Eighteen is the age of adulthood, so perhaps it's fitting that in 2018 some major emerging trends in B2B marketing will start to show signs of maturation.
Like 18-year-olds (who are still teenagers, after all), some of these trends will still be developing—but will also get on track to shape or influence the future of marketing.
In the new year, a combination of technology advances, organizational cultural shifts and buyer-behavior changes will pull B2B marketing in new directions.
Here are four trends that will begin to mature in 2018.
1. Individualization will become the new personalization
Machine-learning algorithms are becoming more sophisticated, opening new possibilities for marketers to gain insights into customer behavior and the courses of action that are most likely to resonate with the buyer.
Such capabilities have become essential as B2B audiences increasingly self-educate on a company's products before they ever talk to a salesperson, which has raised the bar on Marketing's need to deliver the right content at the right time.
This example from the Marketing AI Institute paints the picture: Let's say there are 10,000 downloads of a company's e-book across five personas, originating from multiple channels and requiring personalized emails and website experiences based on the users' history.