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With digital marketing being an area of fast growth and quick change, for the third year in a row, asked marketers to weigh in with their thoughts on what to expect.

Here’s a few perspectives on what digital marketing will look like in 2014.

1. More marketers will rely on big data.
While it’s a nice thing to be able to manually sift through data, unfortunately that approach isn’t scalable, says Lara Albert, senior vice-president of global marketing at Globys. She argues digital marketers are going to have to use machine-driven campaigns for their campaign strategies, offers, and for personalized messagers to their customers. That’s the way to work at massive scale and do it with ease, she says.

2. Investing in mobile will become even more key.
It won’t just be wishful thinking – IT leaders are going to expect to have mobile devices and apps that will boost productivity, says Kurt Andersen, executive vice-president Of sales enablement and marketing for SAVO.

“These executives expect more full-function capabilities on mobile devices for their salespeople so they can have effective conversations on any topic at any time. As CMO, you will need to embrace mobile applications that will better align and support the marketing and sales teams so they can move the needle and make mobility a weapon that helps them close more deals,” he says.

3. Keep up with social media.
Advertisers are already using Instagram and Twitter, and Snapchat will probably be another place for that, says Ryan Aynes, co-founder of EDGE Collective. That’s what Dan Greenberg, co-founder and CEO of Sharethrough, also believes. He says mobile marketers will see more growth in content feeds like Facebook and Twitter, rather than through banner ads on the screens of mobile devices.

4. Content marketing will grow and help boost brands and sales.
More than one of the marketers on this list had this belief. Online retailers and online content publishers may soon ally together to drive sales, says Michael Beaulieu, associate director of digital media sales at Wayfair.

“I predict that in 2014 the line between online retailer and online content publisher will continue to blur. Online content publishers are experimenting with various models of e-commerce–diversifying away from an ad sales-only model by introducing e-commerce either on site or in partnership with affiliated sites,” he says.

Michael Brenner, vice-president of marketing for SAP AG, agrees. He adds that he expects brands to set up their own newsrooms and start producing content. Their content will be what their audience wants to consume, but it will also have a business result tied to it, he says. Instead of creating content to promote a brand, the content will benefit the brand’s audience by both informing people and entertaining them.

5. Marketers will strike the right balance between being invasive and inviting.

While consumers do like getting personalized messages and offers, right now, many consumers seem to feel they are giving up a lot of their data and not getting much in return. Digital marketers will be fine-tuning that process this year, using data more effectively to give customers better experiences – without crossing the line and becoming invasive about it, says Debi Kleiman, president of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX).

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