Top 5 B2B Marketing Trends We Learned On The Road

As we transition to Fall with 2019 planning and the holiday season on our brains, we can’t help but reflect back on all Summer ‘18 had to offer. We went out on the road for our ABM Summer Road trip allowing us to meet you at workshops, certifications, dinners and happy hours! We earned some frequent flier miles going all around the country, even up to Toronto and the UK. Meeting all of you and being able to have conversations in person about Account-Based Marketing is what we live for. So what did we learn along the way? See below for the top 5 B2B marketing trends we heard while on the road.

1. ABM: Going from what to how

When ABM first took off in 2015, most people were asking the questions of “What is ABM?” Why should I be doing ABM?” but as we head into 2019, there has been a massive amount of education, interest and implementation of ABM across the country. According to a SiriusDecisions survey, 62% of B2B companies are beyond pilot mode and into a full ABM program. This means the questions we are hearing from marketers are getting more specific and tactical. People are not wondering why they should do ABM but how to do it better and at scale.

To make sure your entire team is on the same page around ABM, check out the ABM Certification from Demandbase. There a certification for every level of ABM maturity. Have a group? Contact me for a discount code!

2. Getting beyond aligning with Sales

We all know you can’t have a successful ABM program without Sales and Marketing alignment. But what happens after you have that alignment? You need to make sure you are communicating with and enabling Sales with all the right information, at the right time in order to scale ABM successfully. What does this look like? See below for a few tips:

  • Meet them where they are. Provide real time updates of who is on your website and what content their buyer is most interested in. Make sure you showcase the information in places where Sales lives all day like Salesforce, Slack or email.
  • Have a one-stop shop for all information. Here at Demandbase, we have the “Marketing Center”—a place where Sales can go to find information at any time on all campaigns and events we are running. Need a VIP dinner invite? You got it! Need the RSVP list for a campaign for follow up? Check! It’s all in this self-serve, 24 x 7 resource to keep your Sales team enabled and informed.
  • Send weekly emails. Start the week off by sending an email prioritizing what campaigns Sales should focus on while providing all resources they need in order to be successful.

3. Data-driven to connected data

As marketers, we are always being asked to be more data driven. With the rise of ABM, it’s allowed marketing to take on a bigger seat at the table with regards to Revenue. We are no longer just looking at click rates and downloads instead we’re looking at how programs affect the bottom line of the company. Relying more on metrics such as opportunities, close rates and funnel velocity has created the data-driven marketer. As we were on the road, we noticed a new twist to being data driven; marketers not only want real data but they also want it completely connected. Gone are the days exporting data sources from numerous platforms just to create dashboards and charts in a separate spreadsheet. Marketers are demanding more by asking for an end-to-end ABM tech solution, one platform to provide connected data analysis. This allows marketers to have a reliable sense of what is happening at each stage of the funnel and how it affects company goals.

4. Data privacy & GDPR

Back in May, it felt a bit like the Y2K scare all over again. Everyone rapidly researching and putting together plans for GDPR and data privacy talks. But just like Y2K, the hype did not live up to the actual event itself. We saw marketers all over making sure they took the proper precautions and thoughtfully prepared for GDPR. In the end, while all the prep to ensure GDPR compliance was a lot of work, most marketing teams handled that well. However, with the extra attention on data privacy it has hampered the ability to reach target buyers. That’s why it’s so important to use ABM to focus on accounts—no PII harmed. To read more about data privacy and GDPR, click here to read our approach on it.

5. From Account-Based to Intent-Based Advertising

Advertising can be tricky even for the most seasoned B2B marketers. The problem is most advertising was created for B2C, meaning it’s hard control who ads are being delivered to and if ads are moving the needle. Luckily, Account-Based Advertising was created and able to deliver ads directly to target accounts. And when combined with website engagement information, this allowed marketers to effectively see how ads were engaging target accounts.

But it’s not enough to just target an account, marketers want to be able to see buying signals from contacts within their target account list. This is where intent based advertising comes in. Being able to identify contacts who are doing research in target accounts allows marketers to not only advertise to the right accounts but also the buying committees within those accounts! Want to read more about trends in B2B advertising, check out this blog post for some great insights.

As you dive into 2019 planning, are there specific trends you and your team are focusing on? Want a boost of inspiration for FY19 planning? Join us for the 7 key considerations for your 2019 ABM strategy webinar on 10/24.