The marketing industry is at a pivotal turning point and on the precipice of massive growth as technology continues to improve in its ability to extrapolate meaningful customer data.
With more organizations recognizing the value behind a well-executed marketing strategy, experts predict the industry will take another leap forward through increased adoption of data-driven strategies.
But with a new year, often comes overzealous expectations. There are a lot of predictions floating around the marketing circuit, and with that, there are three that are notably not quite ready to come to fruition this year.
Let’s take a look at what those are and uncover the realistic goals marketers should be focusing their time on instead:
What People Predict: Tighter marketing budgets and a possible recession mean marketers will struggle with lead generation as they try to deliver better results with fewer dollars.
What’s Realistic: Budgets are tight, but marketers can still deliver. 2020 is a great year to reevaluate practices and priorities. With a shortage of funding, quality over quantity should be a main focus, as many marketing teams won’t be able to cast content to such a wide net.
Organizational alignment this year is key. Marketing and sales teams will need to stay in sync throughout the funnel if they wish to use their budgets wisely to target the right prospects. This alignment can seem daunting to organizations at first, and is often a common barrier to progress with their marketing initiatives.
Rest assured that the alignment is beneficial to both sides. By identifying the proper targets, marketing teams can focus more of their time on producing high-quality, personalized content for target prospects. Sales teams, in turn, can execute more informed, data-driven conversations, to accelerate the customer journey.
Increased deal velocity is the goal for 2020. And if we all want to put our money where our mouth is, and do what we preach, let’s align once and for all — and in the process, increase those closed-won conversions.
What People Predict: The pace of technology change along with the fact that B2B buyers are experiencing information overload, is making it near impossible for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
What’s Realistic: Speaking frankly, anyone can say that most industries are reaching oversaturation and that it is becoming difficult to stand out from the competition. This isn’t news. What is news is the idea that marketers should focus more on how they sell and less on what they sell in 2020.
There is plenty of room for innovation and differentiation amongst competitors and data plays a critical role in this aspect of the business. The right customer data is invaluable to marketers who can utilize the insights gained from it to determine who their most relevant prospects are and if their messaging is increasing engagement.
As customer needs continue to shift and technologies like AI improve and become more prevalent (more on this in a moment), marketers will have plenty of tools at their disposal to help differentiate themselves from their competitors.
What People Predict: AI took the marketing world by storm a few years ago, and in the year ahead, many marketers expect the technology to make another major leap forward in adoption and utilization.
What’s Realistic: Artificial intelligence (AI) was once again one of the top marketing buzzwords in 2019, but the industry has not yet reached peak adoption. 2020 marks the year that marketers need to stop hiding behind advanced data analytics and branding them as “AI” and instead focus on the real thing.
True AI is already being utilized in many aspects of marketing, and this adoption will continue to increase over the coming year. Millions of consumers have already seen AI in chatbots on many websites, and many companies are starting to use more predictive analytics to help them make tough decisions.
We’ll start to see AI being more active in marketing: making product recommendations, facilitating content creation, personalizing emails, assisting with e-commerce transactions, and more. This will lead to lower staffing costs and accelerated growth for organizations that are nimble enough to take advantage of these opportunities.
This is the start of a new decade, a fresh slate. Marketers, let’s make the most of it. We understand marketing hype — it’s our business!
Let’s all take a breath, take a step back from the excitement, and make sure we’re prioritizing the right goals to drive true success – for both our businesses and our customers — in the year ahead.
Tom O’Regan is Chief Executive Officer at Madison Logic, the global leader in account based marketing. In this role, O’Regan leads all company initiatives with an emphasis on positioning Madison Logic as the only truly global account-based marketing solution that empowers B2B marketers to convert their best accounts faster.
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