You know that saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same?” That’s how I think about marketing in 2022. Marketing is continually in a state of trying to figure things out: better data, better audience understanding, better content, better tools, better tactics. Better everything. And nothing easily translates from one company to the next; marketing is constantly learning and adapting. That’s not going to change in 2023 – but my hope is that we’ll start to lay the groundwork for helping marketers figure out how to figure things out, not just tell them what to do.
Since legacy SaaS can only identify up to 5% of visitors to a brand’s website at any given moment, CMOs say first-party data is having the least positive impact on revenue. Brands must find a way to unlock first party data as a new performance channel to make up for the loss of third-party cookies.
Why? How many times can we have this conversation that we need to get our data in order to build the right marketing and sales programs? Getting a handle on first-party data was a significant to-do in 2022, and I would bet we are heading into 2023 with many companies still trying to make it happen. It’s about data/tech silos, but there’s more to this story because first-party data, while critical, isn’t the only data you need. I’m looking forward to diving deep into this data in 2023.
[Ty]Heath said marketers are always asking, ‘what is everyone else doing?’ And it’s true marketers pay attention to what’s happening in their industry and how the competition is marketing. And then they go out and do the same thing. Maybe it’s a little different, but if it works for one brand, it surely works for their brand, right? Why try to reinvent the marketing campaign?
Why? Heath shared some marketing trends that go against the typical marketing grain, and I loved it. Yes, there are tried and true tactics that marketers will stake their reputations on. But, oh, to be in the position to try something new, to stand out from the crowd, not because it’s a different tactic, but because it’s a different tactic that works! The pressure to achieve results fast is holding marketing back. Find a company to work for that gets that it’s a process and agility in marketing is key.
I think a key point here is we’re seeing those customers that double down on their investment in ABM, and by that, I specifically mean their investment in engaging target accounts. Not just at brand awareness and not just through pipeline. Those that are focusing their investments across the entire revenue flywheel, the full customer lifecycle, and trying to squeeze as much juice out of each of those stages as they can.
Why? Ah, ABM – who doesn’t love to talk a little Account-Based Marketing? And it seems like we did a lot of talking about it in 2022. Companies are figuring it out, but it’s evolving, too, and Natalie Cunningham from Terminus explained that well. The key point? Finding the right target accounts and doing more than acquisition strategies; marketing needs to think about ABM across the entire customer lifecycle.
With the increase in options comes frustration from marketers who feel overwhelmed and aren’t always sure how to select the best technology for their stack or how it all fits together. In another report, From Digital Transformation to Digital Evolution: Survival of the Quickest, 57% of marketers strongly or partially agreed that ‘The marketing technology landscape is very confusing and it’s hard to know how different products fit together.’
Why? When the Martech Landscape report came out in June, there were just shy of 10,000 solutions. Now, there are over 10,000. Marketers have only choices when selecting the technology that will help them run their programs. At some point, this growth has to stall, right? Will the economy and inflation have a big impact on what this list looks like next year? Time will tell. Until then, remember – tech is an enabler; it’s not the answer. And sometimes bigger isn’t always better, but other times, going niche is just asking for trouble.
My gaming contact and my client’s boss share the same philosophy: More content equates to more audiences, which equates to more value.
As Luke Skywalker once said, “Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.”
Why? More. More. More. How do you like it? How do you like it? (just singing an old song here that has nothing to do with content). Every company needs a good content strategy before they need more content. The problem is that some think you create an editorial calendar packed with content, and then you’re done. Just start publishing out to channels. It’s more complex than that, and marketers need to think more agile and be prepared to adjust as things change. More content makes us one of the crowd – but great content that serves the purpose of our audiences – whether a lot or a little – will set us apart.
Evangelist’ isn’t a job title; it’s a way of life. It means that evangelists must love what they evangelize. No matter how great the person, if they don’t love the cause, they cannot be a good evangelist for it
Why? I have talked with a few Chief Evangelists this year, and it is clear that this is not a “marketing” role. These people live and breathe the ideas that drive companies to build products and services. It’s a role brands need to be thinking about because it has the power to bring attention to them. But there’s a caution here as well. Evangelists can and do leave. And once they are gone – who’s advocating for your views and ideas?
This can also make your content hub look like it’s very productive, putting out omni-channel content with consistent frequency. But a mass creation mentality impacts quality.
Why? Good enough is why consumers need to sift through so much “stuff” online today. Quality content doesn’t have to be highly polished videos, podcasts, whitepapers, or infographics. Quality content isn’t about the presentation but the content itself. Marketers need to spend more time creating content their customers and audiences want and need, which requires taking the time to figure it out.
Metadata’s concept of a B2B operating system would automate a long list of “battle-tested” playbooks that can execute “millions of marketing tasks.” It would handle all those mundane, repetitive tasks that marketers perform daily. But the vision is actually more than that.
Why? So this piece is about a specific platform from Metadata.io they call the B2B operating system. But the concept itself is worth discussing, whether it comes from this company or another. Marketers must work through multiple systems and interfaces to get even simple things done, and it’s time that ends. Marketing automation was supposed to be the answer – it’s not. I think this is an area with great potential in the coming years.
Clearly she [Ann Handley] didn’t mean that marketing is mostly junk, but she was making clear what so many of marketers know – there are a lot of strategies and tactics in a marketer’s toolkit, and they keep coming. So much so that it’s hard to keep track of them all, impossible to use them all at the same time, and challenging to figure out which ones to use and when.
Why? If you are a marketer feeling burned out, I don’t blame you. We are inundated with tactics and technologies, and it’s not showing signs of slowing down. Keeping on top of new things, learning what works and what doesn’t for your company, and having to support multiple departments can be too much. Training is key to helping marketers get a handle on things and figure out the right path(s) forward. The brands that recognize this and make it happen will be more successful in keeping their marketing teams strong and effective.
We walked in when we wrote the book thinking, Oh, we know what go-to-market is. I built brand marketing at Pardot; I was at Salesforce, and we built Terminus. Clearly, we know what we’re doing from a go-to-market perspective. And I walked out a year later now, thinking, ‘Oh my God, there’s so much to learn in the world of go-to-market. There are so many nuances. There are so many different ways to do it. There are so many ways to think about it’. And so I become a student of go to market now more than a go-to-market expert in the marketplace.
Why? If ABM was the topic of 2022 (and it sure felt like it), then GTM (go-to-market) will be “the” topic of 2023. We’re already seeing the term used everywhere and not just in marketing. 2023 will be the year brands realize they may need more than one GTM approach, or they’ll realize they are doing it wrong and need to refocus. The key for marketing will be understanding the models, how marketing fits within them, and how that will change how they work today. The fun has only started.