Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2017: An Intent Monitoring Study [Infographic]
True Influence®’s newest look into Intent Signal® data shows us what is trending for B2B marketers heading into 2017. The study, utilizing our flagship Intent Monitoring platform, InsightBASE® gives us a valuable window into the near real-time actions of marketers versus trend predictions or surveys.
The data-as-a-service platform identifies when a monitored company’s interest in certain topics or keywords increases, decreases or remains unchanged by comparing online research signals to a baseline activity level.
True Influence has, in a sense, redefined and broadened the term ‘business intelligence’ by solving an age-old riddle that has plagued marketers for years. Specifically, how can I tell when my target customers and prospects are ready to buy at the moment the buyer’s journey begins?
Top Keyword Trends, Signals Monitored and The Number Of Domains Identified in The Study
The top 10 keywords and topics were ranked by signal count, with results placing “email marketing” and “online video marketing” showing the greatest increased interest by far – comprising 78% of the total Intent Signals. The chart below provides specific information derived from the study.
Email Marketing Still Reigns Supreme
Although not the most trendy in the marketing arsenal, the tried and true tactic of Email Marketing showed the greatest interest increase in the 30-day study into marketer’s online research activity. It’s interesting to note that two popular topics from 2016 – “account based marketing” (ABM) and “social marketing” – failed to even make the top 10 list. Although the ABM term did make the top 10 national list in True Influence’s August study, Fortune 500 Top Tactics and Tools
It is interesting to ponder why marketers are more interested in email and related topics than trendier topics? In other words, why would interest be increasing in what is such a well-established marketing activity?
One explanation may be that predicting consumer and buyer behavior must be spot-on in regards to reaching the right audience at the right channel with the right message. Combine that with the fact that in today’s economy, most marketers are subjugated to a fixed budget and aren’t free to experiment with their marketing mix. It has never been more essential to nail the right combination of tactics that delivers the most dependable and tangible ROI.
Video Marketing is Also Hot Coming in at a Sizzling Close Second
It should come as no surprise that the topic of Video Marketing scored so high in the True Influence study. In fact, when it comes to content marketing, 2016 has been called the year of the video. The simple act of adding video to a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80 percent. Cisco predicts that Internet video streaming and downloads will grow to over 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by the year 2020.
Savvy marketers find video a panacea for a host of content marketing initiatives. Video content marketing brings with it strong consumer attention which provides a host of related benefits, including: Improved SEO, a higher level of consumer engagement, higher retention rates, better Email click-throughs and most significant, increased customer campaign conversion rates. For more information on how to utilize video in your content marketing initiatives, check out the True Influence blog, Trending in 2016: Online Video Marketing.
Marketers Are Looking For Ways To Maximize Utilization Of Marketing Automation And Corresponding Tools
As we end the year, marketers are looking for new ways to increase their effectiveness and automate processes. “Marketing automation” and “marketing automation tools” ranked #4 and #6, respectively. This should come as no surprise as marketers find using a marketing automation platform makes it easier to schedule emails, segment contacts, automate social media postings, manage content and track the lifecycle of target customers and prospects. But this is just the beginning of the significant benefits that marketing automation represents.
Beyond simply pushing leads from the top of the marketing funnel to the sales-ready bottom of the funnel, marketing automation offers significant B2B marketing intelligence. By utilizing tracking codes in social media, webpages and email tracking, marketers are able to gain a more thorough understanding of customer behavior and outcomes as it relates to interest in specific products and services.
In fact, a report from Gleanster and Act-On, Rethinking the Role of Marketing, reveals that top performing marketing teams are taking full control of the marketing lifecycle, covering everything from customer acquisition to customer retention and expansion. Top-performing B2B firms that use marketing automation are now spending 48% of their time and 52% of their budget on customer retention and expansion.
Customers Are On The Move…Literally And Figuratively
A surprisingly few number of companies are searching for the keyword, “mobile marketing”, which placed #10 on our list. A total of 3,157 domains were performing the research. This ties into #5 on our report, ‘location-based marketing” as we market to an increasingly mobile society.
Consisting of ads that appear on mobile smartphones, tablets and/or other mobile devices, a strong mobile marketing strategy can round out an effective content marketing program. B2B applications are becoming more prevalent as the age of mobile access to information is no longer a luxury, but a must have. According to recent studies, approximately 40% of users’ internet time is in fact, spent on mobile devices.
Location-based marketing is a direct marketing strategy that uses the location of a mobile device to alert the owner about a specific deal, discount or promotion being an offered from a near-by business. Although location-based marketing requires the end user to opt-in by downloading a mobile app and responding “ok” to the app’s request to use the device’s current location, proponents applaud this form of advertising as a way to bridge the gap between online and physical customer experiences and especially to promote impulse purchases.
A Deeper Look Into The Study
Much like in our August study of Fortune 500 Hot Tactics and Tools, we considered:
- using the InsightBASE platform, online activities of companies nationwide were monitored for a minimum period of two years to establish baseline activity levels;
- these online activities for the 30-day period from November 15, 2016 to December 15, 2016 were monitored and compared to each company’s baseline levels;
- those keywords showing the greatest increase in online activity were isolated using the InsightBASE Relevance Engine.
What Does This Intelligence Actually Mean For Marketers?
- For marketers who manage direct selling and communications programs: In addition to finally being able to deliver true relevant content, marketer can experience improved program performance due to the fact that there is direct, timely communication to targeted consumers and prospects.
- For analysts charged with providing clarity and direction around marketing activities: The knowledge of when your target customer or prospect is at the start of their buying journey versus attempting to guess or predict this information, can mean the difference between exceeding or missing aggressive revenue goals. Improved targeting = better net results.
- For marketing operations who work every day to build an appropriate marketing stack, integrate the various tools and keep it all in sync: InsightBASE data can either standalone or be imported into any existing CRM tool via CSV extracts. Another option would be to use True Influence’s Rest API and hook up to your existing platform. Native integration into Eloqua and Marketo are already built-in.
How Do You Add Value to My Current Data Set and Analytic Efforts?
True Influence partners with some of the largest data aggregators available in the industry. We use them as a basis for linking which allows you to add “fields” to your existing data set that contains interest and intensity scores.
True Influence adds value to existing predictive and other analytic efforts by providing that same data as “inputs” into your models. Think of it as jet fuel for your current and actual internet actions and activities that facilitate supercharging your lead generation activities.
InsightBASE can be used as a standalone marketing performance improvement engine integrated into existing systems and methods.
A Look Behind The Data Curtain
InsightBASE aggregates intent signals from across the internet using a supply chain of over 30 data vendors. This provides an extraordinarily broad coverage, ensuring that its users receive the earliest possible indication that a given prospect organization is researching a new product or service purchase.
InsightBASE data receives more than 250 million intent signals each day and overlays this against its repository of more than 40 billion signals (spanning a period of nearly two years). The proprietary Relevance Engine™ uses the historical baseline for each specific B2B contact or organization. It compares the current levels of activity to identify an increase (or decrease) in interest around a given topic. Software integration is available for Marketo, Eloqua and Salesforce. In addition, True Influence just released an API that allows your developers the ability to link InsightBASE with any other business application.
The platform can also put its own data to work for you. Automated alerts run in the background to identify your most interested prospects and notify your sales reps of the opportunities. Simply indicate how frequently the reps should be contacted and InsightBASE does the rest.
We are proud to state that 460 of the Fortune 500 companies generated increased intent data around Marketing Tools. InsightBASE compared their current levels of intent data with their previously measured baseline.
Whatever your marketing and lead generation activities include, InsightBASE is specifically designed to support it…and you.
Top Marketing Trends Infographic