
c) about how to disable cookies
3) Obtain informed consent from visitors by display your policy text prominently but not distractingly on your site. Consent is defined in the cookie law as “any freely given specific and informed indication of his wishes”. While the need to do so is widely debated, you may wish to use one of the main free online services [2, 3] to create a Cookie Control Widget that asks readers to proactively click to agree consent.
1) The Cookie Collective website; http://www.cookielaw.org
2) CookieAssistant.com website; http://cookieassistant.com
3) Cookie-Script.com website; http://www.cookie-script.com
Protect your own privacy
Personal.com (https://www.personal.com creates data lockers that let users control how much of their information is accessible to companies.
The Respect Network (https://www.respectnetwork.com) is a personal cloud network that allows people to ‘safely store and share personal data with other people and businesses.
Best advice for 2014
“Keep it simple!”
This article first appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the Online Marketing Trends 2014 article.
Sarah Lawton is a UK based content marketer and social media expert. With a passion for communication, new technologies and top quality content, Sarah encourages SMEs to make the best use of both traditional and online solutions. For further information or advice, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and see www.for-content.com
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