I believe the way we do ABM is going to keep getting smarter. Machine learning and AI will also keep getting smarter. We will continue to see the growth of the use of predictive and intent data to help figure out which accounts to target. We will use machine learning to optimize content and website experiences for decision makers and influencers within the target accounts, and we will continue to get more creative with finding new ways to surface exactly the type of content that someone would be interested in through the best channel and at the exact time they are ready to consume it.
Direct mail will become easier to manage and more integrated with our existing martech stacks, but to the customer it will look even more personalized and special (think of Sendoso’s hand-written note SFDC functionality taken to the next level with packaging that looks like someone’s grandma has sent them some homemade jam).
Because of this year’s GDPR law changes, vendors that use personally identifiable information will have to find new ways to gain insights and share data with marketers. We will need to learn to recognize behavioral patterns and demographic information of the user without knowing exactly who that user is and we’ll need to be able to pass that data along into audience definitions and campaign targeting without compromising identity. This might become possible with more alliances and partnerships such as Bombora+Terminus+LinkedIn+BrightFunnel.
I also believe that ABM methodologies and principles will continue to gain adoption across a wider range of organizations. We are used to thinking that target accounts tend to be larger enterprises, but more companies that are mid-size businesses and sometimes segments of very small businesses (VSBs) could also benefit from an ABM approach. I’ll talk more about that at the B2B Marketing Exchange in Arizona in February.