Forbes Magazine contributor, Ekaterina Walter interviewed 26 marketing gurus for their thought-provoking expert opinions. Here are 3 opinions. Click here to read all 26.

What Is Really Important To Me?

With the rise of social media, there has been a trend to structure life around technology in the pursuit of constant connectivity. In doing so, it was inevitable that we would eventually reach a point of max saturation at which people would begin taking a step back to ask themselves, “What is really important to me?” As the “return to real life” becomes a higher cultural priority, we’re going to see people eagerly embracing technologies that empower them to achieve greater balance. As an alternative to surrendering our lives to digital technologies – or surrendering the technologies to themselves – expect to see an emergence of more things like the Nike+ Fuelband, Google Glass and the Nest thermostat. These tools make it easier to live better by harnessing the best parts of social and digital, seamlessly integrating and adding value to our lives, hobbies and interests, rather than taking our focus and energy away from them.

Robbin Phillips 

Listen and Co-Create with Customers

In 2014, the Marketing Department will fall out of love with social media and responsibility for the medium will shift even further into other corners of the organization such as PR and Customer Service. Of course, Facebook and Twitter still own too much of consumer time for marketers to ignore them, but a focus on paid media will increasingly eclipse earned media in marketing strategies. The drivers for this transition have been in place for years, from marketer frustration with low engagement rates on Facebook brand pages to hashtag campaigns that backfire to desperate social stunts like fake account hacks to auto-responder embarrassments. The best value brands can provide in social in 2014 is to listen, co-create with customers, integrate social into the product experience, furnish customer service, educate and evolve for the growth of the sharing economy, and in most cases, these are responsibilities that fall outside the marketing department.

Augie Ray

2014: The Year of Advocacy

2012 was the year of acquisition, large fan/follower numbers, and fast-growing communities. 2013 was a year of engagement and content optimization: marketers realized that vanity numbers were not enough, that to continue to show real growth they needed to engage their communities in a more meaningful way. 2014 will be a year of advocacy: marketers realizing that with growth of their social communities stagnating and the big content machine churning 24/7 they need a more cost-effective and more impactful way to reach current and new customers long-term in a sustainable way. The next major business impact will come from very targeted niche communities (passionate and sometimes highly influential advocates) and from marketing with them, not to them.

Mark Curtis

Source: Ekaterina Walter, contributor for Forbes Magazine