- Nov 18, 2022
It’s always interesting – and a little bit uneasy – looking back at predictions we made for the coming year. So here’s our review and transparent take on how we did in our Jan. 7, 2022, blog on “4 Performance Marketing Trends for 2022.”
Prediction 1: Focusing on the “Small” in SMB – Analytics is for Everyone
We have to say we got this one right. Analytics such as data that comes from multi-touch attribution is becoming more readily available, and affordable, for any business, including what we consider to be small – companies that make less than $50 million annually.
This prediction focuses on the Small-to-Midsize Business (SMB) category, which also includes mid-sized companies, or those that make between $50 million and $1 billion in a year.
Honestly, affordable analytics solutions have been available to SMBs for some time, but marketers and owners of these businesses have taken notice that analytics are not only easily available, but they are a must-have if they want to improve marketing performance. It’s not just the “big brands” that can benefit from analytics.
And most analytics vendors can handle much of the reporting, or at a minimum train the right person at a business to take the data, realize the value insights, and put those insights into practice with adjustments to marketing campaigns and spend.
A quick perusal of the “performance marketing for small businesses topic,” and we find lots of comments like this:
- “It’s important for small businesses to identify which channels are most effective for them, because not all small businesses have unlimited budgets. For example, paid search campaigns and social media advertising might be an excellent fit for some industries, but less efficient in others. This is where having a good understanding of what works best in your industry comes into play. Focus on those areas that deliver results based on the previously cited business intelligence whether it’s organic search or email marketing.”
- “One of the best things about performance marketing is its scalability. It can and does allow solopreneurs and small business owners to participate, where mass media was never a viable option.”
This “analytics for SMBs” trend will continue into 2023 and beyond.
Prediction 2: Predictive Marketing – Get Humans Involved with the Data
We still believe the “A” in Artificial Intelligence marketing tools should really stand for “Augmented.” It takes a human looking back at data from past marketing efforts and using that data to inform future marketing campaigns.
According to HubSpot, “Predictive marketing involves leveraging data related to audience behavior, historical consumer research, purchasing history, website analytics, and other areas to forecast outcomes of marketing tactics.”
“The benefits of predictive marketing clearly drive sales and growth, but it can take businesses even further,” according to Salesforce. “Being able to accurately anticipate future trends can influence every arm of marketing. Having more granular and accurate tracking of increased data points allows marketers to easily anticipate trends across channels.”
One example of a successful campaign that used AI for predictive analytics: Mastercard used IBM Watson Advertising Accelerator to boost awareness about their partnership with ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ and their campaign to donate $4 million to fund cancer research. Mastercard’s marketing team used IBM’s AI-based platform to detect the most engaging creative elements for each target audience based on location, device type, and time of day.
Apart from an impressive 144% increase in the click-through rate, Mastercard’s marketing team learned valuable insights about creative generation overall. For example, unique and provoking CTAs like ‘Start Something Priceless’ resonated with customers the most, while generic CTAs like ‘Learn More’ were much less impactful.
That’s the kind of data multi-touch attribution can deliver.
We think we nailed this prediction, and see predictive analytics continuing to grow in popularity.
Prediction 3: The CMO-CIO/CISO Relationship – Partners in Safe, Effective Marketing
In today’s world, the demand from consumers for more data privacy is higher than ever – and will continue to increase as more states adopt laws and regulations. That’s why it’s imperative for the marketing and IT teams to be on the same page.
Marketing needs the data to increase performance; but IT should be involved in keeping that data secure. As we said in our prediction blog in January, “In the end, the business is operating more efficiently and effectively with a privacy-first mentality while still having an eye on improved performance and profitability.”
At LeadsRx, we take privacy very seriously, and have since our inception in 2015.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office posted this news item, “Consumer Data:
Increasing Use Poses Risks to Privacy” in September of this year. A notable excerpt:
“Companies collect personal and transactional data to create consumer scores, which businesses and other entities – such as hospitals and universities – use to predict how consumers will behave in the future. These are separate and distinct from credit scores, which serve a different purpose.”
While that paints a more dire picture than simply protecting marketing information that can be valuable not only to companies, but also create a customized and personalized experience for existing and potential customers, it points to the importance of marketing and IT being on the same page.
Safe and effective marketing will be a continuing trend; and should be to any marketing professional that wants to sleep better at night.
Prediction 4: Precision Analytics – Segment and Target
We have a firm belief at LeadsRx that the customer should be put at the center of everything a business does. Are they offering the consumer what he/she wants and/or needs? Are they effectively communicating their value proposition? How are they determining which touchpoints within their marketing campaigns are resonating either solely or, more likely, in tandem with other channels?
Data from multi-touch attribution and customer journey analytics, combined with other data, adds to that preciseness that is needed to effectively reach consumers – and do so in a way that is helpful, not creepy.
Here are a few recommendations for increasing the precision of marketing analytics:
- Be authentic. Enterprises should use data gathered from existing customers to determine what they like about their products or services; then do more of that, and improve it. Customers appreciate authenticity and transparency, and marketing based on “truths” from marketing data goes a long way to achieving that trust.
- Create a positive customer experience. Much like being authentic can increase trust, so too can providing a customer interaction that is helpful – from delivering what they want when they want it to, to suggesting ways they can save or garner more value, to simply telling them they matter and are appreciated.
- Stay on top of trends. See Prediction 2 above about predictive analytics. Another way to be helpful to consumers is to use data from all customers to identify trends and determine ways to improve products and services or find better ways of delivering that message.
Saying precision analytics is a trend kind of feels like cheating, but the idea here is to emphasize the importance of gathering as much data as possible, parse it out, analyze it, and gather insights from it to market better.
We’ll take a stab at marketing trends for 2023 in the coming weeks, but we feel confident our trends for 2022 were spot on.