I have been blogging on my employers’ platforms since 2005. I’ve always wanted to do a predictions list, but was more focused on planning than forecasting. I find these lists informing and mildly entertaining because there are usually some egregious misses. We like to talk about the art of the possible here at DemandGen, so here’s my attempt at peering into the crystal ball!
- Customer Data Platforms become the next “must-have” platform
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) help companies connect the dots between their sales, marketing, and product data, and they’ve been steadily picking up steam. In fact, the Customer Data Platform Institute launched earlier this year. By quickly mining all the intelligence you have in your organization, in a way that’s easily digestible, you can make better forecasting decisions.
I have seen some fascinating demonstrations of what marketing organizations can do when they harness data from each of their systems in a meaningful way. As a result of implementing a CDP, we’ve seen companies gain valuable customer insights and enhance their lead nurturing and scoring programs. This may happen later in 2018 as marketers continue to get a handle on all their data.
- ABM becomes a standard function in Marketing
Once marketers improve their targeting capabilities, they can take advantage of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) programs that precision-target accounts with high-impact, multi-touch campaigns. For a quick intro to ABM, take a look at this blog post. To dive deeper into what ABM is and how to get started, check out our “Getting Started with Account-Based Marketing” webinar series.
Some of our clients have already expanded their programs to include multi-channel nurture touchpoints such as video, direct mail, and advertising. In fact, ABM managers are already becoming more common within marketing. Learn more about this trend on The Rise of the ABM Manager podcast on DemandGen Radio.
- Content blows up the internet
It’s time to move away from buying lists and sending batch-and-blast campaigns. Unless you deliver highly targeted, intent-based content, the right people aren’t going to see it. Personalized content has proven time and again that it drives more conversions, but if you don’t make the conversion process seamless, your prospects will give up before they’ve even begun.
Solutions such as Uberflip, which we use here at DemandGen on our website, help organizations develop a personalized, easy-to-digest content experience. Uberflip helps marketers make content more engaging, and provides preference and opt-in capabilities so you can be sure your prospects are getting exactly the information they’re interested in. In this episode of DemandGen Radio, COO and co-founder Randy Frisch shares how Uberflip reimagined what the content experience should be like.
- Marketing automation continues to grow (yes, even more vendors are jumping on board)
Marketing automation software is the decision management tool for the approximately 5,000 marketing-related technology tools out there (up 39% from 2016!). Our clients continue to ask for more from their MA platforms, which they can get from a variety of add-ons and plug-ins. Take a look at this year’s Martech 5000 to check out the wide range of players.
All of these great content tools, data tools, and program and campaign tools have to plug into something. So, whether you’re interested in enhancing the capabilities of your MA system, your CRM, or your Customer Data Platform, it’s all about creating a unified ecosystem whose value is greater than the sum of its parts.
- Digital and demand generation experts are moving into marketing and executive leadership
As a digital marketing, lead gen, and MarTech consultant myself, this has been a pleasing development. In the last two years, I have seen multiple peers and clients with digital marketing and demand gen backgrounds step into CMO and executive lead roles within marketing organizations.
One supercharged example is Dayna Rothman, who catapulted from content marketer at Marketo to VP of marketing and sales development at BrightFunnel in just four, content-filled years.
2018 is just around the corner
Everyone is deep in 2018 planning mode right now (or should be ?). As you consider your future investments in data, technology, and people, let us know if we can help you on your marketing technology journey with our MarTech Deployment & Integration or Consulting services.
Will Waugh is a consultant for DemandGen focused on helping clients with demand generation, lead management and leveraging marketing technology. He genuinely believes that data can change the world. Follow him on on Twitter. Other articles by Will Waugh: Consuming Too Much MarTech? 3 Steps to a Successful Stack