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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2021-09-29

Marketers are optimistic about the future. At least that’s what the recent Salesforce State of Marketing report indicates. The report surveyed 8,200 marketing leaders in May and June of this year. With the upheaval of the past 18 months, many are embracing new strategies, digital transformation and the “work-from-anywhere” future that is changing the way buyers and sellers behave.


Here are findings from the report that caught my eye and five ways that marketers can face the changes we’ve gone through—and those still ahead—to drive business growth for the rest of 2021.


  1. Third-party data is foundational for customer engagement.

More than three quarters of marketers say their customer engagement is data-driven, with high performers more likely to say they’re using customer data to create more relevant customer experiences, according to the Salesforce report. And what’s more, marketers expect a 40% increase in the number of data sources they use between 2021 and 2022. While data is plentiful, managing it is becoming more complex. Especially since data is changing at an unprecedented rate, as people switch jobs, careers or leave the workplace altogether. Now more than ever, it takes a layered approach, with high-quality data from multiple sources, to execute strong campaigns.


  1. Digital Experience (DX) matters throughout the customer journey.

The buying experience is changing on many fronts. For one thing, there’s been a greater shift to buying online. And not just consumer purchases. Accelerated by the pandemic but now preferred by many, much of the B2B buying process is now conducted online. Additionally, the rise of buying groups is changing how and who marketers target with their offers. According to a recent Forrester study aimed at sellers, 94% sell to groups of three or more individuals and 38% sell to groups of 10 or more. Overall, collaboration within buying and selling teams is changing as many operate remotely.


According to Salesforce, 88% of customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives and 69% of customers say companies should offer new ways to get products and services. Prioritizing digital customer experience is becoming a necessity for B2B marketers, especially since 80% of customers agree the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.


  1. CRM systems are the most prevalent technology—so keeping your CRM data clean should be a top priority.

There’s obviously no shortage of martech tools in the marketplace today. (In 2020 there were more than 8,000 martech solutions on the MarTech 5000 list.) Of the many types of tools, customer relationship management (CRM) systems have risen to the top as the most prevalent technology, used by 89% of marketers in the Salesforce study.


As CRM data grows in complexity and volume, maintaining an accurate database through manual methods would be impossibly time consuming—not to mention the risk of manual errors. That’s why turning to a data cleansing provider who specializes in automated data cleansing can be the difference between reaching your customers or not. Go here to read more about OMI’s approach to CRM data cleansing and enrichment including our services available through the Oracle Partner program, and go here for our recent post on how we purged, cleansed and updated our database during the data quality challenges of the pandemic.


  1. Intent Monitoring

One of the many encouraging stats from the Salesforce report is this: 78% of marketers say they engage customers in real time across one or more marketing channels. If you’re looking to up your game, intent monitoring can connect you with prospects that are actively searching your specified search terms. The process involves monitoring company IP addresses and intent data as it surges to specific content on the internet. At OMI we process more than 14 billion new intent signals for our clients each week as part of our intent monitoring services.


  1. Marketing is people-focused—your data should be, too.  

With personalization becoming a necessity for marketing these days, it’s no surprise that known digital identities, such as email addresses and social IDs, are now the most popular customer data sources. Data marketplaces, and the identity graphs associated with them, allow for a deeper and more complete view of the third-party prospect data available to digital marketers. Leveraging online and offline data from multiple providers, marketers can custom build audiences based on a variety of attributes and then take the anonymized IDs to a demand-side platform to deliver display or social ads. This puts marketers in a better position to not only identify the right prospects for their offers, but ultimately, engage more effectively with them.


One final thought: 90% of the marketers Salesforce surveyed say their digital engagement strategy has changed since the pandemic, and 89% say their marketing channel mix has changed. As we enter the final quarter of the year, there’s still time to move the needle and drive business growth. Contact us today to talk in detail about how OMI can support your goals.


Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate B2B data can enable you to achieve better digital marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Go here to find out about leveraging our SMB and medical market data on the LiveRamp Data Marketplace.


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