2014 Technology Trends

5 December 2014 | | Marketing

It’s that time of year again when us marketers take stock of the last 12 months and reflect on what has and has not been. Whilst there are many trends forecasted for the following 12 months, these are pointless (and lose any value) if we don’t evaluate them at the end of the year. So what kind of a year was 2014 for technology? It’s a broad industry that affects all online and offline businesses… and any business in-between. A local dental practice, although a niche local service business, is affected by these technological trends as consumer behaviour changes.

Marketing Week have recently published their roundup of key technology in marketing from 2014.

shared with thanks from marketingweek.com. by Jonathon Bacon.



About this time last year, predictions were already flying around that 2014 would be the year of the beacon. The Bluetooth-enabled technology, which allows marketers to send messages and content to people’s phones when they are in the vicinity of a physical space like a shop or event venue, has attracted the interest of numerous big name brands this year.

Tesco, Waitrose, Barclays and Armani are among those to have begun trialling Apple’s version of the technology – iBeacons – in 2014. The technology allows brands to target consumers with much greater accuracy than other location tools like GPS or in-store Wi-Fi, to the extent that they can send alerts or offers related to the product that a person is standing next to within a store. However most of the trials of the technology this year have been limited to certain stores and have involved beta versions of new apps in order to test how people respond to such targeting.

Marketers are understandably wary of annoying customers with unwanted messages, so it is important they offer value through the technology and ensure that consumers can opt-in or out of the communications they receive through a branded app. One of Waitrose’s iBeacons trials this year, for example, allowed customers to receive location-based offers within a store according to their pre-selected shopping preferences.

PayPal’s tests of its own beacon service also show the technology’s potential to facilitate location-based mobile payments and ordering. As the data from such trials is gleaned and lessons are learned, expect beacons to play a bigger part in everyday customer experiences next year.

Buy buttons

Facebook buy button

Social media giants continued to experiment with how best to derive revenues from their huge audiences this year. Native advertising models were further refined, while several networks went a step further by devising new ways for brands to sell directly to their users. In July, for example, Facebook began tests of a new Buy button that allows people to purchase items directly from posts in their News Feed and from adverts.

Twitter followed suit in September by launching a Buy button in the US in partnership with a select group of music artists and brands like Burberry and Home Depot. The button appears when users tweet about a particular product or service. Such services could prove attractive to brands that currently struggle to ensure that consumers complete their purchases once they are required to click away from a social media site.

Trials have so far focused on ensuring that the user experience is not compromised by the ecommerce element. Indeed Twitter’s head of global revenue Adam Bain recently suggestedthat the Buy button is a new, “in the moment” form of online retail that marketers must adapt to.

Smart thermostat

Nest Smart Button

It might not be the sexiest example of a digitally-connected appliance, but the smart thermostat has been an important test product for the fledgling ‘internet of things’ in 2014. The year began with Google’s headline-grabbing acquisition of Nest Labs for $3.2bn (£2.1bn) – a sign of the huge value of smart home technology to the world’s biggest internet company. This year also saw British Gas run its first advertising campaign for its smartphone-controlled heating system Hive, while in June Apple unveiled the smart home platform HomeKit as part of the iOS 8 launch.

Research reported in Marketing Week earlier this year suggested that consumers are generally still reticent about the whole concept of the connected home, with many people expressing concerns about the cost of the technology, its value in their lives and the use of their personal data by brands. However it also revealed that among the smart appliances currently available, the smart thermostat is the most popular, with 44 per cent of people saying they would consider installing one in their home.

Smart thermostats hold the promise of convenience and the ability to make real cost savings on bills. In November, Nest chief executive Tony Fadell announced a deal with Irish energy firm Electric Ireland that will see customers signing up for two-year contracts receive free smart thermostats. He also confirmed that more such deals are planned globally. Adoption looks set to grow one way or the other, then, and as consumers become accustomed to using smart thermostats, the wider smart home ecosystem will undoubtedly grow too.

Connected stadia

Wembley EE

Connected homes will evolve as technologies develop and consumer behaviours change over time. The concept of the connected stadium, on the other hand, became a much clearer reality in 2014. In April, Manchester City became the first Premier League club to introduce free, high density Wi-Fi throughout its stadium. The move is part of a broader digital initiative by the club to improve its engagement with fans on match days via real-time mobile services and content.

