It's important to start anything new with optimism, right? The new year should be no exception. There's a lot to make the marketing glass look half empty, encrypted keywords and algorithm updates, to name a few. But focusing on the negative is never the way to go.

So instead, we're going to focus on what we're excited for in the near future of marketing. Personally, I'm excited about a lot of things, like that people are realizing that just hopping on the social media and content marketing bandwagons won't bring success. I think this year we'll see a lot of companies abandon the "throw it and hope it sticks" approach in favor of a thought-out and well-planned strategy.

To get really revved up for 2014, I asked other marketers what they were excited about. The response was overwhelming! I'm glad to see so many of us approaching the year with a positive outlook and wanted to share some of their insights. Below are the thoughts of seven marketers, and we'll be writing another post including more next week!

  • "What I'm most excited about in 2014 is the next frontier for marketing: real-time personalization of our websites. Over the past 10 years we've invented new techniques for driving traffic to our sites, but ways for converting traffic haven't kept up. This is going to change in the new year, as businesses start thinking of real-time ways to surprise and delight customers and prospects with the right content at the right time in the channel where they interact the most: the web. Web personalization solutions have gotten an upgrade, so now marketers can reap the benefits." - Karl Wirth, CEO and Co-founder of Evergage (Tweet this!)
  • "We feel that thought leadership will continue to be important to B2B companies. As opportunities in which to tell their stories in traditional media decrease, B2Bs will continue to recognize that it's not enough to be an expert in their field; they have to showcase their expertise using blogs, bylined articles, social media, etc." - Norman Birnbach, Birnbach Communications (Tweet this!)
  • "What excites me most is the personalization of content, as well as the personalization of advertising impressions. We are swiftly moving from a one-size-fits-all model to a uniquely individual experience, where media is uniquely displayed depending on who is reading it. With readers increasingly accessing information through online and mobile, marketers are able to analyze reader activity and tailor content accordingly." - Cindy Elhaj, Director of Marketing for Sprocket Media (Tweet this!)
  • "I'm looking forward to less structure and more conversation. More and more people are realizing that storytelling is a great way to make a connection with customers and potential customers. Thinking more about connectedness versus "how it's always been done" is super exciting to me. Writing bios in first and second person, for example. Blogging about your company news versus a stale press release. It's going to be so much fun." - Angela Moore, Starfish PR (Tweet this!)
  • "As a marketer, it may sound a little absurd to say that what excites me most is that people seem to finally be wise to all the schemes and ploys that marketers have used for years. But what that means is that the really good marketers finally have a chance to really stand out and connect with customers on a whole new level." - Zach Heller, Zach Heller Marketing (Tweet this!)
  • "I'm really excited about better tools to help make sense of big data. Most marketers don't have the time to sift through piles of tables and spreadsheets to make sense of our customer data, and in 2014 I am excited that the tools to help us are getting better and better." - Jeff Kear, Owner and CMO of Planning Pod (Tweet this!)
  • "I'm looking forward to developing our capabilities to understand our audiences; what they are looking for, and when and how we can connect and communicate with them most effectively. There are so many different touch points to reach a customer or potential customer, so understanding the best time and place to communicate with them is key." - Etela Ivkovic, General Manager and Senior Digital Marketing Strategist and DragonSearch (Tweet this!)
  • What are you most excited about at your job this year? Comment below or tweet it to @eZangaInc for a change to be included in our next post!