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Planning Ahead: 4 B2B Trends To Master For 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, you’re probably already having conversations with your team about how you are going to revamp your marketing and sales initiatives to surpass goals, meet quotas and drive pipeline in the new year.

In preparation for our upcoming Strategy & Planning Series, a week-long event that will cover the tactics and strategies necessary to better your marketing and sales initiatives in 2017, here are four of the big B2B trends that you will need to pay attention to in 2017. Check out the list below.

1. ABM Rollout & Success Priorities

The surge in account-based marketing (ABM) has not gone unnoticed; our research shows that close to half (47%) of B2B companies have an ABM strategy in place, while 32% plan to launch one within the next 18 months. It picked up so much steam that we dedicated a new digital magazine to spotlighting successful ABM practitioners.

Your entire organization — from marketing to sales and the C-suite — must be aligned to maximize the overall success of ABM. So much so that EverString will focus primarily on the topic during their session next week. Beyond that, your entire organization must agree on target accounts and formulate a rollout strategy. Madison Logic will discuss the strategy B2B organizations can take to build an ABM program that is right for them.

2. Advances In Measurement & Reporting

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The only way you can implement new strategies and campaigns is by effectively measuring the effectiveness of those campaigns. A variety of solution vendors in the space understand this, and have tailored their offerings to provide reporting capabilities that deliver deeper insight.

However, many marketers continue to struggle with the inundation of data, which can hamstring many marketing managers when they go to their senior reps to request budgets or suggest new ways to market. Identifying the metrics that matter in order to effectively analyze your marketing campaigns is crucial. Multiple sessions, including those hosted by Demandbase and Full Circle Insights, will help spotlight metrics that can prove marketing effectiveness and impact on bottom line.

Being able to relay this data and insight to your managers is just as crucial as effectively measuring success. Domo will be covering how closed-loop marketing and data visualization can help tell that story and prove the worth of your marketing campaigns.

3. Expansions In AI & Predictive

Further advancements in analytics technology have unveiled the future of B2B measurement and reporting: artificial intelligence (AI). Announcements from vendors such as Salesforce and Oracle highlight that the marketplace is looking to offer more recommendation-based analytics to further enhance marketing initiatives.

This isn’t a revolution, however. AI is designed to be an evolution of your current analytical capabilities. In a session hosted by Radius, attendees will gain use case examples of how predictive analytics is the natural progression to AI. These predictive and AI capabilities will only enhance ABM initiatives as they continue to grow and develop. Lattice Engines will be spotlighting how Hootsuite is leveraging predictive to boost content engagement and account targeting.

4. Enhanced Content Mapping, Targeting

It’s interesting to see how much these trends play off one another. Enhancing content engagement isn’t possible without analyzing the right data and having a clear understanding of your target audience. Leveraging this insight positions marketers to create top-quality content that accelerates sales funnels and increases opportunities.

Engagement data from past marketing campaigns is a strong starting point. Companies such as ON24 and Content4Demand will be analyzing the best ways to measure buyer behavior and leverage it in future content creation — as well as repurposing existing assets. This engagement also helps map out buyer journeys. MX Group is hosting a session that will provide practical steps to map out these journeys and get strategic marketing assets in place.

Want to learn more targeted approaches to demand generation in 2017? Join us next week for one (or all) of the  twelve webinar sessions taking place during our 2016 Strategy & Planning Series! Check out the agenda to see what we’ll be covering throughout the week.

Brian Anderson

An avid B2B journalist with a knack for all things trendy in the POS, mobile and social space.