Shifting Trends for B2B and B2C Marketers: A Look Forward
Marketing is constantly changing as the underlying technology for many key marketing functions is innovating and enabling new insights and achievements for global marketers. Although change does not happen overnight, we still expect to see massive shifts in marketing technology in 2019 on both the B2B and B2C sides. This is in part driven by the increasing need to target key companies, accounts and targets with buying power in efficient, effective and measurable ways — increasing revenue for companies, while decreasing cost.
Based on these factors, I have worked with my colleagues, who champion both the RollWorks and AdRoll products, to identify the following MarTech Predictions for both B2B and B2C marketers in 2019:
1. Quality data viewed will be essential for a successful B2B marketing strategy
As marketers shift their investments towards Account-Based Marketing, they need to build a strategy around their target accounts and the right customers to focus on. In 2019, there will be a shift from volume of data to quality of data. When determining your ideal customer profile or target account list, having duplicate or unrelated accounts and contacts in your CRM will hinder your ability to focus on the right accounts. Working with vendors with high-quality data will yield better results than those with a higher volume of data.
2. Blending of demand gen and account-based
B2B marketers now see Account-Based Marketing as a specialized marketing function. In 2019, ABM will go mainstream and B2B marketers will understand it as more of a focused strategy in their toolbox — an extension of their current and trusted marketing strategies. Account-based strategies are now proven to reach and engage more of the right people in the right accounts — making them a win for marketers and brands alike.
3. Platforms will win over point solutions
Most marketing teams already have a staggering number of technologies as part of their marketing tech stack. This only complicates this for companies, and requires a great deal of time spent on making sure these technologies are working together effectively. In 2019, we expect that they will look to reduce the number of technologies, and seek out platforms that support multiple needs rather than purchasing highly specialized tools.
4. Privacy regulations will continue but customer relationships will prevail
GDPR was an important milestone in stepping up the legal protection of personal data in 2018. In 2019, we will see more privacy regulations, including in the US, get introduced, as well as the visible punishment of companies in violation of those rules. But the real losers in the war on privacy and integrity will be those companies who don’t put the customer first, and protect their privacy and keep their trust — regardless of the laws of the local country.
5. Marketers will take a leap beyond last-click measurement
Measurement is hard. For SMBs and mid-market companies, the stakes are often higher. Although last click measurement is an archaic way to measure performance and impact, many marketers still rely on it because they don’t see accessible alternatives, as sophisticated tools are often difficult to set up or not flexible enough to work within their data model. Yet, marketers are hungry for change and searching for a better way to provide visibility and optimize their campaigns.
My colleague Scott Gifis, President of AdRoll, sees 2019 as the year modern marketers stop relying on vanity metrics and outdated measurement models and start looking at what is actually driving sales. Further, marketers need to embrace multi-channel adoption and prioritize creating connected stories across all touchpoints. This can only be done by integrating solutions powered by Machine Learning and AI into their marketing toolkit. This will better provide an actionable view on the customer journey and attribution on a level that has never before been available.
6. There will be less focus on transactions, and more on customer lifetime value
The world is changing and with it consumer behaviors and expectations. Scott predicts that brands that aim to survive, let alone thrive, will need to prioritize developing deeper, more meaningful connections with their customers. This will require deeper investments in personalization and connected storytelling across all touchpoints, automation and tools to enable those interactions, and strong measurement platforms to help them optimize and realize growth for their business.