4Ps Marketing

Matt Phelan On Coffee Dates, And His Ode To 2014

Summary of 2013

Before I start my ode to 2014, I must sum up 2013 in two very boring words: “A Platform”. Even though this makes 2013 sound like a dull 0-0 draw in an opening World Cup group match, I in no way think 2013 was boring. Quite the contrary; it has set things up very nicely for an exciting 2014.

Executive SUMMARY OF 2014

I can’t sum up what I expect to happen in 2014 better than Mark Blenkinsop (Dune London) did when having a coffee with me last week.

“It’s like everyone went home for Christmas and then woke up from an Ecommerce coma on Boxing Day!”

Predictions for 2014?

At this time of year, very intelligent people like Ashley Friedlein, CEO of Econsultancy and Hannah Miller, SEO Director at 4Ps Marketing make predictions about the coming year. So take a good read through Ashley’s predictions, and Hannah’s and then I will tell you what WILL happen in 2014.

What will actually happen in 2014?

Industry wide

Apple is clearly still in a state of shock from losing Steve Jobs. They will over compensate for this by trying to be innovative for the sake of it and end up being outflanked by competitors who better understand changes in consumer behaviour. Fast-forward to 2016 before Apple get their mojo back.

2013 saw Google set the foundations to revolutionise search with updates like Hummingbird. Expect big algorithm updates that push Google away from being an “engine” and towards becoming our personal PA. It’s an exciting time for the SEO industry, and I for one can’t wait. Take note SEO people, this is an opportunity, not a problem.

No matter what numbers Facebook trot out, they will lose market share in saturated markets in 2014. Facebook will spend the year trying to work out what they now stand for. The cool kid will continue to be a huge part of social media campaigns but it is moving on from being a playful teenager and will now take a step onto the serious career ladder. Expect some failed commercial experiments, but don’t underestimate the reach and engagement potential of Facebook.

At 4PS

In 2013 4Ps Marketing made some key appointments that have helped us put a great structure in place for 2014, including the promotion of Paul Smith to CEO. We have also appointed Ying Wang, whose fluency in Mandarin has proven invaluable in increasing our international capabilities, and we will have some additional exciting news next week on our Analytics / Insight team.

Most importantly we re-positioned under the tag line of “Advanced Search Agency”. This has given us a real focus to ensure we concentrate on what makes us great but also to keep us ahead of the game when it comes to future search behaviour.

Finally, we are working on more and more international clients and a key driver of growth in our agency will be helping our existing clients grow.

As many of you know, my business partner Chris Hyland and I invested in BaseTouch, a video content marketing company. There is currently a strong demand for video in SEO & PPC campaigns, and it will only increase on the back of the Google Hummingbird update.


If you want to meet the 4Ps Marketing team, the next 3 opportunities are:

Digital EDGEucation (a 4Ps event in March) – click here to book your place

Digital Cream (An Econsultancy event in March) our very own Hannah Miller will be leading a round table about Integrated Search – get your place here 

Coffee with Matt – As some of you may know, I became a Dad in October, so my “meet for a pint after work” offers have become a “meet for a coffee on the way home / before work”. If we haven’t chatted for a while, my direct dial is  0207 697 3822.

Have an awesome year.


4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how content, data and advertising are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user interaction and technology, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about marketing and behaviour across all inbound channels.