It wouldn’t be the start of a new year without the obligatory predictions post. Here we are to oblige!
Throwing caution to the wind, we’re getting really specific about three trends and movements we think we’ll see in 2018.
This comes from a rip roaring year in 2017 and decades of doing digital. Hold tight!
Move to ungated content
If you’re not fed up of reading about GDPR by now, then you soon will be. Luckily everyone’s talking about it, because so few seem to be actually doing something about it yet. Slightly worrying considering the proximity to D-Day, but hey ho! We haven’t even got cracking with ePrivacy regulations yet, as the dials of democracy turn slowly in Brussels during its final foray towards being law, but that will have an even-bigger-than-GDPR effect on how we as marketers go about getting our business done.
This is all going to get companies thinking twice about their use of web forms and the process of capturing a web visitor’s email address, which has been the name of the marketing automation game for a number of year now. Quite a change then.
So if companies will think twice, what of those pesky personas? You know, the ideal customers who are out there searching for answers to the problems they’re experiencing. We certainly see in our endeavours around the internet that the (mis)use of inbound marketing is so appalling in many instances, that individuals are undoubtedly getting very apprehensive about filling in their details to download a doc when they know they’ll have to tolerate 428408193932 phone calls from a ‘keen’ graduate sales rep who thinks they’re the next Wolf of Wall Street.
That my friends is what’s known as a double edged sword. We can foresee that as so much time and effort is poured into amazing content of value, it won’t sit sulking quietly behind an email gate. Companies will be willing to sacrifice worse than expected lead gen to realise some value from their content marketing investment. To what degree remains to be seen and we’ll obviously be keeping a keen eye on we can all watch with interest.
With a movement away from cold emails and cold calls owing to legislative changes and changes in customer attitudes, companies will seek out other ways to bother people into buying things.
We think the default position will be LinkedIn. Sure, Sales Navigator has been around for nearly 4 years now, but it’s always had to find its niche amongst other tactics. Now direct marketing is in the process of losing some of its appeal to marketers, being able to reach out directly to individual decision makers on LinkedIn will be the double down position for those in the know. Those doing it well will integrate it neatly into their account-based marketing strategy (account-based social if you like buzzwords). Those doing it wrong (likely to be most) will use it to send spammy InMails – probably copied from their standard outbound prospect email that they’ve been “tweaking” for twenty years.
Please, if you’re going to do it, think about connecting and sharing, giving value and providing a service to your connections first. This builds trust, then they may want to buy some stuff off you. It’s a medium term game folks.
ABM goes SMB
Account-based marketing made significant inroads in 2017. Enterprise organisations across B2B are flooding to ABM to use it as a great way to build a pipeline in a compliant way. Nearly 85% of marketers that are on top of their ROI say that money spent on ABM outperforms spend in other tactical areas, with 50% classing the the impact as ‘significant’. Unfortunately, for smaller businesses, the buy-in at the ABM players table has been much too high. When your whole marketing budget for the year is £100,000, you’re never going to spend £80,000 on an ABM campaign.
2018 will see the game change in this regard, with barriers to entry lowered for the thousands of SMB and midmarket organisations that all but sold on the potential of ABM to supercharge their biz dev efforts:
New technology like ABM for WP means that all B2B organisations can personalise their WordPress websites for individual companies.
Choozle will change the ABM landscape in terms of ads – as marketers with any ad budget can finally target their VIP prospects and customers in a way that works both tactically and financially.
We’re now seeing much more disruption and innovation in this space. Watch out for more interesting MarTech breaking through in the coming months.
What do you think?
I’m just one person with a group of people around me that I trust. What do you think? Let us know if you think we’re talking trash in the comments or on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.