B2B marketers have faced never ending changes and challenges in 2021. Not just the pandemic, but this year, marketers were hit with the forthcoming loss of cookie data.
Though the prospect of a cookie-less world has since been postponed, it’s still forefront of marketers’ minds. Furthermore, an increase ‘opt-out’ legislations, has led to a significant reduction in the amount of data available to drive B2B marketing strategies and fuel campaigns.
Jon Clarke, Founder and Chief Product Officer of Cyance, a leading provider of European intent data, has reviewed the current landscape and shares his thoughts on how the data landscape will look in 2022 and how marketers can actually benefit from these changes.
As the tracking cookie continues to crumble, the big question on marketers minds is ‘what will we do now?’. How are we supposed to understand our customers and future proof our tech stack and marketing strategy?
The good news is, despite all of the change and uncertainty, 2022 will provide plenty of opportunities for B2B marketers to re-define their use of data, driving better engagement with prospects and optimizing their campaign performance.
Cookies are already losing power and will be old tech by the end of 2022
Though the end of cookies has been delayed, with the likes of Firefox and Safari having already blocked tracking cookies by default. Cookies will become a null and void entity, long before the deprecation deadline. Especially as Google itself has announced that it won’t roll out alternative user-level ad identifiers as a replacement for third-party cookies.
As such, B2B marketers will turn their backs on cookies over the coming months and will need to look towards MarTech and AdTech to provide a longer term solution that generates the same, if not better, insights into customers and prospects. One such solution is Universal IDs.
The power of Unified IDs will come to the forefront for marketers
Unified IDs represent a personal, static, exchangeable, and interoperable identifier for each user, taking into account their multiple touchpoints. This provides a unique ID for users that can be tracked across the entire digital ecosystem, without the need for additional syncing. As such, Unified IDs present an opportunity for the marketing industry to thrive in a cookie-less world.
Already we’re seeing innovative B2B marketers exploiting the numerous advantages that Unified IDs have over cookies. Firstly, they have a longer shelf life than cookies, making it much easier to build audiences, attribute behaviour trends and measure activation outcomes over time. Plus, Unified IDs work in an omnichannel manner by definition, and I expect to see an expansion of data sources beyond the traditional and including more modern channels such as SmartTVs and wearables. Finally, I predict that the increased use of Universal IDs will translate into much more reliable and accurate data for the marketer, providing a wider picture of intent.
Almost 100% use of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) in 2022
2021 saw a significant shift with marketers focusing their efforts with an Account-Based Marketing approach. In fact, 70% reported using ABM compared with 2020. I expect 2022 to see this dynamic acceleration continue even further, with almost 100% of marketers implementing some form of ABM.
More and more B2B marketers are experiencing the benefits of a personalised and targeted approach in their campaigns. We now have the required technology and the accurate data – it’s only a matter of time until we reach 100% ABM within B2B.
ABM provides a much more personalised marketing approach, encourages both marketing and sales teams to align, and as a result, it shortens the sales cycle. ABM is so much more precise and measurable than traditional approaches, providing clearer ROI and more efficiency in marketing and sales teams.
ABM is also a more tempting solution for marketers as marketing expenditure, as a percentage of revenue, is at its lowest point in over a decade. Marketers are looking for solutions that do more with less. ABM does just that, its efficient and targeted form of outreach results in less wastage than traditional mass advertising and less targeted digital strategies.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Christy Marble, Chief Marketing Officer at Pantheon
B2B data will focus more on quality than quantity
In the world of sales and marketing, the belief has long been held that in order to create a clearer picture of your customer, the more data you have, the better. This has been particularly true during the pandemic, where many businesses have tried to make up for in-person and telephone sales. Instead choosing to reach out through digital content and channels, without truly appreciating the buying stage, or digital journey of the modern B2B buyer. As a result, we’ve seen that buyers are feeling inundated with messaging that lacks context and relevance.
So, as B2B demand generation teams become cognisant of this, I expect to see a much needed shift in attitudes in 2022, with marketers looking to strip down their use of data to focus only on the most useful, relevant and accurate insights. By cutting through the data noise which has become such a distraction over recent years, marketers can instead concentrate on getting a clear view of buyers’ intentions and their position in their buying journey. Nothing else really matters, and this is something greater numbers of B2B marketers will recognise over the next 12 months.
Marketers will be ditching those data siloes and integrating data for a 360 customer view
Finally, in line with a streamlined set of data points, I also expect marketers to look to remove data silos and integrate all of their insights into one unified platform. This will allow them to generate a much clearer and more accurate picture of their audiences.
In particular, I expect to see more integration between different data sources, such as 1st party and 3rd party intent data. This in turn will be layered with wider insights such as firmographic and technographic data. In doing so, B2B marketers will begin to get a full view of the customer.
B2B marketers that embrace these shifts in the data landscape, and adapt their strategies and campaign activations accordingly, will undoubtedly come out on top next year.
Marketing Technology News: Three Factors that Influenced Q3 2021 Digital Marketing Performance