Over the past decade, the marketing landscape has undergone a phenomenal transformation. The transformation has been, in large part, fueled by new advancements in marketing technology (martech). As recorded by Scott Brinker, the number of marketing technologies has ballooned from approximately 150 in 2011 to nearly 7,000 in 2018. Marketing technologies have drastically altered the ways in which marketing professionals develop and deploy content. In order to keep pace with the ever-evolving marketing arena, marketing professionals must evolve their strategies.
1. Invest in predictive marketing intelligence tools.
Predictive marketing intelligence tools are one of the most exciting marketing technologies introduced in recent years. Predictive intelligence tools offer a lot of potential value in advancing lead generation capabilities. According to research by BrightTALK, the majority of marketers (80%) report their lead generation efforts are only “slightly” or “somewhat” effective. The underlying problem boils down to data access. 42% of B2B marketing professionals believe the biggest inhibiting factor to effective lead generation is a lack of quality data.
Predictive marketing intelligence tools enable marketers to find the “diamonds in the rough”–the prospects that exhibit the highest buying propensities. iDatalabs allows marketing professionals to uncover the few unique factors among thousands or millions that cause leads to be promising. By identifying the leads with the highest buying propensities, they are able to adopt narrowcast marketing and drastically marketing ROI. With coverage of more than 4 million companies, data deficits are not an issue.
Predictive intelligence tools also help inform content marketing strategies. According to Sparklane, up to 70% of marketing content goes unused. iDatalabs is able to recommend the right marketing material for each prospect and customer. This enables marketing professionals to facilitate 1-to-1 personalization at scale. By surfacing the specific content and messaging that will resonate most strongly with each customer, iDatalabs helps ensure that content does not go to waste.
It’s no surprise that predictive intelligence has been proven to drive key business objectives. According to a report from Salesforce, predictive intelligence generates a 40% influence in revenue after 36 months of implementation. What’s especially powerful about iDatalabs’ solution is the fact that its machine learning technologies and algorithms learn from each customer interaction and each new data point, ensuring that model recommendations continuously improve over time.
2. Assign attribution to each marketing initiative.
Marketing is no longer a “black art”. It has become a data-driven domain. According to research by Forbes, the majority of executives (64%) “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is key to success in a hyper-competitive global economy. iDatalabs empowers marketers adopt this data-driven approach. Its algorithms and models can analyze the types of content distributed to accounts, as well as the mode of delivery, using thousands of attributes. It can then determine which content has the highest likelihood of resonating with each target account and at which specific times.
In order to truly adopt a data-driven focus, marketers should also invest in a marketing attribution platform. Not all platforms, however, are equally effective. The top-performing marketers opt for platforms that allow for multi-touch attribution (MTA), as opposed to last-click attribution (LCA). Most marketing professionals today continue to rely on LCA–assigning 100% of the credit to a single action. Last-click attribution fails to give marketers a holistic view of the many different touchpoints that are inevitably involved in a conversion. MTA, on the other hand, accounts for today’s complex customer journey and affords marketers with a holistic understanding of the customer journey. As Clay Fisher, Senior Director of Digital Marketing and Product Development, DIRECTV, explains, “At the end of the day, every engagement matters — having a holistic view of all interactions and using that data to derive insights and make decisions is critical.”
3. Resist the temptation to build a “shiny” stack.
We’re all suckers for new technology. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the plethora of marketing technology solutions available. Research by Signal Research Group has found that marketing stacks comprise, on average, 17 different tools.
Investing in too many technologies not only wreaks havoc on your valuable marketing budget, it can also be detrimental to users. Oftentimes, tools don’t integrate well with each other and marketers don’t know how to use tools effectively. The result is a mess of confusion and chaos. Deloitte CMO Alicia Hatch explains, “The thing I’ve noticed the most when I talk to CMOs is that they have all the technology to make this happen…They’ve got a shiny stack as tall as the sky. They’ve got all this data at their fingertips. And yet, the organization doesn’t know how to use it effectively.”
It’s critical to take the time to “audit” your marketing technology stack and determine what’s really necessary and beneficial to your organization. Eliminate all the tools that aren’t moving the needle. When possible, opt for solutions that offer multiple different capabilities. iDatalabs, for example, is the only predictive intelligence vendor that offers data, modeling, and insights all in one centralized platform. Because users don’t need to piece together information from multiple vendors, they are able to maintain a lean marketing stack, reduce sales cycles, and more effectively drive sales.
Before adopting a new marketing solution, we recommend marketers perform a pilot with prospective vendors. We strongly recommend performing an A/B test as part of the pilot process to determine the relative performance of each new technology. Check out our Piloting a Predictive Analytics Vendor to learn more about how to effectively vet a new solution.
Today’s breed of marketing professionals is different from yesterday’s. We can’t afford to live in the past. The role of the marketer is ever-changing. Gone are the days of hunches and gut impulses. By keeping up with the trends and taking heed to the aforementioned tactics, you’ll ensure you have a leg up on competitors and, more importantly, build meaningful and strong relationships with prospects and customers.