January is a great opportunity for marketing professionals to take stock and prepare for changes and developments to the industry in the next year, which will be vital to increasing engagement and driving revenue.
The core principles of marketing such as personalisation, multi-channel approach and relying on quality data will remain the same. But this blog aims to deliver some unique and insightful trends with relevance to the world of B2B data users.
1. The Rise and Rise of AI
We’ve been advocating the growing investments made to AI in marketing and data for a number of years. Marketing teams are always looking to automate and simplify a range of tasks to increase efficiencies whilst keeping the key personalisation aspect for their audience. A great example of this can be found in AI developments in Data. AI tools such as our Advanced Data Analysis Machine (ADAM) removes the human need to categorise job titles and organisations into functions and types. What started in its beta stage in 2022 has now rolled out into a fully operational software, with the ability to categorise hundreds of different fields in a few minutes.
AI tools are able to harness the vast volume of open-sourced information online in a fraction of the time it takes a human to process. Constant iterations also means that AI will give marketing leaders more accurate results than human problem solving, although a tool is only as useful as those working with it.
2. Increasing influence of Gen Z & Millennial buyers
Each year, the B2B buying workforce is increasingly being taken over by a younger audience. As Millennials and Gen-Zs slowly take over authority to purchase positions, influential positions, vendor marketing needs reflect this trend. These younger buyers want digital-centric experiences. They are more tech savvy and comfortable taking part in Webinars and digital marketing events as opposed to travelling to an in-person event.
This means that organisations are more reliant than ever on keeping data in top condition. Digital events can be held more frequently, which means more data to take in and maintain through digital record taking. If properly stored and enriched, this data is a goldmine for approaching valuable, young prospects with personalised marketing and sales. If this information is not effectively categorised however, it is a nightmare for your marketing teams and quickly unravels.
3. Let’s get personal
The drive of personalised marketing definitely isn’t new for 2023 but it doesn’t mean its not as important. As with the first 2 points, this is only going to increase. B2B prospects are getting more savvy in ignoring generic emails and messages of which they are bombarded everyday. The surest way to ensure eyeballs fall onto and engage with your content is by making sure it feels personally directed to that prospect. 77% of B2B marketers agree that personalisation is the most effective way to boost their client relationships. Both website and email personalisation remain the best tools for personalised marketing. Evermore powerful and intelligent CRMs mean personalised email marketing to leads and key accounts are incredibly effective and efficient.
For personalised marketing to really take effect, the data you feed into your pipeline not only needs to be highly attuned to your audience but enriched with categorisation to allow for personalised and efficient marketing campaigns. How would you go about sending a campaign to Senior contacts with HR functions if this database is not correctly categorised. The costliest mistake a marketer can make is sending the wrong personalised message, it quickly turns a potential buyer off the company brand.
4. Marketing will take on more of the B2B customer life cycle
The focus on upselling and client retention is likely to come more under marketing’s responsibility as customers increasingly look to buying from a purposeful brand. A company with a purposeful brand centre on company values is driven by the marketing department which should be looking to drive deeper and more profitable relations with existing clients. This is helped by evermore accessible and intelligent CRMs which make it easier to track a client lifecycle from previous interactions and sales.
Marketing to customers in the lifecycle will only reap rewards if the customer data is kept in pristine condition. It is so easy for a repeat customer to be imported into a database more than once, every time they buy or sign up to marketing material. It is therefore important to keep a “single client view” to easily track and score prospects, to deliver more accurate and effective marketing and sales campaigns without the worry of duplication.
5. The shift to first-party data
For the last decade or so, third-party data via cookies have been an effective tool for carrying out targeted marketing campaigns. However, by the end of 2024, Google Chrome will end its support for third-party cookies as part of its Privacy Sandbox strategy. This will result in companies having to change the way they utilise third-party data in preference for first-party data collection. First-party data can be found in the valuable information collected from surveys, customer/marketing entry forms, insights and service/product reviews.
This will only enforce the necessity to keep client databases and CRMs up to date with accurate and insightful customer behaviour. It will also mean that newly built data lists will need to be of much higher quality, enriched with valuable information and categorisation to make that first-party data more effective for marketing campaigns. The data provided from bulk lists will only be partially effective at hitting your target audience with information specific to your companies needs. A bespoke data build however will allow marketing teams to see returns in their tailored data much earlier in the marketing funnel.
Ready to hit 2023 running?
It is pivotal for companies to keep up with the ever-changing world of B2B data to stay on top of the competition. 2023 is likely to provide opportunities and challenges in all sectors. Because of this, keeping your most valuable asset, data, up to condition is the most efficient strategy to hit KPIs and returns.