SOURCE: Digital Current

Digital Current

January 13, 2015 11:12 ET

'Crystal Ball' Season Arrives, Poking Fun at What Didn't Happen in 2014

Digital Current's Troy Ireland Leads Branding Discussion; Experts Review the Year's Biggest Digital Marketing Busts

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - Jan 13, 2015) - Although the day after Christmas has become a holiday of its own as millions of Americans flock to brick-and-mortar and online stores to return unwanted goodies and purchase the ones they really wanted, the end of one year and the start of another is also about another popular holiday: Crystal Ball Season.

This is the season in which experts and novices alike become professional prognosticators forecasting the year ahead, albeit with at least some clairvoyant misfires.

While it's amusing to poke fun at the technological should-haves and could-haves, collective failures of insight are arguably more important than successes. This is especially true in the field of digital marketing -- customer engagement through online and mobile channels.

As brands clamor for domination of the digital space and seek new ways to attract, engage, and retain customers, correct predictions mean early investment in the latest technology and software, and the ability to foster genuine customer interactions -- the Holy Grail of modern marketing, no matter its format. In an exercise honing their collective prediction skills, late last month Troy Ireland, managing partner at Digital Current, a leader in conversion-based digital marketing specializing in content marketing and SEO, led a discussion on with other online marketing experts as they debated what predictions went right and what predications went wrong in 2014. 

Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics, kicked off the discussion by conceding that ultra-long-form content did not make the comeback he expected and that there is a limit to how much consumers want to scroll.

But if 2014 wasn't the year for 30,000-word bionic blogs, neither was it a gangbusters year for real-time digital marketing, as marketing consultant and writer/speaker Brian Honigman pointed out. Or for that matter, wearable tech -- despite the 2013 hoopla over Google Glass (a product that some feel already shattered before its full-on release) and Apple's smart watch, which now has a spring 2015 release date.

The same digital fizzle applies to social media. Oreo's Super Bowl blackout tweet may have momentarily captured the nation, but when you're already the world's most popular cookie brand it's hard to say Nabisco is better than number 1 due to those social-media efforts.

"Now that we've laid bare some of our 2014 crystal ball shortcomings, the point is to learn from those experiences and strive for greater accuracy in 2015," said Digital Current's Troy Ireland in an interview following his article's publication. "But there's another lesson here too. Sometimes perfecting the present is more important than predicting the future. And right now for marketers, the present rests with effective search engine optimization, creative content development, social marketing, and brand advocacy. These are the essential tools of our trade, and I suspect they will remain part of our digital Swiss Army knife in the year ahead."

Digital Current, founded in 2003 by leading digital content marketing experts, is about empowering brands to unlock their complete marketing potential, whether that means a redesigned website, embedded SEO, or promoted content. All it takes is a little analysis and strategy from a highly skilled, dedicated team and, like an end-of-year post-prediction roundup and critique, measuring the success of those marketing efforts and fine-tuning those strategies where appropriate.

"Speaking of fine-tuning one's predictions, I for one am still banking on the success of native advertising," Ireland added. "Maybe it hasn't reached mainstream popularity yet, but my crystal ball abilities got a major boost when research service Business Intelligence predicted that native will grow to become a $21 billion industry in only two years. I'm sure I'll be blogging about this hit or miss in the months ahead, so stay tuned." 

About Digital Current
Digital Current is a Phoenix-based conversion-focused SEO and digital marketing agency. Digital Current provides a complete suite of services to clients across an array of industries that meets business objectives, increases search engine rankings, builds authority and trust, and drives qualified conversions. These services include search engine optimization, content creation, link development, conversion optimization, and paid social media marketing. For more information on Digital Current, please call (844) 304-3088 or visit

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