It’s that inevitable time of year when every magazine, blog and news show will begin to predict what’s going to happen in 2014. I decided to see what the world’s marketing experts were thinking and was surprised at what I found.

First – I had to really dig to find anyone who was even bothering to predict what might happen beyond the world of digital and mobile marketing. It was as though traditional media and marketing tactics no longer existed.  

Even publications like PR News focused on the digital aspects of marketing and barely referenced what used to be the mainstay of marketing – traditional tactics.

Which may be the most startling prediction of all.  

Here are some of the more interesting predictions:

Pay-per-click advertising will increase. What makes that intriguing is because in some ways it bangs heads with the whole “content is king” mantra that everyone is using. In theory, content should drive your organic search results so a much higher place-and-paid (PPC) search would be less necessary.  

But when you add in the fact that most people still gravitate to that first entry listed, it may be that people are suggesting that you can use organic to get you to Google’s first page and then use a PPC campaign to drive you to the No. 1 position.

Organizations still will struggle with integration. The argument has long been held that in most marketing departments: There’s the digital “kids” and the communications pros, and rarely do the two meet or collaborate.  

It’s a classic “the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing” argument and to date, it’s been relatively true in the sense that many companies had a communications department or agency and then they decided to dip their toes into digital and often handed that assignment to a completely different group of people. Whether it’s two departments or two people, companies need to keep working towards more seamless and painless integration. We have a ways to go.

Events are back on track. The ’08 recession really put the brakes on corporate travel and trade shows. But 67 percent of business-to-business marketers believe them to be a very effective strategy. I couldn’t agree more. Being able to talk face-to-face, touch and feel new products and collect warm leads is plenty of reason to go.

But beyond that, trade shows are an opportunity for you to really shine by actually investing in an innovative booth, taking some risks on the exhibitor floor (either as an exhibitor or an attendee) and even sharing your expertise as a presenter.  

Sending out a good word is good marketing. Interestingly, this trend is not new at all. Word of mouth and testimonials have always been good business and driven more sales but with the amplification of social media and search – what a customer says about you can literally be pure gold. You need to give your customers a reason to brag about you.

The trendy part of this golden oldie is that online reputation management is quickly moving from recommended to vital to your survival status. You simply cannot afford to ignore what’s being said about you on review sites, social networks, blogs and other digital gathering places.

I’m curious – what do you think will be the biggest marketing shifts in the coming year? Shoot me an email and let’s keep this conversation going.