We asked 22 marketing experts to make some predictions specific to their field. From curated event experiences, to the future of B2B marketing, AI informed ABM, and Remote First strategies, here are our Top-22 marketing observations for 2022:

  1. The End of the B2B Marketing Campaign is Near
  2. The Boss Will Ask to Prove ROI from New Integrations
  3. The B2B Buyer Journey Will Look More Like B2C
  4. Zero-Party Data Will Inform Modern B2B Journeys
  5. Marketing Orchestration To Be Automated by Data Measurement
  6. Demand Could Software Evolves
  7. Market Automation Accelerates
  8. MarTech Advancements Make DIY Marketing Easy
  9. Efficiency Means Diverse Services at Global Scale
  10. Data and MarTech Software will be Engineered to Work Together
  11. Affiliate Marketing Shifts to Trusted Media Sources
  12. The Dark Funnel Comes Into View with Multi-Source Intent
  13. A Cookie Alternative Emerges
  14. A Buyer’s Journey Appears in an RSS Feed
  15. ABM Goes to Machine Learning School
  16. Events Will Include Curated Experiences
  17. Human Connections Can Not Be Automated
  18. A Shift to Remote First Strategies
  19. Sponsor/Exhibitor Expectations and Event Funding Economics Will Change
  20. Sales Teams Become Market Consultants
  21. Brand Safety Grows with Trusted Brands and Quality Content
  22. Creativity Will Be Built on a Foundation of Trust

1. Jason Tenenbown: The End of the B2B Marketing Campaign

Chief Strategy Officer, IDG Communications

The B2B marketing campaign (as we know it) will vanish. We can admit that quarterly RFPs with unrealistic turnarounds burn agencies, publishers and marketers alike. Transactional planning rarely yields transformational value. And, that’s game we all want to be in. Enter “campaigns or outcomes as a service”… where planning happens once, the digital experience (improved with software releases) is a constant, the campaign is agile, and reporting is real-time. It’s time to plan once and spend your quarterly efforts on brand to demand storytelling, KPI iteration and optimization. Will it happen in 2022? Probably not for everyone, but we have enough customers working like this with us now that everyone will start to notice that there is a better way… 

2. Tina Bean: The Boss Will Ask to Prove ROI from New Integrations

Founder & VP Strategic Partnerships at KickFire

With so many analytics tools at their disposal, marketers will have to prove ROI for every dollar spent, and will require data-driven approaches to targeting, messaging, and reporting to achieve their targets. In addition, MarTech integrations will take center stage as one of the top drivers of success for marketing teams. Instead of a siloed tech stack, the rise in communicative technologies will be the basis for the consolidation of platforms into unified sources of data and intelligence needed to power the next generation of B2B marketing.

3. Maggie Taylor Aherne: The B2B Buyer Journey Will Look More Like B2C 

Director of Revenue Operations, IDG Communications

Today’s consumer marketing is powered by a personalized buying ecosystem that will inevitably be expected by B2B buyers moving forward. B2B sales organizations will have to meet buyers where they want to buy and deliver customized experiences every step of the way to remain relevant in this new world of instant gratification. 

4. Stephen Oachs: Zero-Party Data Informs Modern B2B Journeys

General Manager, KickFire

Integrating high-quality buyer intent data across sales and marketing stacks will be the key to creating a journey modern B2B buyers want. First, second, and third-party intent data will be just as crucial as ever, and even zero-party data gathered via online surveys, events, forms, etc., will have to be leveraged to drive more engagement, leads, and deals won in 2022 and beyond. 

5. Neil Michael: Marketing Driven by Data and Measurement

Chief Revenue Officer, International MarketsIDG Communications

In 2022 we will continue to see data & integrated reporting metrics at the heart of the B2B marketing conversation. With the ever-growing need for marketers to prove ROI with more sophisticated cross-channel attribution models, we will see the platforms that combine execution and orchestration, strong first-party intent data integration and powerful sales & pipeline reporting metrics become ever more entrenched in the marketing workflow. 

