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Each year, marketers are faced with endless options for marketing strategies, so it can be difficult to determine what’s most important.

As part of new research, we asked marketers to identify their top three marketing priorities for 2014, and we found some striking similarities across marketers from all levels and industries. The most common priorities were:

  1. Driving increased conversion rates
  2. Increasing and improving brand awareness
  3. Collecting, measuring, and using behavior-based data

As shown in the following chart, 2014 Top Three Marketing Priorities, driving increased conversion rates and increasing and improving brand awareness are two clear priorities for the year to come. This holds true across all industries, except the media and entertainment and consumer packaged goods industries, where increased conversions were their third (not first or second) priority. A focus on conversion rates comes as no surprise, as more and more marketing teams work to align with their sales teams and prove value through concrete results.

And while marketers are experiencing increased accountability, they’re also being given more resources than ever to take a greater role in driving the business.

Respondents across almost every level of the organization also identified brand awareness as a top priority—indicating that brand is still a core focus, even beyond the CMO. With this in mind, we expect to see marketers using social media, mobile, and personalized web experiences to better boost their brand with customers.

The third most popular priority for marketers—collecting, measuring, and using behavior-based data—will support all other marketing objectives.  More data enables marketers to build better 1:1 customer experiences and cut through the communication clutter, so it’s now more important than ever to have a plan and process around collecting that data.

New devices and channels emerge every day to create a more connected and complex brand-to-customer landscape.

A single wide net across multiple mediums won’t work, so here’s how marketers say that they’re divvying areas of focus and measuring success.

Clearly, marketers have many areas of focus heading into 2014. For recommendations on where to begin, read 2014 State of Marketing, a new report on digital marketing pain points and strategies now available from ExactTarget Marketing Cloud.

For further reading on this research, check out Kyle Lacy's post 98% of Global Marketers Increasing or Maintaining Digital Spend.

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