2014 was an exciting year to be a marketer. The ever-increasing volume and availability of data gave way to substantial changes in the way B2B marketers analyze and optimize their marketing activity. Marketing leaders embraced the data at their fingertips, using it to understand what’s working, prove ROI, and get a grip on marketing-generated revenue.
We’ve tracked the pivotal advancements over the past year, adding our own commentary and tips along the way. To help you get a jumpstart on the coming year, we’re pleased to recap of the top B2B marketing trends (and related reading) from 2015. For a great starting point, check out the six strategic themes that B2B CMOs must address in 2015, and use the following guide for more comprehensive coverage of the leading trends in data-driven marketing. In 2015…
Marketers embraced a data-driven culture.
In 2014, marketers truly embraced big data, implementing new roles (Marketing Operations) and processes to help make smarter, data-backed decisions. Suggested reading:
- The Analytic Organization: 4 Steps to A Data-Driven Marketing Culture
- The Rise of Marketing Operations
This culture shift was largely supported by new technologies.
2014 saw the introduction of many new marketing analytics tools and the rise of the “marketing cloud.” Still, we quickly realized that not all marketing analytics and BI tools are created equal. Suggested reading:
- Rise of The Analytics Cloud: Salesforce Wave, BrightFunnel, and More
- Why BI is BS for Data-Driven CMOs: 3 Reasons B2B Marketing Needs Its Own Analytics
Multi-touch attribution became a reality.
Supported by new technology, many marketers stopped relying on single-touch attribution—crediting a deal to only first or last touch—and adopted more thorough models, able to assign appropriate credit to every touch leading up to a sale. Suggested reading.
- What Is Multi-Channel Attribution?
- The B2B Marketing Burger: A Recipe For Multi-Touch Attribution Success
Proper attribution gave marketers complete visibility into their buyers’ journey and revenue waterfall.
Technology and attribution helped marketers track progress along the entire B2B buyers’ journey to prove marketing ROI, plan more intelligently, and tie marketing activity directly to revenue. Suggested reading:
- Mapping Budget To The B2B Buyers’ Journey: 5 Tips To Help Marketers Plan for 2015
- Infographic: The Predictive Analytics Cloud for B2B Marketers
- BrightFunnel Provides Total Visibility to Marketing’s Impact on Sales at ServiceMax
Marketing got predictive—allowing marketers to more intelligently plan, forecast, and take control of marketing.
With visibility into activity across the revenue waterfall, marketers can now accurately predict the future revenue outcomes of their activity. In doing so, CMOs can forecast exactly how much marketing-generated revenue will be generated in the coming quarter (or year), building respect and accountability throughout the entire organization. Suggested reading:
- Marketing Forecasting: The B2B Marketer’s New Responsibility
- The Importance of “Why:” How Predictive Revenue Insights Help Boards Gain Visibility and Control
- The Psychic CMO: Why B2B Needs Predictive Marketing
As B2B marketers ourselves, at BrightFunnel, we’re excited about the massive adoption of data-driven marketing tactics and have built our own predictive analytics platform exclusively with B2B marketers in mind. We hope that the above resources will both inform and inspire your plans for the coming year.
We invite you to reach out, should you have any questions about how you should be thinking about data-driven marketing in 2015, or if you’d like to schedule a demo of our platform. Until then, Happy New Year from everyone at BrightFunnel. Wishing you a prosperous (and data-driven) 2015!