Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing just about every area of our lives and work, including B2B marketing. From creation to distribution to consumption, tech is forcing brands to rethink how we use content.
Technology is not going away, so our job as marketers is to stay up-to-date on the latest advances, identify how they affect our tactics, and adjust our strategies to match.
So, let’s look at three MarTech trends that we feel are worth talking about.
1. Account Based Marketing (ABM)
It’s hard not to say Marketing Technology and Account Based Marketing (ABM) in the same breath these days. ABM, or key account marketing, is not a new concept in B2B marketing land (ITMSA coined the term over 15 years ago), but with the perfect storm of ever increasingly complex buying journeys, shrinking marketplaces and the need to get cut-through to your buyer with personalised content... ABM is the leading buzzword. What is important to remember is that, just like a properly implemented Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), ABM is not a quick win. It is a strategic, long-term play that can be resource intense, must be data driven and requires marketing and sales to truly work together.
However, you don’t need the full tech-stack to “do” ABM. You can start by identifying key accounts (for a pilot, we recommend keeping it under 10), carry out the data deep dive and launch an initial campaign. We like the combination of targeted direct mail, programmatic advertising, leading to a personalised content experience. The last point is probably the most important, there is no point doing ABM if you then can’t talk directly to that contact/company with tailored content and nurture programs.
Successful ABM requires a mindshift in measurement as well. It isn’t about open rates and quarterly sales targets, it’s about building and improving relationships, driving reputation and ultimately revenue increase. If you are looking for some of the hot movers in the ABM space at the moment, check out: Marketo, Demandbase, Engagio and Uberflip.
This trend isn’t unique to marketing technology, you’ll see it come up in any B2B marketing trends google search. In fact, a recently released survey from NewBase has content marketing as the number 1 or 2 priority for marketers across the globe. However, the role content plays in successful deployment of marketing technology, especially email campaigns and nurture programs is essential, but often one of the last items considered.
You’ve identified a MAP suitable for your organisation, you’ve done the data clean and load, researched your buyer profiles and journeys, got sales on board, created your lead scoring process and then it comes time to turn the engine on. But what is missing? The fuel to power the engine, which is content. This is where we see organisations falling back into using platforms to revert to email “blasts” and newsletter sends, as they haven’t considered the volume of content necessary to support sophisticated programs via Marketing Technology.
However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Scratch the surface a little bit and you’ll find that you *do* have enough content, it just probably isn’t organised, managed, collated and referenceable in one place. Starting with a content audit (and mapping against your buyer's journey) is a great place to start, but the mantra of re-use, re-purpose, re-cycle essential to ensuring you have the right amount of content to successfully support marketing automation programs.
3. Thinking beyond the sales cycle
Many organisations implement a MAP to build programs for the sales cycle and to move prospects through the MQL, SAL and SQL process, but what many organisations fail to realise is the potential for after-sales and internal programs.
Consider building automated programs to assist with the welcome and on-boarding process, especially if you have set training programs already for new customers and employees to go through. When building sales-lead marketing programs, think about how the same program could be adopted for existing customers to build and drive cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. If you have products or services that run on a contract basis, construct automated programs to start with contract countdowns and renewal options.
This is a BBN Network article.
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