We're distracted, demanding, and unpredictable in the eyes of the companies we're engaging with. Our expectation for relevant experiences that deliver value at the time of our choosing has never been higher.

With the added complexity that we're always connected, starting and ending our journey across different channels has made the marketer’s dilemma of figuring out where to invest their marketing budgets an incredibly difficult challenge. Therefore, expect to see leading companies working to eke out a competitive advantage by tackling these five priorities in 2014.

1. Brands will embrace map-making to create a consistent customer experience

There is a growing imperative for brands to deliver consistent customer experiences across all of their online properties and digital channels ,and this will have brands embracing historically esoteric concepts such as the customer journey.

Brands will begin to embrace journey mapping and related frameworks to document and identify how their customers engage through different stages in their journey (search, react, evaluate, decide, and convert) in order to direct sunlight into pathways fraught with blind-spots and incomplete pictures of engagement.

2. Design will become more of a verb

Marketers will embrace design as a verb (in addition to a noun) as they map their customers’ journeys across all brand touch-points.

Once customer journeys are better understood, brands will begin to design optimized experiences specific to channel, device, and audience segment.

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Merlyn Gordonis the director of Product Strategy for Webtrends. He has spent his career helping leading global brands succeed with digital marketing and customer experience initiatives, as well as brand and messaging strategies.