Marketers faced the loss of cookie data, but this shift to a cookie-free world was postponed. Meanwhile, an increase in ‘opt-out’ legislation has led to a reduction in the amount of data available to drive B2B marketing strategies and fuel campaigns.
Jon Clarke, Founder and Chief Product Officer of Cyance, a leading provider of European intent data, has reviewed the current landscape and shares his thoughts on how the data landscape will change in 2022 and how B2B marketers can capitalize on.
As the tracking cookie continues to crumble, the big question on marketers’ minds is “what will we do now?” How are we supposed to understand our customers and prepare our technology package and marketing strategy for the future?
The good news is that despite all the change and uncertainty, 2022 will provide many opportunities for B2B marketers to redefine their use of data, driving better engagement with prospects and optimizing their campaign performance.
Cookies will be yesterday’s technology at the end of 2022
While the disapproval of cookies has been delayed, more and more people are choosing not to receive cookies. Firefox and Safari have already blocked tracking cookies by default, and Google itself has announced that it will not implement alternative ad identifiers at the user level as a replacement for third-party cookies. Make cookies a null and void entity, long before the deactivation deadline.
As such, B2B marketers will turn their backs on cookies in the coming months and will need to look to MarTech and AdTech to provide a longer-term solution that generates the same, if not better, customer and prospect information. One of those solutions is universal IDs.
B2B Marketers Will Realize The Potential Of Unified IDs
Unified IDs present an opportunity for the marketing industry to thrive in a cookie-free world by creating a unique ID for users that can be traced throughout the digital ecosystem, without the need for additional synchronization. Unified IDs represent a personal, static, interchangeable and interoperable identifier for each user, taking into account their multiple points of contact.
We are already seeing innovative B2B marketers taking advantage of the many advantages that Unified IDs have over cookies. First, they have a longer shelf life than cookies, which makes it much easier to build audiences, attribute behavioral trends, and measure activation results over time. Additionally, Unified IDs work omnichannel by definition, and I expect to see an expansion of data sources beyond the traditional and to include more modern channels like SmartTV and wearables. Finally, I predict that the increased use of Universal IDs will result in much more reliable and accurate data for the marketer, providing a broader picture of intent.
A radical shift towards account-based marketing (ABM)
2021 has already seen a significant shift towards account-based marketing (ABM), with 70% of marketers reporting that they use ABM, compared to 15% in 2020. But I expect this dynamic to accelerate even more during the next 12 months.
More and more B2B marketers are experiencing the benefits of a personalized and targeted approach to their campaigns. Now we have the necessary technology and accurate data; it is only a matter of time until we reach 100% ABM within B2B.
ABM provides a much more personalized approach to marketing, encourages marketing and sales teams to align, and shortens the sales cycle as a result. ABM is much more accurate and measurable than traditional approaches, providing a clearer ROI and more efficiency in sales and marketing teams.
ABM is also a more tempting solution for marketers, as marketing spend, as a percentage of revenue, is at its lowest point in more than a decade. Marketers look for solutions that do more with less. ABM does just that, its efficient and targeted way of outreach results in less waste than traditional mass advertising and less targeted digital strategies.
Quality over quantity in B2B data
For years, the sales and marketing industry has been of the opinion that when it comes to data, the more the merrier – quantity over quality! This has been particularly true during the pandemic, where many companies have tried to compensate for phone and in-person sales. Rather than choosing to reach through digital content and channels, without really appreciating the buying stage or digital journey of the modern B2B buyer. As a result, we’ve seen shoppers get inundated with messages that lack context and relevance.
So as B2B demand generation teams come to realize this, I expect to see a much-needed change in attitude in 2022, with marketers looking to reduce data usage to focus only on the most useful insights, relevant and accurate. By eliminating the data noise that has become distracting in recent years, marketers can focus on getting a clear view of shoppers’ intentions and their position on their buying journey. Nothing else really matters, and this is something that more B2B marketers will recognize over the next 12 months.
Marketers will integrate the data to get a complete view of the customer.
Finally, in line with an optimized set of data points, I also hope that marketers will seek to eliminate data silos and integrate all their insights into one unified platform. This will allow them to generate a much clearer and more accurate picture of their audiences.
In particular, I expect to see more integration between different data sources, such as third-party and third-party intent data. This, in turn, will overlap with broader insights such as firmographic and technographic data. By doing so, B2B marketers will start to get a complete view of the customer.
B2B marketers who embrace these changes in the data landscape, and tailor their strategies and campaign triggers accordingly, are sure to come out on top next year.