Five predictions about data changes that will help you to predict the future for 2022

B2B marketers faced many difficult questions in 2021 regarding data. These included the loss of cookie data, postponed shift to a cookie-less environment, and an increase of ‘opt out’ legislations that have reduced the data available. How can you capitalize on the data available in this evolving landscape?

The tracking cookie is slowly falling apart, and marketers are left wondering what they will do next. How can we better understand our customers, future-proof our marketing strategy and tech stack?

The good news is that, despite all the uncertainty and change, 2022 will offer plenty of opportunities to B2B marketers for redefining their data use, driving better engagement and optimising campaign performance.

1. Cookies will be gone long before the official deprecation

Although the deprecation may have been delayed, they are already in motion: Firefox and Safari already block tracking cookies by default. Google has also announced that it will not roll out any alternative user-level advertising identifiers to replace third-party cookies. We are seeing cookies disappearing faster than we thought.

B2B marketers will abandon cookies in the months ahead and turn their attention to martech and advertising technology to offer a long-term solution that provides the same or better insights into prospects and customers. Unified IDs is one such solution.

2. B2B marketers will be more focused on unified IDs

Unified IDs allow the marketing industry to flourish in a cookie-less environment by creating a unique ID that can be tracked across all digital ecosystems. Unified IDs are a personal, stable, interoperable, and exchangeable identifier that each user has, taking into consideration their many touchpoints.

We are already seeing B2B marketers who take advantage of the many advantages Unified IDs offer over cookies. They have a longer shelf-life than cookies which makes it easier to create audiences, attribute behaviour trends, and measure activation outcomes over the course of time. Additionally, Unified IDs function in an omnichannel fashion. This definition means that I expect to see more data sources than we are used to. For example, SmartTVs and wearable tech will be added to the mix. Finally, I believe that Universal IDs will be used more often by marketers to provide a better picture of intent and make data more reliable.

3. ABM will be the industry standard

With 70% reporting that they use ABM systems, compared to just 15% in 2020, this indicates that there has been a substantial uptake in ABM. These numbers will likely rise over the next twelve months, I believe.

B2B marketers are increasingly recognising and embracing the benefits of personalisation and targeting their campaigns. Now that we have the technology and the data, it is only a matter time before we achieve 100% ABM in B2B.

ABM allows for a more personal marketing approach. It encourages sales and marketing teams to work together, which in turn reduces the sales cycle. ABM is more precise and quantifiable than traditional methods, which results in a clear ROI and greater efficiency for sales and marketing teams.

ABM is also more appealing to marketers because marketing expenditure as a percentage is at its lowest level in over a decade. Marketers want to do more with less. ABM is a great way to do this. ABM’s targeted and efficient outreach reduces wastage compared to traditional mass advertising or less targeted digital strategies.

4. Data from B2B will shift to a less-is-more approach

From both a marketing and sales perspective, it has been a long-held belief that more data is better. This was especially true during the pandemic. Many businesses tried to offset telephone and in-person sales by using digital content and channels. However, they didn’t really understand the digital buying journey or the buying stage of modern B2B buyers. We’ve noticed that buyers feel overwhelmed by irrelevant and unrelated messaging.

As B2B demand generation professionals become more aware of this, I expect to see a shift in attitudes in 2022. Marketers will look to reduce their data use to get the most relevant, useful, and accurate insights. Marketers can focus on gaining a clear understanding of buyers’ intentions and where they are at the stage of their buying journey by cutting through the noise that has made data so distracting in recent years. This is what B2B marketers will be able to see over the next 12 month.

5. Data integration will give you a better view of your customer

In line with having a simplified set of data points, I expect marketers to eliminate data silos and combine all their insights into a single platform. This will enable them to create a clearer and better picture of their audience.

In particular, I anticipate more integration between data sources such as intent data and first-party data. This will then be combined with more detailed insights like firmographic and technographic information. B2B marketers can now get a complete view of their customer.

B2B marketers who are open to these changes in the data landscape and adapt their strategies, activations and strategies accordingly will be undoubtedly on top next year.


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