6. Andre Yee: The Evolution of Demand Cloud Software

Chief Product Officer, IDG Communications

Expect to see in 2022, the emergence of a new generation ”Outcomes-as-a-Service” [OaaS] Demand Cloud that will vertically integrate software, data and media together. OaaS type platforms will enable marketers to purchase explicit outcomes like leads and impressions just like they do with SaaS.   This will be a system of intelligence – not simply a system of record.   The fuel to run the OaaS engine will be first-party data that is privacy safe and globally sourced.    

7. John Gallant: Market Automation Accelerates

Enterprise Consulting Director, IDG Communications

IT process automation will accelerate like a rocket, as enterprises streamline to refocus time, money, and staff on digital business initiatives that drive growth and profit. The goal: make our private clouds truly cloud-like. 

8. Brian Stoller: MarTech Advancements Make DIY Marketing Easy

Chief Marketing Officer, IDG Communications

I continue to be bullish on in-housing of marketing functions and expect this trend to expand as global economies rebound.  The advancement of marketing automation toward ABM and Marketing Cloud functions, combined with new sources of intent-based audience data will usher in a new era of highly customized/industry specific self-service DIY marketing capabilities. Data privacy and operational efficiency will be the driving force for change. The challenge will be hiring staff fast enough. 

9. Andrea D’Amato: Efficiency Means Diverse Services at Global Scale

Chief Revenue Officer – US, IDG Communications

Market volatility is pushing many large brands to spend marketing dollars more efficiently. Enterprise brands will seek to consolidate marketing partners around a short list of trusted companies that can provide a full suite of marketing capabilities, products, and services on a Global scale.   

10. Mark Burton: Data and MarTech Software Engineered to Work Together

Senior Vice President, IDG Communications

Subscriptions to high octane data will fuel the software engines that power MarTech.  We’ll see more proprietary audience intent data engineered to work with industry focused software.  The result will be scalable MarTech solutions designed to improve marketing investments and drive performance. 

11. Kit Gould: Affiliate Marketing Shifts to Trusted Media Sources

President, B2C, IDG Communications

Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy in how they research and evaluate products. In 2022 we can expect to see a shift from third-party affiliate networks towards direct partnerships and relationships with publisher networks as consumers continue to turn toward their trusted journalist sources for product evaluations.

12. Tukan Das: Capturing the Dark Funnel with Multi-Source Intent

CEO, LeadSift

With dark social and the dark funnel being top of mind for marketers going into 2022, we’ll see a combining of sources to broaden the spectrum of intent. In an attempt to shed light on the dark funnel, sales and marketing teams will begin seeking ways to fuse multiple intent data sources to get a more robust view of the buyer’s journey. This will expand beyond combining third-party sources, to merging first-party, second-party, and third-party intent for the most complete picture. 

13. Matt Yorke: A Cookie Alternative Emerges

Global Chief Revenue Officer, IDG Communications

The solution to the cookie apocalypse is not a new replacement technology for tracking individuals, but the adoption of new target audience operating models. What is clear is the value of genuine first-party data and context are having a renaissance, offering advertisers and consumers the experience and trust they expect. Additionally, Intent-based cohort targeting will emerge as the next evolution of ABM (Account Based Marketing), allowing marketers to identify commonly shared characteristics buried within intent data signals and scale their marketing far beyond a simple target account list.  What will not happen is publishers handing over their data to super-sized third parties who carry the majority of the economic benefits and none of the risk. Publishers have seen that movie several times already! 

14. Sreejata Chatterjee: The Buyer’s Journey in an RSS Feed

Co-Founder & Head of Product, LeadSift

Today, marketers are juggling multiple data tools in addition to their sales and marketing stack. In the year ahead, we’ll see a push towards consolidating all data signals, as well as sales and marketing activities into a single, comprehensive view of the entire pipeline. Think of it as the buyer’s journey in an RSS feed. This will allow sales and marketing teams to work more efficiently, and collaboratively on building revenue while having a broader perspective on the campaign performance. 

