Four future marketing technology trends to watch (and be ready) for


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The rise of technology as an increasingly critical tool for modern B2B marketers has been well documented, even if some CMOs and marketing departments aren’t quite keeping up.

But technology, clearly, isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the gap in performance and results between those taking full advantage of technology and those falling behind is increasing.

The months and years ahead will feature more than just increasing adoption of foundational and “table stakes” technology platforms by marketers. The rules will change, opportunities will change, and in particular I believe the following four trends will become key differentiators and a source of significant competitive advantage for marketers who know they’re coming, are ready, and take advantage of their possibilities.

1. Privacy & permission gets stricter everywhere
The United States continues to be one of the more lax countries for outbound, push marketing. The CAN-SPAM act does not, in fact, prohibit unsolicited email. It simply puts strict guidelines on how they can be executed.

In Europe, if you don’t have explicit permission from the recipient prior to the send, you’re out of luck. And soon, those same rules will likely be in place in Canada as well.

The increase in information breadth and availability online is causing us to shrink our worlds, not expand them. Individuals, corporations and government will continue to make it more and more difficult for marketers to work outside the bounds of explicit, pre-meditated prospect permissions.

What does it mean for marketers? Inbound marketing, content marketing, and other means of earning customer interest and permission, at scale, will accelerate in importance. What today is a strong and growing channel (among many) for modern marketers will soon become one of their most prevalent, lucrative and cost-effective means of winning not only new customers, but prospects for their ongoing email marketing efforts.

2. Automatically identify new prospects from across the Web
Our CRM and marketing automation systems today are inherently flawed. All of them. Why? Because by definition they can only nurture prospects they already know about. They can only score activity for prospects already in their systems.

But clearly those same systems could easily be aware of the world, and potential prospects, all around them. Why couldn’t our CRM and marketing automation tools identify buying signals, early stage needs-based symptoms and other lead scoring opportunities from anywhere across the Web – social channels, company news feeds, etc. – and feed those directly into our systems for triage and follow-up?

In a world where technology is replacing media as the coin of the realm for marketers, this could be an enormous leap in productivity and performance.

3. More complete, accurate offline marketing tracking
Our ability to measure performance of offline media and marketing – and especially compare it to what we’re doing in online channels – has improved significantly in recent years. But truly combining those efforts together, understanding the weighted impact of different channels & campaigns, remains elusive.

Someday soon, technology will crack this nut for us. A company called FullCircle CRM has actually done it in the online world already. By improving the way campaign results are interpreted, FullCircle CRM can provide accurate, weighted ROI reports on sophisticated, cross-channel marketing campaigns and programs. But right now, that reporting is limited to what can already be tracked & measured in

But with that head start, it won’t be long before we’re able to expand the impact of that same ROI tracking opportunity.

4. Causality & attribution weighting across customer lifetime & campaigns
Similar to the last expected trend, but different and equally important. This isn’t just about weighting across in-the-moment campaigns. And it isn’t only about measuring what happens up until a prospect becomes a customer.

The nirvana for marketers will be the ability to track online and offline, across campaigns and channels, for the full lifetime of the customer. Cradle to grave.

Few marketers even attempt to do this manually and inaccurately today. I’ve seen models built with painstaking detail by modern marketers in an attempt to achieve lifetime, weighted attribution of efforts. But at best those are one-time, in-the-moment reports that don’t allow for the impact of time, don’t account for the maturation of campaign impact, and therefore by definition aren’t tools that can be used and counted on beyond a short window of time.

It’s no mistake or coincidence that the last two, and possibly most important, trends relate specifically to reporting. Despite our advances in recent years, we continue to throw money at programs we believe have impact. And we measure their ROI in isolation.

We know this is flawed, but we have no choice. At least for today.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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