Throughout January we’ve been reviewing some of the top digital trends for 2014, including the rise of private social media and messaging amongst teenagers and the importance of mobile in the modern marketing mix. Today’s blog focuses on data and how it may change over the coming months.

Big data, small data, smart data… as more and more of our behaviours and personal information is gathered via digital technology we will witness increasingly sophisticated data analysis. In 2014 expect to see businesses begin to more effectively aggregate and dissect the already highly advanced and granular data available via social media APIs, apps and the likes. This data will be used to generate more detailed and accurate persona profiles and enhance personalisation marketing. As such, we’ll see marketers take one step closer to the utopian ‘market of one’ model.

Similarly, the algorithms used to collect, translate and compute data and serve results to users will continue to become more intelligent. Going beyond even anticipatory algorithms, I predict the rise of ‘cognitive data marketing’ whereby users will be served search results and online ads based on a pre-empted understanding of their needs and behavioural traits. This will result in more proactive than reactive marketing; meaning information/brands/products/services comes to us before we even search for them.

This shift will also encourage greater integration between bought media across television and digital advertising. A data-driven approach to media buying will mean marketers make better use of detailed data to target audiences more efficiently through traditional channels, whilst incorporating a second screen experience to deepen consumer engagement.

A fantastic example of this is the rise of Shazam-enabled TV. The unique music discovery app has been evolved to integrate with television advertising, using sonic signature and audio analysis technology, in order to present additional content to an audience whilst promoting engagement and conversions. With 95% of all US TV now Shazam-enabled and much of Europe following suit, the next 12 months will see an explosion of Shazam in the UK television advertising landscape.

The opportunities presented by the wealth of data available to us as marketers are exciting. In most cases the data is already there, you just need to learn how to use it.