Marketing is going through a technology revolution. Bold statement, right? For proof, just take a look at Marketo’s 2018 Predictions, and you’ll find a beefy technology section as well as numerous predictions that are fueled, if not dependent, on advancing technology. More than ever before, to evolve as marketers, we must embrace the technology innovations that will help us keep up with (and stay ahead of) ever-increasing customer expectations. We at Marketo see three key areas where technology will lead the way in 2018 and beyond: artificial intelligence built for marketers, account-based marketing, and personalization technologies.
In this blog, we’ll look at three technologies that will elevate the field of marketing, and I’ll share some ways you can begin using these today—including some of the newest features and enhancements from our most recent product release.
Artificial Intelligence Built for Marketers
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot topic. Everyone is talking about it, and there’s no shortage of AI-based technologies. But right now, some of these seem a little disconnected—like trying to apply the theory of relativity to marketing. E=mc2 is just not the right formula to drive marketing results! Damn it, Jim, I’m a marketer, not a theoretical mathematician!
As we progress into 2018, keep your eye on the AI space, and you’ll see that the winners are not just building nebulous AI products but purpose-building AI technologies that integrate into unified marketing platforms. With these, you’ll find very specific use cases and real-world benefits for marketers.
Look for a solution that uses AI-powered insights to create personal experiences and deliver relevant content at the right moment, on the right channel at scale. You should be able to add predictive content suggestions to your web pages and emails automatically. In our recent release, we enhanced Marketo’s ContentAI analytics to help you better understand how your content is performing for different audiences. Being able to see how your content is resonating with your known versus unknown leads and how it performs for audiences from different locations or in different industries will take AI from theory to reality. This intelligence not only fuels automated content suggestions in your campaigns but can also help you to focus your marketing efforts on creating and leveraging content that will answer your buyer’s questions and move the needle for your business.
Account-Based Marketing Technology
In Marketo’s 2018 Predictions, you’ll see that 2018 is expected to be the year of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Over the coming year, we’re predicting greater adoption of account-based marketing strategies and a higher focus on personalized experiences for the accounts that matter. With ABM, there’s no need to wait—it’s a proven strategy and the technology is here for you to use today.
Putting these available technologies into practice today, you’re able to coordinate engagement of accounts between sales and marketing through account-centric targeting, personalization, and measurement. This helps you to engage select companies and the leads within them to move them towards a goal—whether that’s an initial sale, cross-sell or upsell, contract renewal or even advocacy. To help you succeed, we’ve released innovations in the last several releases including enhanced lead to account matching, the introduction of the Account Insights desktop plugin which surfaces actionable ABM and account insights to sales teams, and in our most recent release, enhancements to ABM account discovery that enable teams to target whitespace accounts. These coupled with the blending of AI with ABM as discussed above with the ability to analyze how content is resonating across ABM account lists put the power of account-based marketing at your fingertips today.
Here’s another bold statement: in 2018, personalization across channels will no longer be an option but rather an expectation from customers. You can bet that your customers expect a consistent experience from your company that’s relevant to their specific interests as an individual—no matter where they are interacting with your brand. To accomplish this, you’ll need to reach your audiences at the right place at the right time with messages that resonate on a one-to-one basis.
There are several technologies available today to help. The first is web personalization. With all the effort we put into segmenting and personalizing emails to drive engagement, it’s a big miss for marketers not to personalize their webpages (which typically have more eyes on them every day than emails do). With personalization, you should be able to create web campaigns that display the most relevant messaging, content, and calls to action for each web visitor just as easily as you personalize your emails. In our most recent release, we’ve even added the ability to use tokens in your web campaigns so your pages can be personalized with a visitor’s name, company name, and more to help you deepen engagement and drive conversions—and to help you achieve that level of personalization across channels your audience expects.
Another way to personalize across channels comes from the merging of AdTech and MarTech which enables us to listen and respond across channels while also giving us new ways of understanding the whole customer lifecycle. For instance, with Linkedin Lead Gen forms, you now have the ability to customize forms, giving you the ability to better understand and optimize the customer journey. Essentially, you can now customize the questions to capture the unique lead details you really want. With this information, you can gain deeper insights into your audience for use in all your cross-channel campaigns.
Lastly, we should talk about personalizing emails. Email is definitely not dead. If you’re like me, I saw how alive it is when I opened up my inbox for the first time after the winter holidays. Most of the messages I received were personalized with at least my name and/or company name—but there’s so much more to personalization than saying ‘Hi Mike!’ That’s why our recent release included enhancements to make it even easier for email marketers that are using dynamic content in their emails to see how these emails will render for each segment. We’ve also added a top-requested feature that allows email marketers to specify the delivery of emails in the recipients’ time zone, making it more likely to be opened than if it were delivered at 3 AM (unless you’re marketing an insomnia remedy, that is).
These are just a few top-of-mind technologies and trends that I see enhancing the way we as marketers engage our audiences. What technologies do you foresee propelling the field of marketing forward in the future? What strategies and tactics will you be adopting this year? I’d love to hear about your plans. Tell me about them in the comments.