Here at Squaredot we’ve been hard at work compiling the results of our 2018 Irish B2B Marketing Survey.
We quizzed marketing professionals on their challenges, priorities, budget and B2B marketing strategy – and then compared their responses against the global results, as per Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2017 report.
The purpose of this blog is to look at 3 intriguing insights that didn’t make the cut in the final report. (Special mention here to the respondent who simply wrote ‘na’ when asked if there was anything they’d like to read about around business marketing in 2018 - we appreciate your honesty!)
So, what marketing topics are ripe for exploration?
MARKETING AUTOMATION & SINGLE CUSTOMER VIEW
One trend we picked up on among our respondents was a shared interest in strategies for treating all the different strands of marketing as a single unit.
One respondent said they’d like to read ‘Innovative examples of B2B integrated campaigns – not just digital or about digital only, but B2B success stories’.
Another requested guidance on ‘Creating synergy between varying areas in one alignment’, and ‘Tools for marketing analytics that save time and effectively measure multiple channels on one interface.’
We believe what these respondents are describing is marketing automation. This correlates with our survey results which suggest that most Irish marketers are not using any marketing automation platform whatsoever (39%) - but they probably should be, judging from these concerns.
Irish marketers seem keen to move away from disparate digital marketing activities across siloed channels, and towards an omni-channel approach with the Single Customer View at its centre. Marketing automation is designed to help businesses prioritise and execute their marketing tasks in a more streamlined and efficient way.
HubSpot is the marketing automation software most used by Irish marketers. (38%) It uses 'workflows,' or a set of actions that automatically execute in the software based on a starting condition and rules set by the user and based on intelligence about customers or leads. By looking at your data across all your customers, you can predict which approach will likely work best for each person, based on their past behaviour and demographic data.
Of course, there are other marketing automation platforms - some Irish marketers are using Marketo, Pardot and others - and here at Squaredot, we’re interested in the capabilities and scope of all these. (Disclaimer: But we’ve thrown our hat in the ring with Hubspot.)
While some Irish Marketers said that they would be interested in reading about the GDPR in 2018, the fact of the matter is that preparations should already be underway. This raises the question - are Irish marketers adequately prepared?
The GDPR has been looming on the horizon for quite some time - and it will change how marketers handle and store data on their customers. While a marketing automation platform, such as Hubspot, can offer guidance as a data processor, ultimately the data handler (those companies gathering the data) are responsible for how it is stored and used.
The General Data Protection Regulation is must-master topic for any marketer handling data from an EU citizen. Many will no doubt be considering the threat of fines for companies that contravene the Regulation (set at €4 million or 20% of global turnover - whichever is biggest.)
A good starting point for getting a handle on the GDPR would be to read our article on How GDPR will affect B2B marketers. Once you’ve got a grip on the basics, can you can start to plan accordingly.
Some respondents were keen to learn more about artificial intelligence and virtual reality, proving that Irish marketers are attuned to trending developments in digital and across their industry. These are new buzzwords but, as yet, are largely unproven fields of opportunity for marketers.
One of the ways that artificial intelligence has been slated to impact marketing is by counteracting spam and providing opportunities for hyper-personalisation. We all receive too many messages across multiple channels that either aren’t meant for us or are painfully generic. Now, with AI, brands have the ability to scale personalised conversations to millions of buyers - but that all begins with building and managing the data B2B marketers hold about their customers.
Artificial Intelligence stands apart from simple automation, insofar as it can enable activities that wouldn’t be practicable for human marketers. For example, some AIs are capable of providing a level of real-time personalisation that a human agent couldn’t keep up with, even in face-to-face communications.
The results show that Irish marketers have an eye on the trends as well as practical ways of doing marketing in the short term. In our report, we delve deeper into the issues that affect Irish marketers and compare these to the global picture. We hope you’ll keep calling in at the SquareDot blog to find some clarity amongst all the change.
For much more data and insight, download the Irish Marketing Survey 2018.