Martech or ‘marketing technology’ is all about taking a strategic approach to marketing that positions technology as a core driver for growth. By underpinning every stage of today’s complex buyer journey with evolving technology, martech can make B2B campaigns more fluid, agile and profitable, and help marketers navigate their way across the sales cycle more intuitively. Here, we share three top martech trends you should know about in 2020:
1. Omnichannel: together is better
The B2B sales cycle is no longer linear – buyers today can join and leave the sales funnel at any point, and the stages at which they enter are no longer indicative of where they are on the buyers’ journey. As a consequence, marketers globally are recognising the importance of an omnichannel approach: creating a unified, coherent experience across every channel. It’s crucial to get right, but difficult to implement – so how can martech help?
Martech provides marketers with the opportunity to connect various channels and create a cohesive experience from the discovery to the purchase stage, for example, by installing a customer relationship management (CRM) software, like HubSpot or Salesforce. A good CRM system enables you to seamlessly connect all your channels together across phone, email, live chat and social media, keeping track of where every individual customer is on the buyers’ journey, and ensuring that prospects don’t get lost along the way.
2. Privacy: keeping information close
Data privacy has been a hot topic for years – we all remember the implementation of GDPR in 2018 – but the conversation really picked up again last year. A series of high-profile data breaches and leaks put a spotlight on the problems caused by digital marketing and marketing technology. Although the proliferation of customer data means that we, as marketers, can create more personalised, effective marketing campaigns, the average buyer is growing more and more concerned about what is happening to their personal information, and brands need to go above and beyond to ensure that what should be private, remains so.
Martech can offer a lot in the realm of data privacy. Tools like RightMessage, for example, put the power decisively in the hands of your customers as they browse your website, by asking them direct questions to segment and personalise their experience. By allowing potential customers to find what they want in their own way, trust can be earned more quickly. Confidence in your brand can also be built with tools such as Metomic, which puts control over tracking and storage access into your visitors’ hands, letting them select what they allow from your website. You may lose out on some data, but isn’t building trust with your audience worth it?
3. AR and VR: a better experience
In our experiential marketing issue, we explored the advantages of tangible, multisensory brand experiences, which allow businesses to create a bond with buyers that cannot be achieved through passive online content. Experiential marketing can be expensive, but AR and VR provide an exciting opportunity for brands to deliver personalised, memorable experiences without creating anything physical. In fact, in 2020, spending on AR/VR is expected to jump 79% to $18.8 billion worldwide.
Whether you’re helping buyers virtually try out and identify the correct products for quick and easy purchasing, or ensuring that experiences like trade shows or talks can be attended by a larger audience, AR and VR can transform B2B buyers’ realities, create meaningful stories, and bring them within touching distance of your brand. Martech tools like ZapWorks or Amazon Web Services’ Amazon Sumerian allow businesses to explore and create their own immersive AR and VR experiences. By shortening the B2B world’s long customer journeys with virtual meetings and instant product testing, and by differentiating your brand from the competition in an innovative, exciting way, AR and VR can undoubtedly be a game-changer.
Ready for the future?
As B2B marketers, we pride ourselves on turning technical knowledge and difficult-to-grasp concepts into engaging marketing campaigns. And, by using the very latest martech tools, we can ensure that our efforts reach every stage of today’s complicated buyer’s journey. The world of martech is constantly shifting and changing, with new tools and technologies being added to the mix every day, all with the goal of making our lives easier and providing greater ROI – so, which new martech tool are you going to try today?
Discover more about the possibilities of martech, and how you can optimise your own stack, in our February insight issue, available to download free here.