The Week in B2B: New Growth, Old Struggles and Many Lessons Learned

the-week-in-b2b-lgNot a week goes by when marketing automation doesn’t factor heavily in B2B news. This week, a report titled Global Marketing Automation Software Market predicts that MAS will grown to a 1.9 billion dollar industry in the next six years. DMNews explains why we can expect a 300% growth in this industry and why MAS is so essential for effective marketing. Although currently marketing automation is most prevalent in the tech sector, other industries are recognizing how it can enable the targeting and personalization that accelerates the customer buying cycle.

Still, many marketers feel feel they lack the digital tools they need to succeed. A new report from Adobe and Econsultancy suggests that marketers are struggling to keep up with digital trends and technologies. MarketingPilgrims speculates that the problem is partially the limited skillsets of old-school marketers, but most of the hesitation is due to fear and uncertainty. Furthermore, many marketers said that in addition to insufficient technology, they didn’t have the ability to provide good creative and do brand storytelling.

Even when marketers successfully implement technology, they still have far to go when it comes to measuring results. A new survey from Duke University notes that while marketers are planning to boost spending on new tactics such as social media, they’ll need to invest an equal amount – if not more – in the B2B analytics solutions that will enable them to measure those programs. FierceCMO reports that analytics will be a key focus for marketers in 2014 as marketers significantly increase their spend. In fact, 72% of marketers plan for increased analytics budgets this year.

Of course, there’s quite a wide range of data that marketers need to capture and analyze in order to make better decisions and optimize campaigns. (They don’t call it “big data” for nothing.) When it comes to advertising, marketers must look beyond the usual metrics to create the campaigns of the future. ClickZ describes how getting a holistic view of customer intent and behavior can help brands optimize ad campaigns.

Customer intent was also highlighted on Adotas lists of 4 Important Lessons Marketers Learned in 2013. As the article says, “data is the new currency” and many of the lessons we learned in the past year support that statement. Whether it’s merging and leveraging all data sets – even small data like CRM – or learning how to glean actionable insights, marketers have their work ahead of them in 2014 as they put the lessons of the last year into practice.