The latest edition of the Cloudspotting Weekly Digest is here and it is the first of 2014 so first things first, we would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year! This digest brings you a plethora of trends, expectations and new ideas and debates in the digital industry, relevant for the year ahead. So best foot forward and off we go.

A NEW “MOMENT OF TRUTH” FOR 2014

If the phrase “moment of truth (MOT)” is a new one for you then we definitely recommend some background reading. MOT refers to particular moments in a shopper’s journey, originally there was just a 1st and 2nd MOT, then Google introduced the “Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)” and now alas, we have a 3rd MOT thanks to “easy e-commerce”…

http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2013/12/30/easy-e-commerce-creates-new-moment-truth

EXPECTATIONS FOR RETAIL

According to a worldwide research project called “Next in Commerce” the lines between online and offline retail are becoming increasingly blurred. Things to look out for are: mobile, social and visual commerce, omni-channel experiences and the need for speed.

http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/opinion-what-will-shake-the-retail-industry-in-2014/032813

THE CLICK AND COLLECT BOOM

With the arrival of the New Year many retailers are now posting their performance figures for over the festive period and statistics from John Lewis especially, reveal a bit of a boom in the click and collect department. According to information given to the BBC, John Lewis saw sales from click and collect jump 60% in comparison to 2012. Could this be one solution for retailers looking to unite online and offline business?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25573462

THE 3 C’S: CUSTOMER-CENTRIC, CONNECTED & CONTENT

2013 was a pretty big year for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) but some rules have remained the same as they do every year despite algorithm updates and changes. The 3 C’s are still the key to better visibility in search, user experience on your site and engagement across channels. Make sure your SEO strategy is effective for 2014.

http://www.contentmarketingexperience.com/2013/search-engine-optimization-customer-centric-connected-approach/

A REMINDER OF THE PERILS OF ‘BLACK HAT’ SEO

An online lyrics website known as Rap Genius had the not so genius idea to try and boost their search engine rankings by developing a scheme whereby promotional tweets were exchanged for hyperlinks from bloggers. Needless to say Google caught them in the act and banished them from their search rankings. Oh dear.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/26/rap_genius_seo_justin_bieber/

INDIA: A MOBILE MARKET TO WATCH

For any businesses looking to go mobile and expand overseas this year, you may well want to look to India. The country is set to have 185 million mobile internet users by as early as June 2014. That’s a quarter on quarter growth of 20%.

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/532632/20140102/india-mobilephone-internet-users-mobile-association-iamai.htm

IS APPLE’S SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY AN ACT TO FOLLOW?

2013 saw absolutely no shortage of social media faux pas, blunders and outright mistakes, so the question is, should brands strive to engage audiences through social media or simply take a leaf out of Apple’s book and let their customers do the talking. Even in today’s digital world, there is still no better substitute for word of mouth.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/social-media/10542575/Apple-doesnt-really-do-social-media-so-why-should-other-brands.html

FACEBOOK: NOT DEAD AND NOT BURIED

Last weekend saw some rather scary news for Facebook, suggesting it was “dead and buried” and so a debate has sparked about future of this social media giant. Here’s a counter argument from the BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones. Where do you stand? Is Facebook still a useful marketing tool in your industry? Do marketers need to spread out to more channels?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25547755

SNAPCHAT HACKED

It’s seems the New Year could well be starting as it means to go on, with a continued focus on online security and data protection. The latest focus is on SnapChat who had the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6million users downloaded and published online by hackers, who claim the stunt was to highlight the app’s vulnerabilities.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25572661

APPLE DENIES “BACK DOOR” COLLABORATION WITH NSA

Apple has released a statement saying they “have never worked with the National Security Agency (NSA) to create a back door in any of our products, including iPhone”. The statement comes as documents were released Monday. 2014 could well see more and more cases of online surveillance and data mining cropping up so we recommend online security and data protection policy as a topic to watch.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/dec/31/apple-nsa-backdoor-iphone-program

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