Across the multiple technologies available, it looks like predictive analytics and Big Data are the only niches that will grow in importance among surveyed marketers next year. However, neither gets close to the top billing ascribed to content marketing, SEO and marketing automation. Even CRM sees a massive dip in importance over the next 18 months, as does social media, leaving the aforementioned three amigos way ahead.
It's always risky to read too much into figures, and adding two and two together to get five, but given the current high rate of ad blocking that is coming between consumers and display, there will clearly be a need to be a shift to more ad dollars being put into content marketing. This is likely to be a no-brainer for B2B marketers who clearly have content marketing and SEO at the top of their radars.
So it wouldn't be a huge step in the dark for automation tools to open up native advertising content slots, would it? In fact, the moment you mention something like this, you find out that somebody somewhere is already offering it in some form of a pilot. But marketers have access to automation tools and they have content they want to place with publishers who want to attract more native advertising on their sites to counteract the ad blockers. It's a match made in heaven, surely, isn't it?
All that would be needed is for spaces to be made available within the editorial flow of relevant sites, and then instead of those slots being bought permanently until they hit so many hundreds or thousands of "reads," the technology could know a little about the person viewing the site and companies could bid to lay out their content in front of him or her on an individual basis. This would certainly allow B2B marketers to reach the right people within the industry and cut down on waste -- particularly if the site concerned has good data on subscribers, enabling their area of expertise and level of seniority to be matched to appropriate native advertising.
So, just a thought, but when you see that content, SEO and automation are at the top of both the importance and RIO league table this year and next, it's a very relevant question to ask. Is automation going to get around its formidable foe of ad blocking by delivering native advertising instead? Given the figures, I'd suggest it's a very real possibility.