Over the last 12 months, marketers and advertisers have been confronted with a handful of interesting and evolutionary changes, especially as it relates to technology. From the long-awaited implementation of data regulations such as GDPR to the continuation of the agency/in-house programmatic battle, it’s been an eventful and fast-paced year.
So, what will change and what will stay the same over the next 12 months? While some of my predictions are continuations of areas we’ve seen develop over this past year, others threaten to revolutionize how marketers work every day.
1. Moving Beyond Basic Personalization with Data
Personalization has been a topic on everyone’s minds for quite some time. While it’s certainly not new and every marketer will tell you they have personalization on their roadmap, there’s a large role that data can play here which I think will be explored further in 2019. In the B2B space, in particular, buying decisions are often made before a human salesperson enters the process. Therefore, a large portion of the information obtained on any given B2B business is through its content marketing or website.
Personalization implementations are more basic at the moment, although there’s a great deal of money being spent on content personalization and creation. Being able to use data to appropriately tweak content or show the right message to the right person at the right time is becoming table-stakes – and we’ll see this necessary advancement grow exponentially in 2019. Really, it’s the evolution of persona-based marketing into something much more granular.
2. Programmatic ABM Goes Mainstream
While ABM has been a hot topic for quite some time now, it’s still gaining steam because of the increasing availability of data and technology that allow you to run campaigns more efficiently. In fact, a recent report found that marketers see value in ABM programs, but only about one-third actually implement it.
ABM success is heavily tied to using data effectively. When implementing, it comes down to skills, organizational structure and alignment, and appropriate resources. Unfortunately, many companies are still lacking those necessary requirements.
I predict that next year, not only will we see more B2B buyers engaging with ABM, but we will also begin to see more marketers tying together real-time data with programmatic technology to accelerate ABM efforts. Programmatic ABM won’t require such a high investment threshold and will start to become more mainstream. In addition, programmatic ABM will be used to more effectively measure outcomes, giving marketers better feedback on the success of their programs.
3. Data Providing Value
With the rise of experiential commerce, we have seen marketing become more individualistic because of the specificity with which marketers can detail a specific profile. In that vein, the expectation from both buyer and seller is that their communications will become as close to 1:1 communication as possible. The buyer also expects that there will be specific value provided in exchange for the information they are sharing.
There will be a large focus on this in 2019, driven by the fact that there are now so many governances coming into play about collection, dissemination, and storage of data. If the customer doesn’t truly get value from the process, then they won’t be open to providing their data.
It’s time for companies to actively communicate the value they are providing to each customer through the exchange of data.
Read More: Marketing Trends: Rise of the B2B Consumer
4. Building a Single View of Customer
An account-based identity that can be used across all devices and channels to get one view of the account is helpful in this, as companies cannot succeed at personalization or ABM without that singular view. In the next year, we’ll see much more focus on identity and data to create this single view.
2019 will certainly be another pivotal year for marketers, and I’m looking forward to witnessing the continued evolution of this space. What do you think the top marketing trends for next year will be? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!