Trends & Technologies We’re Thankful For
November 23, 2016
Tech marketers are an embracing bunch when it comes to new thinking and processes. In fact, as LinkedIn found earlier this year, tech marketers are early adopters, innovators, and voracious consumers of educational content when compared to their non-tech counterparts. So in this time of thankfulness, we thought it appropriate to reflect on a few of our favorite tech marketing trends and tools — those that inspire and enable us to do our jobs better everyday.
Customer-centricity and personalization
Brands went the extra mile to tailor and deepen connections with customers this year. This personalized approach, deemed by McKinsey as marketing’s holy grail, is the keystone of any great tech marketing practice — even LinkedIn’s B2B Beat reported how customer-centricity and generating ROI go hand in hand. In tech specifically, advances in virtual reality have opened a whole new arena for marketers to leverage the immersive nature of technology to create more engaging customer interactions. With experts predicting expenditures in excess of $12 billion on virtual and augmented reality ads by 2020, the time is now to start experimenting with the technology that is already being referred to as “an ultimate expression of brand experience.”
ABM at scale
Research continues to reveal exciting new insights into the tech purchase process. This year showed a growing enthusiasm for account-based marketing, and tech marketers everywhere are proving that a sophisticated ABM program can deliver big in terms of revenue, user feedback, and perceived value. From the proven success of ABM programs, we now know the bumpy relationship between marketing and sales’ will continue to unite and evolve as ABM aligns the two via focused, targeted marketing efforts.
Programmatic (2.0) advertising
With the media buying landscape rapidly changing, data-driven advertisers are re-examining how to buy display media with programmatic ads. Programmatic, particularly on LinkedIn, enables B2B marketers to shift the conversation and expand their advertising dollars into trusted DSPs and ATDs. It’s projected that over two-thirds of of digital display ad spend in the U.S. this year was programmatic, and that’s expected to continue rising as its efficiency and targeting capabilities continue to boom.
Tech marketers should certainly be thankful for the increased marketing measurement tools and capabilities that come with the arrival of Programmatic 2.0. And LinkedIn is already playing a big role in this new era, recently announcing the availability of programmatic buying of LinkedIn Display Ads.
Advanced targeting capabilities
A new wave of digital advertising and marketing solutions has made it easier than ever for tech marketers to hone in on ideal customers and deliver an effective message. Our audience has shown itself to be “very receptive to the right message, delivered in the right environment,” according to Edison Research. Comprehensive targeting options are also making it easier to reach exactly the audience you choose with a piece of sponsored content or a sponsored email. And providing your audience relevant content through targeting can directly lead to meaningful conversations and significant ROI.
Fashionable Workplace Flexibility
“Work” has continued to evolve from being a daily 9-to-5 destination to a function that can be executed anywhere, at any time and on any device. Millennials and others have begun placing stronger importance on workplace flexibility in the forms of equipment, social media, and their environment — oftentimes prioritizing flexibility over salary. The ability to work from home, a coffee shop, or airport using a device that’s familiar has had a positive effect on productivity and employee well-being. Tech companies that embrace this trend and figure out ways to optimize their enterprise for the modern workplace will rewards of increased productivity and being able to attract top tech talent.
Gaining New Understanding of the Tech Buyer’s Plight
Armed with the knowledge that a growing committee of diverse decision makers expect sellers to up the ante on insightful shares and sharp expertise, in 2016, tech marketers began to hone an ever-more-savvy approach to reaching the buying committee via content. Digging into this topic throughout the year, we found that trust was an integral part of the B2B purchase path — as consumers rely heavily-upon third party sites to learn about and review products and services. To create a lifetime of loyalty and trust, we recommend you spend time understanding key decision makers, researching potential influencers, and heavily investing in the post-sale experience.
This year has proved to be a great step forward in terms of both resources and understanding for tech marketers. With CES around the corner and new technologies and trends sure to shake up the marketplace in 2017, it’s crucial for us all to keep up with where the industry is headed.
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