Five predictions on data changes to future-proof your 2022
In 2021, B2B marketers were faced with many perplexing questions when it comes to data from the loss of cookie data followed by postponed move to a cookie-less world to an increase in ‘opt-out’ legislations which have reduced the amount of data available. In this changing landscape, how can you capitalise on data in 2022?
As the tracking cookie continues to crumble, the big question on marketers’ minds is ‘what will we do now?’. How are we supposed to understand our customers and future proof our tech stack and marketing strategy?
The good news is, despite all of the change and uncertainty, 2022 will provide plenty of opportunities for B2B marketers to re-define their use of data, driving better engagement with prospects and optimising their campaign performance.
1. Cookies will be long gone before the official deprecation
The deprecation of cookies may have been delayed, but they’re already on their way out: Firefox and Safari have already blocked tracking cookies by default, and Google itself has announced that it won’t roll out alternative user-level ad identifiers as a replacement for third-party cookies. Cookies are quickly becoming null and void long before we originally thought they would.
As such, B2B marketers will turn their backs on cookies over the coming months and will need to look towards martech and adtech to provide a longer-term solution that generates the same, if not better, insights into customers and prospects. One such solution is Unified IDs.
2. Unified IDs will become more of a focus for B2B marketers
By building a unique ID for users that can be tracked across the entire digital ecosystem, without the need for additional syncing, Unified IDs present an opportunity for the marketing industry to thrive in a cookie-less world. Unified IDs represent a personal, static, exchangeable and interoperable identifier for each user, taking into account their multiple touchpoints.
Already we’re seeing innovative B2B marketers exploiting the numerous advantages that Unified IDs have over cookies. Firstly, they have a longer shelf life than cookies, making it much easier to build audiences, attribute behaviour trends and measure activation outcomes over time. Plus, Unified IDs work in an omnichannel manner and, by this definition, I expect to see an expansion of data sources that go beyond what we’re used to, such as the inclusion of more modern channels like SmartTVs and wearable technology. Finally, I predict that the increased use of Universal IDs will translate into much more reliable and accurate data for the marketer, providing a wider picture of intent.
3. ABM will become industry standard
With 70% of marketers reporting that they now use an ABM system compared with just 15% from 2020, there’s already been a significant uptake of ABM. But I expect to see these figures increasing even more over the next 12 months.
More and more B2B marketers are recognising the benefits of a personalised and targeted approach in their campaigns. We now have the required technology and the accurate data - it’s only a matter of time until we reach 100% ABM within B2B.
ABM provides a much more personalised marketing approach, encourages both marketing and sales teams to align, and, as a result, shortens the sales cycle. ABM is so much more precise and measurable than traditional approaches, providing clearer ROI and more efficiency in marketing and sales teams.
ABM is also a more tempting solution for marketers as marketing expenditure, as a percentage of revenue, is at its lowest point in over a decade. Marketers are looking for solutions that do more with less. ABM does just that. Its efficient and targeted form of outreach results in less wastage than traditional mass advertising and less targeted digital strategies.
4. B2B data will switch to a less is more approach
It has long been thought, from both a sales and marketing perspective, that the more data, the better. This has been particularly true during the pandemic. Many businesses have tried to compensate for in-person and telephone sales through digital content and channels, not truly appreciating the buying stage or digital journey of the modern B2B buyer. As a result, we’ve seen that buyers are feeling inundated with messaging that lacks context and relevance.
So, as B2B demand generation teams become cognisant of this, I expect to see a much-needed shift in attitudes in 2022, with marketers looking to strip down their use of data to focus only on the most useful, relevant, and accurate insights. By cutting through the data noise which has become such a distraction over recent years, marketers can instead concentrate on getting a clear view of buyers’ intentions and their position in their buying journey. Nothing else really matters, and this is something greater numbers of B2B marketers will recognise over the next 12 months.
5. Data integration will provide a clearer view of the customer
Finally, in line with a streamlined set of data points, I also expect marketers to look to remove data silos and integrate all of their insights into one unified platform. This will allow them to generate a much clearer and more accurate picture of their audiences.
In particular, I expect to see more integration between different data sources, such as first-party and third-party intent data. This in turn will be layered with wider insights such as firmographic and technographic data. In doing so, B2B marketers will begin to get a full view of the customer.
B2B marketers who embrace these shifts in the data landscape, and adapt their strategies and campaign activations accordingly will undoubtedly come out on top next year.
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