15. Andrew Mahr: ABM Goes to Machine Learning School

Chief Customer Officer, Triblio

In 2022, ABM platforms will truly start to move from systems of campaign activity to systems of intelligence that use machine learning to assist and automate program activity.  There’s been much hype around the use of AI and machine learning in the past few years with relatively little substantiated benefit.   However, the technology is finally able to deliver on the promise to intelligently trigger campaign activity, funnel progression and data driven analysis.   

16. Nicole Peck: Events to Include Curated Experiences

VP of Marketing, Global Events, IDG Communications

Just as organizations can no longer dictate the format of work and must be flexible with their expectations. The same will hold true for events. Events will need to evolve their in-person components to be smarter and more worthy of the travel and expense and potential health risks. As the world shifts back to in-person experiences, people will be more judicious with their time. As such, the smartest events will be those whose design is centered around purposeful networking and curated interactions to make the most out of the in-person experience.  

17. Liz Miller: Human Connections Can Not Be Automated

Sales Director, Sales Development Services, IDG Communications

Inbound digital tactics, marketing automation, and chat bots, remain strong marketing tools, but COVID taught us that people still want to talk to people. We need human interaction. Leveraging BDR’s and forging personal/human relationships using these tools will be the differentiator between a strong marketing pipeline and a good close-win conversion rate. 

18. Sara Scogland: Think Remote First 

Senior Vice President, Human Resources, IDG Communications

The pandemic has reshaped how and where we work, and it is unlikely that we will return to the way it was pre-pandemic. Office-based working in a post-pandemic world will be considered as an opportunity to meet and collaborate with colleagues and customers, rather than a place to spend the extent of your working hours. Increased investment in individual collaboration tools as well as virtual event and meeting tools will be required to drive cross functional collaboration that ensure a seamless experience for those who are both remote and in the office. 

19. Danny Phillips: Sponsor/Exhibitor Expectations and Event Funding Economics Will Change

Senior Vice President, IDC/IDG Communications

B2B event sponsors will expect white glove handholding, brand extensions and leads from their B2B events that add more value to the returns they get from events. As a result, they will invest in memorable event brand experiences, creative hybrid solutions and direct-to -pipeline lead generation from engaged buyers. Event organizers that easily guide sponsor sellers through these new (likely hybrid) event experiences and deliverables will secure the lion’s share of sponsor spend in the future, while events that only provide well-worn standard sponsorship tier solutions (Gold, Silver, Bronze …) will stagnate.

20. Meghan Parisi: Sales Teams Become Market Consultants 

Head of Global Sales Enablement, IDG Communications

With many vendors providing similar solutions at relatively the same price, sales teams will need to focus on client challenges and being more consultative versus relying on relationship building. Teams will need to be coached and trained on how their product or solution solves specific challenges and market dynamics that set them apart from the competition, while simultaneously providing relevant and personalized information based on robust intent signals. Better understanding of marketing content engagement will better prepare marketers for the consultative sales experience and help bridge gaps between Sales and Marketing. 

21. Charles Lee: Brand Safety Grows with Trusted Brands and Quality Content

Global Managing Director, Media & Services, IDG Communications

When big brands reduced their programmatic spend and focused on trusted partner sites, they observed fewer clicks and impressions with no reduction in business outcomes. Why? Because eliminating click-bait and ad fraud improved their ROI.  I see the trend continuing as more advertisers focus on trusted editorial brands and quality content in 2022. 

22. Lauren Palmer: Creativity Will Be Built on a Foundation of Trust

Senior Director & Head of Consumer, IDG Communications

As we head into 2022, clients are looking more than ever at trusted partnerships with publishers, ones that can deliver on tailored and specific audience targeting, data driven solutions and ROI based marketing programs. Creative and custom cross-channel programs will continue to dominate discussions with our most valued clients, where we will continue to use our expertise in pulling together programs that help to cut through the noise, offer a differentiated content experience, showcasing a solid brand to demand strategy and offering advanced analytics to support in an intelligent nurturing and re-targeting strategy. Quality over quantity will dominate a successful 2022.