We surveyed our sponsors for TOPO Summit 2018 and asked them to identify three trends their companies are following in 2018. Based on those responses, we will be publishing a series of blog posts over the next several weeks, categorizing their thoughts into six themes: AI and Data, Everything Account-Based, Content and Experience, Sales and Marketing Alignment, Marketing and Sales Development Orchestration, and Sales Focused.
Loopio – Thoughtful Personalization
With multiple organizations vying for a prospect’s attention, personalization is becoming more important. We’re seeing this in creative outreach methods e.g. white-boarding and video, but also in responses to information requests, such as proposals. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t effective anymore. Targeting is becoming more important and the shift towards Account Based Marketing and Sales is helping to focus outreach to target accounts and personalize in a more scalable way.
Radius – Direct Mail
There is a belief that direct mail is dead however we think it couldn’t be more alive. In a digital world, direct mail is a breath of fresh air. It is highly personalized, highly targeted and easily measurable.
LinkedIn – The Blockbuster Approach to Content Marketing
Content marketers have two key hurdles: Producing quality content and producing enough of it. The Blockbuster approach helps content marketers get over both hurdles. It’s possible to produce quality content with frequency. With the Blockbuster approach, marketers borrow the Hollywood model of building sequels from powerful brands such as Star Wars or Toy Story. B2B marketers can mimic this approach by creating Blockbuster or Big Rock content on a regular basis. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report is an annual hit for Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Similarly, LinkedIn has seen success with our regular Sophisticated Marketer’s guides. The fact that marketers can “turkey slice” this quality content into blog posts, Tweets, LinkedIn articles goes a long way to solving the content quantity/frequency issue.
SalesLoft – Video becomes an integral part of the rise of multichannel prospecting.
Email is a quick, easy way to “touch” prospects without the threat of rejection. But 130 billion B2B emails are sent daily– which renders the channel less effective, with nearly 80 percent of sales emails not even opened, let alone read. A multi-channel touch is important! In our experience, incorporating personalized video can drive open and click rates three to four times the average message.
ON24 – Making human connections at scale
One trend we’re tracking, and that plays close to home for us, is forging a human connection at a digital scale. We’re of the philosophy that marketers can no longer simply push content out into the world and expect their audiences to digest on their own. Instead, marketers have to engage with and build a relationship with their readers, listeners or viewers with great material.
Fortunately, the digital tools available to us today make this relatively easy. Anyone, for example, can launch a podcast, which a great educational, influential and attention-grabbing medium. Webinars, which are my bread-and-butter, are another worthwhile format, especially when you can push additional content, measure engagement and hone in on your most interested audience members.
LeanData – Aligning brand to customer experience
Marketing and sales teams need to focus on getting back to the basics of branding and storytelling to engage with their customers. Customers want to work with brands they believe in; brands need innovative technologies that deliver customized content to customers. At LeanData, we’re committed to pushing the humanity of our brand and technology forward with content that’s relevant, relatable, and actionable.
ON24 – Interactivity
As marketers, we want to know if our audience is engaged and interested in our product. One of the best ways to measure that interest is through interactivity. So, we’re constantly looking for solutions that help create two-ways experiences. Video is a great example. Traditionally, it’s a one-way street where the broadcaster speaks to an audience. New technologies, however, are bringing more interactivity to the medium, letting broadcasters push polls, examine chat streams and a whole lot more. Any opportunity to bring the audience in and engage with them on a one-to-one level is, to us, something worth looking at.
LeanData – Improving relationships with customers, partners and employees
In 2017 and now 2018, platforms such as Gartner peer reviews, TrustRadius and G2 Crowd have enabled brands to connect deeply and build lifelong relationships with their customers and prospects through peer reviews and ratings. Account-based marketing, specifically with account targeting, have helped sales and marketing teams drive revenue, but also create better connections with customer prospects.
ProsperWorks – Design takes center stage in the 2018 enterprise world
Despite the plethora of innovative new solutions that have hit the market in the past year, one problem remains inherent in the majority of enterprise software: design. Clunky, hard-to-use tools are increasingly becoming a pain point, and in 2018, companies that fail to prioritize design will begin losing business to a younger cohort of startups that provide enterprise software with a consumer-like experience.
Mintigo – More precise and genuine customer journey with data
The beauty in predictive marketing is it enables companies to really understand their target customers and directs them towards those who have the highest likelihood to buy. It saves companies time and effort and gives them the opportunity to be more productive by focusing on high-quality leads and accounts. With this powerful technology, the next step is for companies to dig deeper, into a more individualized level, to explore avenues that truly synchronize with the customer journey, and to offer genuine value that resonates and sticks with the customers. In other words, predictive marketing is only going to intensify real connections between brands and customers.
Radius – Omnichannel
Because of their experiences in the B2C world, B2B Buyer expectations are transforming the way B2B sellers deliver products and services. Buyers expect product information and messaging to be consistent across every channel. When done right, omnichannel can be a powerful competitive advantage
Mintigo – Best-of-breed/vendor partnerships
Customer journeys are complex. Aside from individual customers having various levels of intent, expectation, and brand trust, they also use different platforms and approaches when interacting with a brand. While predictive marketing helps companies improve their engagement with customers, vendor partnerships are necessary to reach its full potential and to strategically navigate this multifaceted market landscape. Vendor partnerships mean creating mutually beneficial collaborations that empower all parties involved. It’s about orchestrating best-of-breed marketing stack that enables everyone to tap external resources, easily scale up and down based on changing needs, and gain new skills and access to long-term expertise at a lower cost.