By Sydney Sloan, CMO, Alfresco
“Account Based Everything” moves from Hype to Reality
For B2B high-tech marketing, 2017 is – hands-down – the year of account-based marketing and selling and, well, everything. Enough early adopters will have tested the variety of tools to have a set of best practices for others to follow. At the end of the day we all face the complexity of the B2B buying cycle combined with the need for personalized messaging – a challenge many marketing and sales teams are working hard to navigate. Coordinating thoughtful approaches to accounts who are showing interest is where teams need to spend their times – and hot vendors like 6Sense, Engagio, Marketo and Demand Base and many others are promising to help.
I’m hoping we will see more sophisticated ways in which compelling and relevant content will be activated within the process – where teams are able to leverage content assets in a personalized engagement. This all continues to follow the whole notion of personalization in content marketing, and telling more individually relevant stories. We’re at the point now that you can use intelligence about a specific account (business) to craft a message to a specific individual within the account. The days of mass email marketing are over.
New Data Privacy and Governance Regulations will Challenge Marketers
Because of the evolving data privacy landscape across different countries, especially in the realm of account prospecting, it is becoming increasingly difficult to automate direct outreach to potential prospects. Certain countries have begun to employ a double “opt-in” process, forcing marketers to shift their approach away from generic outbound marketing. Our team at Alfresco has stopped email marketing in Canada and Germany because of the strict marketing regulations there, and have had to seek other approaches. Additionally, despite the rise of big data and machine learning, increasing regulations may require marketers to need more human beings (not machines) to hit ‘send’ on certain promotional messages, and to conduct data cleansing.
Analytics that Cover both Offline and Online Experiences will be key to Long-term Success
Just as sales teams are held accountable to revenue numbers, a marketing team’s contribution to sales success is quantifiably measured by analytics. Marketers can expect greater sophistication in their analytics; however, data aggregation and predictive analytics for account sourcing still prove to be challenges. Machine learning is on the rise, and may make a day-to-day impact in marketing tools within the coming years. Organizations that figure out how to leverage analytics to understand customer acquisition at every level, and to target customers through both off-line and online experiences, will be the winners of the future.