True Influence

Trends That Will Shape Marketing in 2014

The marketing landscape for 2014 will continue to be challenging, demanding that your teams must cultivate personalized relationships with leads beginning with your initial contact. To accomplish this, you need to evaluate new marketing softwares and tools while staying focused on the basics of client-focus and quality content.

Ninety-eight percent of marketers plan to increase spend in the coming year, according to a 2014 outlook from sales automation solution provider Salesforce.com. Improving conversion rates was the top concern cited by survey respondents for almost all industry segments. Marketers also want to monitor user behavior, although they plan to use that information to support other contact channels.

Email Remains a Major Focus

A majority of survey respondents (68 percent) also said that despite being devalued by spammers, e-mail remains core to their business.

Populating those emails and other marketing communications with quality content continues to be a challenge. A recent survey by Marketing Sherpa found that about one-third of e-mail marketers identify creating quality content on a regular basis as a real challenge. And without quality content, your e-mail and other communications will likely be ignored.

A key to tackling the content problem is adopting the next generation of marketing intelligence solutions (such as True Influence’s InsightBASE™ Dashboard that promise to provide a broad range of behavioral insight culled from prospects’ activities across the Web. You no longer need to fire blindly or make a best guess about how to engage with decision-makers, increasing your ability to stand out from the competition on first contact.

Smart Content Management Sends a Relevant Message

Another technology that promises to match content to readers is sophisticated web content management systems (WCMSs), which can synch offers not only with relevant content but also with behavioral information of site visitors. Enterprise Web Content Management vendor Ektron suggests that you select a WCMS that facilitates the creation of customer personas and integrates with other systems, most notably your CRM.

A final trend you should keep an eye on for 2014 is the evolution of real-time bidding (RTB) online marketplaces for display advertising impressions, which were hailed as the next revolution when they were introduced by Google in September 2009. But marketplaces have not yielded the dramatic increases in performance that were initially predicted.

Analytics Provider Quantcast has kicked the tires on the RTB model and claims that by rejecting some key assumptions—click-through is not all it is cracked up to be—it has been able to improve performance five-fold on its own RTB activities. Quantcast also reports that there is a lot of window-shopping going on, and that the demographic profile for converters is almost the exact opposite of the clickers .

Marketers are spending more this year, and they are looking to new and emerging technologies to help them improve conversion rates and realize true ROI on that investment. These new technologies show promise, but the key to successful marketing efforts will be a clear picture of prospects’ behavior throughout the entire decision-making process.

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