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Important Trends in Marketing Analytics

Luckily for modern B2B marketers, technology offers better ways to measure what matters. Here are two big trends in marketing analytics.

Important Trends in Marketing Analytics

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Luckily for modern B2B marketers, technology offers better ways to measure what matters. Account Based Marketing platforms, which are AI-driven, enable better decision-making. AI models find patterns in the behaviors of known and anonymous buyers and compare it to previous behaviors that have yielded success.

With this rich data, they can target efforts on multiple people in accounts that meet  Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP) and who show intent based on how they’re actually engaging.

Understanding modern trends in B2B marketing analytics facilitates the cream rising to the top, so to speak, so marketing and sales can then focus their orchestrated outreach on accounts most likely to buy.

This should result in better conversion rates – not to mention expending less effort on people who may never become a buyer.

So what are some of those trends? Here are arguably some of the most important ones.

Predictive data

Austin Furey, Director of Marketing Services at Concept, says one of the fastest-growing trends in B2B marketing analytics is predictive data.

“In B2B marketing, you are usually trying to predict longer sales cycles and trying to understand how to nurture prospects and shorten that cycle,” Furey says.

“Predictive analytics is the business of using data, algorithms, and historical activity to predict when a consumer is most likely to make a decision and to intercept them accordingly.”

One of the most notable B2B data companies, ZoomInfo, has been aggressively pursuing this trend with its acquisitions of Chorus.ai and Insent in 2021.

“If you can quickly gain insight into your customer or prospect’s past, and model predictable behaviors, you can plan your marketing efforts to reduce churn and increase new business.”

Measuring what truly matters

In B2B marketing, there is seldom a 1 x 1 ratio between actions and results, like in the consumer world. According to Julie Preiss, CMO at Appgate, a current trend in B2B marketing analytics is to measure what matters most, not what’s easiest.

“That sounds obvious, but in practice, it’s hard. For example, if you’re advertising shoes on Instagram and someone clicks the ad, goes to the website and purchases the shoes, it’s easy to connect the dots. That is almost never the case in B2B where sales cycles tend to be complex, long and involve multiple people within an account.”

Related: How Technology Manufacturers Should Use Marketing Analytics

Traditionally, analytics were rooted in the notion of a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), which is a known individual who in theory becomes an ideal customer because they took some action(s) – like attending a webinar, filling out a form, reading an email, downloading a paper, etc.

But Preiss says there are three big issues with the MQL:

  • First, most B2B sales involve a buying committee, yet the MQL looks at an individual’s actions in isolation. By focusing on an individual without correlating the rest of the buying committee’s activity, you have an incomplete picture of what’s going on within the account.
  • Second, the MQL places arbitrary importance on some actions versus others. With traditional lead scoring, the marketer decides how much value an activity receives – whether it’s a true indicator of intent or not.
  • Third, buyers today do most of their discovery anonymously, consuming data on their own before ever contacting us. The MQL doesn’t account for anonymous activity so we’re ignoring people who might actually be in a buying cycle.

Personalization of engagement strategies

Incentive Solutions Chief Marketing Officer Nichole Gunn says the personalization of engagement strategies isn’t new or revolutionary.

“But knowing your target market, the buying groups within, and the demographics of each person within that group (recommend building groups for specific content) is important across marketing tactics, at each stage of buyers journey, through the waterfall,” Gunn says.

“Success will require personalization throughout the channel network. Marketing automation platforms that can personalize and bring content to life that is relevant to your specific audience will be a necessary tool as we head into 2022.”

A rise in incentive programs

A channel incentive program can help you connect to and build lasting loyalty with your customers while also giving you invaluable insight into your channel.

Gunn says if your distribution channel includes dealers, distributors, and/or contractors, you’ll benefit from encouraging specific behaviors per role.

“You could reward dealers for sales, for example, while rewarding contractors for collecting end-user data.

“I think an important topic should be centered around customers in multiple incentive programs. This is why keeping promotions fresh and evolving is necessary. You want your customers to buy your products, not the competitors. Keep giving them reasons and keep your incentive program new and worth it.”