2013 saw a number or popular and effective digital marketing and design trends. These trends include:

  • Responsive design
  • Flat UI
  • Retargeted banner ads
  • A focus on CMS and inbound marketing
  • Infographics
  • Big data

As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to look at the digital marketing and design trends that will impact 2014. Many of the trends from 2013 will continue to have influence in 2014. However, I would like to point out a few other areas that will be of interest in the coming year for digital marketers and designers.

1.) Analytic accountability
Clients are starting to take a look at agencies and the value that they offer. For many agencies, it is no longer enough that a clever or visually appealing campaign be provided. Clients want to see a return on investment. This could lead to more agencies implementing direct marketing best practices for measuring success and ROI. In order to stay competitive, agencies need to adapt their former business models to answer these client concerns.

2.) Think mobile first
Mobile technology continues to resonate with customers. More and more, customers are engaging with us digitally through either a smart phone or tablet device first. Desktop computers are no longer at the forefront of digital interaction. In 2014 it will be paramount that you think mobile, when tackling your digital strategy. Whether it's incorporating responsive design, single page websites or mobile friendly emails, digital marketers and designers can no longer afford to focus on desktop experience only.

3.) Content is king
If 2013 showed us anything, it's that consumers want relevant content. And search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo want to help them find it. In 2014, if you don't have a content marketing strategy, your efforts may wither on the vine.

4.) Get personal
Everyday, consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages. The key to breaking through to them is by using "big data" to personalize your marketing messages and efforts. Look into areas such as:

  • Retargeted banner ads
  • Personalized emails
  • Geo-targeting SMS
  • Social apps that use GPS

Consumers expect more from the brands they interact with, and personalization helps your message resonate.

5.) Less is more
With consumers struggling to get through all the content and messaging out there, design is becoming more streamlined and sleeker. Expect Flat UI design, single page websites, parallax scrolling and an emphasis on typography to continue to dominate in 2014.

6.) Radiant orchid
Pantone announced its 2014 color and the winner is: Radiant orchid. Expect to see this color popping up all over the digital landscape.

I'm sure there will be even more trends to spawn out of 2014. And true to their nature, some will be impactful and others will just fizzle. What digital marketing and design trends do you expect to see in 2014? What trends impacted you this year?