B2B Marketing: 2016 Year in Review

December 23, 2016 James Thomas

B2B Marketing 2016 Year in ReviewPersonalized content and account-based marketing,
The marketing cloud and live-streaming,
Data-driven insights and a martech stack tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things

OK, trying to sum up an entire year of the latest marketing trends isn’t an easy task! But these were just a few of the top-of-mind topics and trends CMOs faced over the past 12 months.

As you look back at what worked (and what didn’t) this year to prepare for next year, here is a look at some of our favorite topics and takeaways from 2016.

Personalization Got Hyper-Focused

“A daily dose of information overload has made people more resistant to advertising. Today’s consumers can spot obvious sales pitches or marketing come-ons, and they’ll be turned off by anything they perceive as more clamor. Targeting consumers on an individual level allows marketers to cut through the torrent of stimuli. To capture a distracted customer’s attention, marketers must reach him or her with personalized, relevant content. It’s all about creating marketing tactics that home in on exactly what consumers are looking for or thinking about.” — Read more at Entrepreneur.

Account-Based Marketing Grew Up

“Account-based marketing has become the biggest trend in B2B marketing this year. The fact that it’s so laser-targeted makes it infinitely more efficient than any other form of digital marketing today. That efficiency frees up budget that would otherwise be wasted on out-of-market impressions and engagement. This efficiency is also forcing marketers to rethink measurement. The increased complexities across the marketing stack have resulted in an evolutionary need to identify new measurement models. We not only need better validation of our performance, but marketers need insights to drive alignment with sales and increase engagement and revenue from our target accounts.” —Read more at CMO.

Live Video Became Mainstream

“Live video emerged as a key player this year. In April, Facebook launched Facebook Live. In June, YouTube released a new capability for live streams to be captured and served directly through the company’s mobile app. These new services have made live streaming easier than ever, and marketers are using that simplified access to achieve a variety of positive outcomes.” —Read more at Business2Community.

Big Data Became More Practical

“Today, big data is still around and still influential, but people aren’t referring to it in such generic terms anymore; instead, they’re focusing on its applications. One of the most important pieces to the big data puzzle is being able to interpret and manage the data accurately, and draw meaningful conclusions from what you’ve gathered; and that’s where data visualization comes in. Thousands of companies have sprung up to aggregate, project, visualize, and interpret data on behalf of non-professional data analysts, and to make ‘big data’ more practical for the business world.” —Read more at Forbes.

Marketing Performance Still Matters

“It’s not enough to simply measure the impact of marketing after the fact with some complicated consulting project, dig into brilliant explanations, and deliver a post-mortem on a campaign. That’s like putting lipstick on the wrong end of the pig. Instead, what marketers need is the ability to make in-flight, revenue-driven course corrections in the middle of a campaign or sponsorship. If the analytics are presenting real-time visualizations of what people are doing — not just what they are saying or feeling — then they can be used to improve performance, not just rationalize it.” —Read more at MarTech Today.

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