At the beginning of 2014, Ashley Friedlein rounded up some trends and predictions for the year in digital marketing and ecommerce.

I thought I’d dip back in and take a look at some of the most incipient trends with some simple Google searches.

Do click through to the searches and see what else you can dig up.

Digital transformation/omnichannel/digitisation

'Omnichannel' and 'digital transformation' have both seen increased search numbers over 12 months from September 2013.

'Omnichannel' is most popular, the word describing the idealised state of every marketing and service channel being interchangeable.

Arguably, 'omnichannel', which is a term that seems to get more pickup in the US (some in the UK seeing it as a buzzword) has broader relevance than 'digitisation' or 'digital transformation' which are phrases specifically relating to an organisational journey.

Omnichannel may have been searched for as a more confusing term, of course.

  • 'Omnichannel' had approx. 12,100 monthly searches in July 2014 according to Google AdWords.

digital transformation/omnichannel/digitisation

Customer experience

Here's one term that's most definitely in the ascendancy. As the driver of organisational change, the customer experience is becoming synonymous with the brand.

  • 'Customer experience' had approx. 12,100 monthly searches in July 2014 according to Google AdWords.

customer experience trend

Real time bidding/programmatic advertising/native advertising/mobile advertising

Advertising is changing rapidly, though it's only 'programmatic advertising' and 'native advertising' that have seen searches increase over the 12 months since September 2013.

'Real time bidding' has fallen off slightly and 'mobile advertising' is seeing the same volume of searches as it was a year ago.

The incredible spike in 'native advertising' searches likely corresponds to Stephen Colbert's skewering of the topic on his US TV show.

  • 'Programmatic advertising' had approx. 2,900 searches in July 2014 according to Google AdWords.

rtb/programmatic/native advertising/mobile advertising

Real time bidding/programmatic advertising

Here's a close up of that RTB and programmatic comparison to show you how 'programmatic advertising' seems to have been popularised.

rtb/programmatic advertising

Content curation/content production/owned media

These terms come from an incredibly popular area of marketing - content marketing. However, there's not much change to see here.

A slight increase in 'content curation' searches and a decrease in searches for 'owned media' suggests what some see as the decreasing relevance of the paid/owned/earned model.

  • 'Owned media' had approx. 1,600 searches in July 2014 according to Google AdWords.

content curation/content production/owned media

Service delivery/digital first/mobile first

Three fairly static search terms here when it comes to volume. It's likely that while we may see more and more digital first and mobile first solutions, these have been talked about in the literature for the last few years and therfore search volumes have not been seen to increase.

  • 'mobile first' had approx. 8,100 searches in July 2014 according to Google AdWords.

service delivery/digital first/mobile first 

Ben Davis

Published 1 September, 2014 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (2)


David Aldred

Isn't what you are measuring here actually the progress of these specific terms as buzzwords in the digital industry?

That may be something very different from them actually getting any focus in reality; search statistics will coalesce around a term as it gains acceptance as the standard term for something that may well have had several words for it in the past. That's especially the case when any industry is in a period of change and development.

almost 4 years ago


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