Chicago—B-to-b marketers will increasingly focus on personalization and micro-targeting in 2014 and embrace cloud-based business intelligence in support of sales. That was one message delivered at the Direct Marketing Association's annual conference and expo here this week.
“Marketers need to listen online, target better and apply what can be learned by data mining and predictive analytics,” said marketing consultant Pamela Evans, at DMA's B2B Symposium session track “B2B Trends for 2014.” “The social ecosystem reveals some essential insights that can be used to increase ROI.”
Other major trends that b-to-b marketers will be embracing include a greater commitment to story-telling as part of their content marketing efforts; the integration of social media marketing and e-mail, Web and mobile; and greater sales and marketing collaboration, Evans said.
BtoB, a sponsor of DMA's B2B Symposium, presented original research indicating that 58% of marketers consider the use of social media marketing a major factor in their success. Based on an online poll conducted in February that drew 432 b-to-b marketers, the study—”Social Media Marketing: Best-in-Class Marketers Rise to the Top”—suggested that social primarily is supporting branding, website traffic building and SEO.
But simply pushing content through social media isn't enough; marketers must also consider how those efforts impact overall business KPIs, said session panelist Jerry Nichols, senior director-worldwide performance management at SAP.
“It's not about the data,” Nichols said. “It's about how you deliver value to your organization and how you are leveraging Big Data to deliver strategies and tactics.”
In a separate DMA session, “The Top Social Media Fails and How to Avoid Them,” Robin Carey, CEO of Social Media Today, said marketers cannot separate social media from customer service.
“Don't think of just your goals, but think about what is the purpose of the people you are trying to reach,” Carey said.