This year also saw the Football Association agree a six-year sponsorship deal for Wembley with mobile network EE. The partnership includes an ambition to create “the most connected stadium in the world” by rolling out mobile ticketing solutions and super-fast Wi-Fi for all visitors. In October, meanwhile, Samsung pledged to install over 700 smart screens at Twickenham Stadium after agreeing a three-year sponsorship deal with the England rugby team.

Not all fans are sold on the benefits of connected stadia – PSV Eindhoven fans recently staged a protest about the installation of Wi-Fi at the Dutch club’s Philips Stadion, claiming it would distract match goers from giving their support – but if brands can add value to the match day experience, the opportunities for fan engagement appear huge.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch

It would be wrong to describe 2014 as the year of wearables – growth in the market for digitally connected wearable devices looks set to accelerate greatly in coming years, with CCS Insight predicting that sales will surge from 9.7 million in 2013 to 135 million in 2018. However this year the very concept of wearable devices certainly gained traction like never before. Much of that was down to Apple’s launch of its first smartwatch in June.

Again, the tech giant was not the first to develop a product – smartwatches have been around for a while, with brands like Samsung, Sony and LG already offering them. The inevitable media attention showered on a new Apple launch, though, propelled the concept into the mainstream for the first time. The Apple Watch is expected to go on sale in the first half of 2015, so it remains to be seen how consumers will take to it. However given the phenomenal impact of previous Apple products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, brands should already be developing their smartwatch strategies.

To dicuss online marketing tredns for 2015, contact Dental Design on 01202 677277 and find out how this exciting industry can influence your dental practice business.

More posts from our team

Previous Post:
Next Post:

Back to all news

Five Star
Reviewed Marketing
5 gold stars
google review logofacebook review with 5 stars
"Excellent service from James at Dental Design, thank you very much for your prompt attention whenever I get in touch! Would definitely recommend to a friend" Alison Tarmey View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Would definitely recommend to a friend"
5 gold stars
"As a dental practice manager I cannot recommend Dental Design highly enough. They are just brilliant at what they do. Lucy and her colleagues are just an email or a phone call away...." Emma Smith View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "I cannot recommend Dental Design highly enough"
5 gold stars
"Really great company to deal with. They always respond quickly and are truly reliable. I would 100% recommend, the staff are so friendly and helpful." Michelle Molloy View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Really great company to deal with"
5 gold stars
"I got increased traffic and new patients applying to my surgery, once Dental Design upgraded my website. They are very professional, efficient & adaptive to new situations..." Joanna Gallop View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Very professional, efficient & adaptive to new situations"
5 gold stars
"Lucy has been a star, responding to and acting upon our requests in a prompt, efficient and professional manner, as well as the rest of the Dental Design team..." Abhay Shah View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "I cannot recommend them highly enough"
5 gold stars
"...Since the website has been up and running Lucy Mander has been our point of contact. She has been invaluable and gone out of her way to help us, especially during COVID-19 lockdown... " Lucy Jones View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Has been invaluable and gone out of her way to help us"
5 gold stars
"Thank you for all your help and support, and the provision of valuable learning aids for our patients and staff alike in these difficult times. We love the look of our practice website. Very professional!" Sandra Luck View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "We love the look of our practice website. Very professional!"
5 gold stars
"Dental Design stood out both in their knowledge of the industry and their professionalism and can-do attitude. All of their staff are exceptionally competent and knowledgeable..." Harvey Rook View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Dental Design stood out both in their knowledge of the industry and their professionalism"
5 gold stars
"Having done extensive research into all the dental website companies, the team and package offered at dental design was unrivalled..." Neil Shah View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "The team and package offered at dental design was unrivalled"
5 gold stars
"The team at dental design (especially Rosie) are absolutely fantastic and are always on hand to help. They are professional, friendly and extremely efficient. Rosie always gets back..." KiKi Wilmot View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "absolutely fantastic and are always on hand to help"
5 gold stars
"Dental Design are fantastic to work with, our website is amazing and the support they provide is second to none. Our account manager Rosie L is a fabulous point..." Luke Lucas View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "Dental Design are fantastic to work with"
5 gold stars
"Having worked with the Dental Design team for the last six months, I've found them not only helpful, but friendly and approachable too. I bombard Marcus with regular..." Sophie Harper View Full Testimonial
Google reviews logo "always met with a swift and professional response"
5 gold stars
desk with branded documents