Owen Sagness, general manager of Microsoft Advertising & Online in the UK, wrote a guest column for The Drum (a marketing and media publication) about the digital trends we can expect to see in 2014, and predicts more tailored customer experiences and more comfort in disclosing valuable information.

For instance:

Digitally invisible: “Consumers want technology and experiences that aren’t ‘always-on’ but actually help people switch off. They want technology that is intuitive and informed,” he writes. “2014 will see brands becoming more aware of this demand, experimenting with tailored approaches and appreciating that forming personal relationships is of increasing value in today’s digital advertising landscape.”

Valuable data exchange: While privacy is foremost on many minds, Sagness has another perspective: “2013 saw consumers really understand for the first time the value of their data to brands.” In 2014, he writes, “Brands and publishers will need to make clear the benefits of engagement for the consumer, outlining upfront what that value exchange looks like in order for their audiences to choose to interact with them. As this relationship becomes more transparent, consumers will become more relaxed about offering ‘all you can eat’ data about themselves – in safe, controlled environments – in exchange for the best experiences online.”

Stop searching, start finding: “The proliferation of ‘I need this now,’ wherever I am, whatever device I am using, is the evolution of search in 2014 – and being there in that particular moment is what brands need to strive for with their search strategy.”

For more of the trends Sagness sees in 2014, including how apps will overtake Web-based experiences, check out his full column in The Drum and on the Microsoft Advertising Blog.

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Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff