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2013 Opinion Issue

What You Said About the Year Ahead

Ad Age Asked Top Execs What's Coming in 2014. You're an Opinionated Lot

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We asked some of the most interesting people we cover to make bold predictions for 2014, choose a piece of marketing jargon that should stay back in 2013 and share a New Year's Eve resolution. Here's what they said.

Douwe Bergsma
Douwe Bergsma

Douwe Bergsma, Chief Marketing Officer, Georgia-Pacific Consumer Business

What's one bold prediction for your industry and/or advertising/marketing?
In 2014, digital will no longer be a separate effort, but will become the leading effort for marketing.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die?
I would like to see all marketing jargon go away. Marketing professionals should use more words and fewer abbreviations to convey our message.

What's one professional and/or personal New Year's resolution?
Both professionally and personally I plan to continue to help Wounded Warrior Project grow through our Brawny brand's partnership to help support and raise awareness of the needs of injured service members and their families across the nation.

Carol Davidsen
Carol Davidsen

Carol Davidsen, CEO cir.cl, former Obama 2012 campaign tech staffer

What's one bold prediction for your industry and/or advertising/marketing?
The Aereo case will hit the Supreme Court and Aereo will win. TV contracts today are all based on a model that was built in the '50s through the '80s. This is really about, "Do I want to watch bookmarked content or do I want to watch live programming?" A Supreme Court case will open the floodgates to all these questions.

Which marketing jargon should be killed?
"Big data" and "data visualization": I hate these words. Data visualization is certainly nice for explaining a story. There are a lot of purposes for ad visualization, but for ad buying, it doesn't necessarily help. The terms I'm interested in seeing more popularized are "predictive analytics" and "algorithm."

Any professional and/or personal New Year's resolutions?
Professionally, I'm a big SQL database person…I want to become more absorbed in graph databases…. A SQL database is transactional, like an Excel spreadsheet. When you store data to understand it, you end up storing it in a cube-like structure. With a graph database, you can kind of create more of a circle of your data and you can encompass more area and understanding of your data. It's really a database of the relationship of things to each other.

Personally, I'd like to become more and more a part of the sharing and collaborative economies. It's becoming easier and easier to do that with cars, with bikes, with housing.

Laura Desmond
Laura Desmond

Laura Desmond, CEO at Starcom MediaVest Group

What's one bold prediction for your industry and/or advertising/marketing?

The broadcast networks will increasingly program live events during prime time. Live content is the hottest thing with consumers today. We first think of sports, but programming from award shows to 'American Idol' to most recently, "The Sound of Music," is showing us that content which is live and social can win with people and for marketers who design experiences across paid and earned channels."

Which marketing jargon should be killed? Or what overhyped trend do you hope goes away?
I'd like to see the word "digital" go away in 2014. The word is not expansive enough to fully represent what is going on in the marketing and consumer world today.

What's one professional New Year's resolution?
I plan to spend more time with our company's young rising stars of the future. I may even go back to an SMG training class or two for inspiration and additional learning.

Jean Lin
Jean Lin

Jean Lin, CEO Isobar APAC & Global Chief Strategy Officer

Which marketing jargon should be killed?
The word "ecosystem." You see it everywhere ... It is overused in both media planning and integrated-marketing communications. When you're painting a picture of something called an ecosystem, you no longer think of how as human beings we don't care about ecosystems, we care about experiences and how they make you think, feel and behave.

Any New Year's resolutions?
For myself, it's balance. All the bags we carry. I have three phones, a BlackBerry, an iPhone, an HTC Android. One is personal, one is for business, one is to play around with. I have a iPad mini and a MacBook Air, and then there are all the other things I have to carry when I'm traveling. I need to find a way to simplify my life and find balance.

Rob Leathern
Rob Leathern

Rob Leathern, chief product officer, social-media marketing company Brand Networks

Give us one bold prediction.
Let's say Snapchat decided to let Facebook or Google run all the ads on its platform. Something like that would be very interesting. It could certainly happen outside of an acquisition deal... I think we're in a place where the monetization capabilities of Google and Facebook are so much better than they were in the past. Does it make sense for new companies like Snapchat and Pinterest to reinvent monetization? Maybe not. Maybe there are ways to accelerate revenue by doing smart deals with other people.

Which marketing jargon should be killed?
Maybe it's just ad technology or technology in general or maybe media, but it just seems like everything is "game changing," and I'm kind of tired of it.

What's one of your New Year's resolutions?
We [his company Optimal] got acquired by Brand Networks. I think my resolution is to spend a lot more time thinking about product vs. thinking about investors.

Steven Wolfe Pereira
Steven Wolfe Pereira

Steven Wolfe Pereira, CMO of Datalogix

Give us one bold prediction.
We're now at a point where you're going to start seeing folks demand cross-media channel measurement. ...Folks really want to start measuring publishers—from social to search to online video—to see a comprehensive view of their spend. They're going to move off click-through rates and will want to see buy-through rates.

Which marketing jargon should be killed?
"Big data" is so overhyped; it doesn't mean anything. …Every single marketer is going to have to be data-driven, but big data in itself doesn't mean anything.

What's your professional goal for 2014?
My resolution is to learn how to code again. In this data-driven world, everyone needs to learn. Every CMO in the future is going to have to understand at a base level how APIs work.

Pete Stein
Pete Stein

Razorfish CEO Pete Stein

What's one bold prediction?
"Digital transformation" will become more about products than marketing … because "things" are becoming digital, not just communications and interactions.

Which marketing jargon should be killed?
"Big data." The name overwhelms people, so the impact is underwhelming.

Any New Year's resolutions?
"Professional: Help our clients transform an industry or three. Personal: Admit that I'm going bald."

Jo Ann Ross
Jo Ann Ross

Jo Ann Ross, president of ad sales, CBS

What's one bold prediction?
I like to enter the New Year bullish, so why stop at one prediction? I've got three. First: Now that VOD is being counted, I predict the broadcast nets will collectively gain audience year-over-year, and the gains will be significant. Second, I think we'll see even more bold and innovative content deals this coming year -- and with new distribution platforms to boot. Third -- the cherry on top -- is by year's end I predict we will finally be able to fully incorporate tablet and mobile-phone viewing into a show's viewing tally."

The 18-to-49 demographic is important and we do very well in delivering that audience, but the notion that it's the one and only demo coveted by Madison Avenue is silly.

What's one New Year's resolution?
Tweet more.

Dana Anderson
Dana Anderson

Dana Anderson, Mondelez International's senior VP-marketing strategy and communications

What's one bold prediction for advertising/marketing?
We are going to see clients creating alliances with all kinds of different types of partners: creative partners, entertainment, content, phone companies, design companies. I think we are going to see more creativity in how they go forward and who they go forward with. It's like collaboration on steroids.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die?
This may be an old one but it will not die, it's like Freddy Krueger: "below-the-line." There isn't a line anymore.

What's one professional New Year's resolution?
Clients need agencies and we love them. And they need us and they love us. But the way we've been working together, the transaction, has been the same. My resolution is to experiment with new ways to work together so both parties are successful and happy.

Mainardo De Nardis
Mainardo De Nardis

Mainardo De Nardis, OMD global CEO

What's one bold prediction for advertising/marketing?
A few months ago I made three predictions for 2014: First, that this will be the year that clients will be equally focused on creativity and innovation as they are on productivity. Second, that we will also see continued migration toward business- focused KPI's as the standard success metric. And third, the Giants would win the Super Bowl. Who would have thought that the first two predictions would be more achievable than the third?"

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014? Or what overhyped trend do you hope goes away?
Patience will fail me if anyone ever again heralds "20-fill-in-the-blank" as being "the year mobile will really take off!" For that matter let's retire the word mobile, which is nothing more than a descriptor for a device. Mobility as a lifestyle has been at the center of our strategies for quite some time and its strategic relevance cannot be measured simply in terms of platform category spend. And while we're purging lexicon, let's also call a moratorium on putting "e" in front of a word to describe a business category, as well as talking about 'digital strategy' -- in today's world digital is inherent to all strategies.

Any New Year's resolutions?
My resolution -- some might say my obsession but "resolution" is a much nicer way to say it -- is to complete the roll out of OMD's new operating system, which will ensure real-time knowledge exchange, creative collaboration and service consistency that a truly global organization must deliver to remain ahead of the game, eliminating the barriers of time and geography.

Jodi Allen
Jodi Allen

Jodi Allen, VP-North America marketing and brand operations, Procter & Gamble

What's one bold prediction for 2014?
[This] is going to be the year of "The Big Blur," as content and commerce further intertwine, and as the lines between PR, social, digital, commerce, physical presence, TV and print will come together and work together in ways we couldn't have imagined as marketers.

Margo Georgiadis, president-Americas, Google

What's one bold prediction for 2014?
The vast majority of the Ad Age top 100 brands will create "digital first" brand campaigns by the end of 2014. Born-of-the-web campaigns like Dove's "Sketches" and Evian "Babies & Me" are showing the power of the web to transform brand impact. We'll get a preview early: Brands are going to energize around the World Cup and Olympics. Both are being seen as great moments to capture the hearts and minds of consumers across the globe.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014?
If I had to pick one, I hope we move past talking about the "second screen," which has become overused as a way to refer to stretching campaigns and content to mobile devices. There is no first, second or third screen -- just people constantly connected to devices and often many at once. Consumers are way beyond the siloed channels we talk about. They move seamlessly across them all and expect us to do the same.

What's one of your New Year's resolutions for 2014?
In my job, and among my team, I'd like to make decisions twice as fast. Getting to the right outcome rapidly is essential for keeping pace with consumers and clients: people are evolving how they find, engage in, curate and create content faster and faster. Greater velocity in general is critical to staying relevant.

Cynthia McFarlane
Cynthia McFarlane

Cynthia McFarlane, chairman and CEO, Latin America and U.S. multicultural, Saatchi & Saatchi

What's one bold prediction?
The rise of mobile as a creative outlet. In Latin America and U.S. Hispanic, mobile is hot, and the big challenge is how to be engaging. In Latin America, [the growth of] broadband will propel digital as a creative outlet. What's held creative back is the level of penetration, but now telcos and Netflix are moving into this space. It's a new world of creative opportunities for agencies. Leading U.S. Hispanic agencies are focusing more and more on highly acculturated Hispanics and the total market. We'll see the other Hispanic agencies focus more on advertising for the Spanish-dominant over the next couple years, and we'll see divergence between the two [types of agencies].

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014?
We need to bench benchmarking.

What's your New Year's resolution?
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Complexity is killing us, or at least it's killing me.

Eric Ryan
Eric Ryan

Eric Ryan, co-founder, Method

What's one bold prediction for your industry or marketing in 2014?
Apple, Facebook and other companies will add a feature to allow messaging of self-destruction that will make Snapchat obsolete. It seems like a pretty easy software update that if I hit the button it offers the option of 'self-destruct' or even set how quickly it self-destructs as a way to solve for privacy.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014?
The word "pivot." It's basically become the mulligan of business.

What's one New Year's resolution for 2014?
Opening Method's Chicago plant in Pullman Park, which will we hope be the most sustainable manufacturing facility in North America.

Jon Steinberg
Jon Steinberg

Jon Steinberg, president-chief operating officer, BuzzFeed

What's one bold prediction for next year?
Content-driven advertising will be the definitive form of online brand advertising. What we'll see in 2014 is even more pressure on direct sold banners and an acceleration in Fortune 500 advertising budgets moving to online content, specifically social advertising.

What jargon would you'd like to see go away in 2014?
I don't love the [term] "native advertising." A lot of times a term that comes to define a field or industry that one works in might not be their favorite term or gets co-opted in some ways. I don't think it's native as much as it's just good advertising; it's advertising that works in the form and the function of a site. I'd prefer to have it called content advertising or social advertising.

What are your resolutions, personal or professional, for next year?
Work even more on my devices and less on my computer. I try to work full days on my iPad or my phone. It makes you collaborate more. It makes you work and train and operate with a team. It prevents you from the impulse of just doing things yourself because you can't just pull open a spreadsheet as easily or work in a deck as easily. It also future-proofs you for the way the world is going to be. And, of course, to work out more.

Rachel Weiss
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss, VP-digital innovation, content and new-business ventures, L'Oreal USA

What's one bold prediction for 2014?
The ephemeral web. I think technologies like Snapchat -- using technology to create messaging that disappears -- will get more important and marketers will be paying close attention.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014?
"Real-time marketing." It's a bit of a misnomer. All marketing is in real time. The phrase makes it sound magical, and it's really just about doing our jobs.

What's one professional resolution for 2014?
I've had a resolution for a long time to discover something new every day. This year my resolution is to record it all.

David Helmreich, senior VP-media and advertising at NeuStar

Give us one bold prediction for 2014.
I think Apple is going to finally launch an Apple-branded TV. I wouldn't be surprised if HBO is the first offering given, too. It's the perfect entry point, it can be billed in iTunes. HBO is making less money today because there are fewer bundles being purchased, so it makes sense for them. They also cut a deal where Comcast is offering HBO as an a la carte deal to subscribers.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014?
"Big data," please. It's confusing for consumers and clients alike. Consumers view it as an invasion of privacy, and for brands it means nothing, it does nothing other than create the perception of complexity. Let's keep things simple and get back to basics.

What's one of your professional and/or personal New Year's resolutions?
Unfortunately, my professional goals and personal goals are diametrically opposed. Professionally, I want to help drive industry change. Personally, I'd really like to spend more time at home with friends and family.

Remi Kent
Remi Kent

Remi Kent, global marketing and strategy lead, 3M

What's one bold prediction for the new year?
Smart brands will create an open door for consumers to become brand managers. Instead of brand leaders figuring out how to market to consumers, there will be a shift to brand leaders creating and marketing with consumers. The consumers will participate in developing new products, pricing, packaging and marketing content and will serve as brand advocates by serving up products and content when and where they see fit.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014?
"Viral" marketing. Viral is not a type of marketing. We should focus on being so relevant and mind- and heart-opening that people share with the right people at the right time.

What's one professional New Year's resolution for 2014?
My New Year's resolution is not to make any for 2014. I plan to just start doing things I love. So my mantra is less talk and more action!

Ben Tricklebank
Ben Tricklebank

Ben Tricklebank, director, Tool of North America

What's one bold prediction for 2014?
More advertising will be "buried" in a piece of entertainment. Advertising will be entertainment first and be bold enough not to push the brand or product in your face.

What marketing jargon or overhyped trend do you hope goes away?
The number of campaigns that try to use Facebook Connect and social API. That stuff has now evolved.

What's one of your New Year's resolutions for 2014?
Try and not repeat myself.

Christine Fruechte
Christine Fruechte

Christine Fruechte, CEO, Colle & McVoy

What's one bold prediction for 2014?
Unique experiences will start winning over mass experiences. More people are gravitating toward craft brews and paying a premium on a Tesla. People are sick of mass and are are willing to pay a premium for unique experiences. It's a big deal for major marketers, because they can try and gain more of that uniqueness and customization factor for their products.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014? Or what overhyped trend do you hope goes away?
"Big data." Everyone talks about big data, but I'd like everyone to talk about how they're actually using it to make the customer experience better.

"Omnichannel." In some cases we're trying to over-market what should be simple. We need to continue to simplify the complex. Sometimes we get so caught up in the jargon and trying to package every element of what we're doing, when really our job is to simplify the complex. [Omnichannel should die] because of course you're going to optimize messages for all channels."

What's one New Year's resolution for 2014?
Professional: Continue to lead a culture of constant iteration. What can we do for clients that we aren't already doing? In this ever-evolving world we live in, as soon as we figure something out, we have to iterate again. So the question is, how do you lead an agency to lead a culture of constant iteration? You can have your plan, but every 90 days we think, 'What else can we be doing?' We're constantly iterating, testing and learning. It never really stops.

Personal: To paint more. Painting has been a passion of mine, and it's what I went to college for. It's something I've always loved and need to get back into.

Nicola Mendelsohn
Nicola Mendelsohn

Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Facebook

What's one bold prediction for your industry and/or advertising/marketing in 2014?
Prime-time will be all the time, every hour, every day, as time spent on digital networks, especially mobile, continue to surge. This represents a huge opportunity for all marketers, brands, creatives, as they are now able to create, communicate and reach a mass audience without any daytime constrictions.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014? Or what overhyped trend do you hope goes away?
The term "social media" will be used less and less as marketers leverage digital platforms, like Facebook, as mass awareness and engagement vehicles. Social media is going to be considered as a mass media. So we are talking about a new, special, highly effective, interactive and creative mass media. "Social media" will be an outdated marketing jargon then.

Chris Brandt
Chris Brandt

Chris Brandt, CMO, Taco Bell

What's one bold prediction for 2014?
For the quick-service restaurant industry, millennials and their mobile devices are inseparable, and the future of the QSR menuboard could well be the smartphone in their pockets. Everyone in QSR has been talking about or testing mobile platforms, and I predict that 2014 will be the year that breakthrough mobile experiences roll out nationally. Mobile ordering could be the biggest innovation to the QSR experience since the drive-thru.

What marketing jargon would you like to see die in 2014?
"Real-time marketing." The way we see, real time is important, but we can no longer "market" to consumers. It is engagement and a dialogue -- it has to be authentic, real, and earn the trust and respect of consumers. Hijacking cultural events to get a brand name out there without making a deep connection isn't relevant to consumers. I hope it becomes about real-time moments that naturally fit into a brand's story, who we are, what we stand for and ultimately benefits the consumer.

What's one professional new year's resolution for 2014?
I'm a big soccer fan and want to take my kids to see a game or two at some of the best stadiums in Europe. The experience of a big-time European soccer game is not to be missed.

Maria Rodale
Maria Rodale

Maria Rodale, chairman-CEO, Rodale

What are your bold predictions for 2014?
You'll see the barriers between countries really fall down in terms of how people communicate with each other through social media and even mainstream media. That's a challenge for advertisers because they don't always want that international traffic, but it's a reality in that the lines are blurring, which is ultimately a great thing. You'll also see more people wanting jobs and a life that really matters. They want products that are really helping the world, not poisoning it. Products created by people who are paid a living wage. Yes, people want great deals, but they don't want to hurt other people or themselves with the products they choose.

What are some trends or jargon you'd like to see die in 2014?
Trends are fun to watch, but there's nothing I'm sick of.

What about resolutions -- do you have any personal or professional ones?
To stay fearless and to stay focused. There's so much uncertainty in the world and in business. You have to trust your gut and not be too worried about what other people are thinking. And to get in shape.

Nancy Gibbs
Nancy Gibbs

Nancy Gibbs, managing editor, Time magazine

Can you give a bold prediction about your industry for 2014?
Print dollars are coming back and the volume of video content being produced and sold by the industry will increase a hundred-fold. Both things are already happening at Time."

Is there any trend or jargon you'd like to see die in 2014?
Jargon to retire: Ideating and iterating.

What are your resolutions, personal or professional?
To honor a regular email sabbath, so I can spend a whole day reading or being with actual humans.

Ian Thubron
Ian Thubron

Ian Thubron, President, TBWA\Greater China

What's one bold prediction for your industry and/or advertising/marketing in 2014?
[As the Chinese marketplace gets more competitive,] the importance of brand and smart marketing in order to take market share is more than ever needed. Five years ago you could put a product on the shelf and it just sold. Now you have to sell it. … One of the major items on any agency network's agenda is the tough environment in China. The revenues are not growing to support the depth of work we need to do. That's a difficult position to put agencies in.

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