For some professionals, this year came and went with monotonous familiarity to years past. Same clients, same routine meetings and same stale office coffee. But if you’re a B2B marketer, the previous 365 days were anything but repetitious.

The nature of our industry is to disrupt the conventional way of doing things, so it’s no surprise 2014 outdid 2013 with new technology, new ideas and new performance standards. Along with the launch of our new site, we’ve documented and shared each new evolving trend with you. To ring in the New Year, we’ve decided to share the highlights of B2B marketing in 2014.

The Year of Intention-Based Marketing CEO Tony Uphoff spoke to hundreds of media executives at the 2014 Business Information & Media Summit on the significance of programmatic and ad tech. In his talk, “Future Selling in B2B Media: Yes, there is a future”, Uphoff explained that the intention-based revolution was ignited this year and the 1,300+ ad tech companies in existence are proof of the new from-to shift in digital marketing. To take full advantage of intention-based marketing, Uphoff advised the four following steps:

  1. Capture every data point possible to understand your visitor’s digital body language.
  2. Leverage relevant, targeted content to reach the right customer at the right time.
  3. Harness (all) data- from third party to your own, data is a must-have to fully optimize intention-based media
  4. And finally, if you wish to reach targeted business buyers, you’ll need to embrace ad tech (programmatic included)

Embrace Programmatic

Kyle Brierley, Director of Media and Revenue Strategy at, dissected the intricate workings of this year’s number one buzzword: programmatic. Mimicking the stock market, programmatic buying allows marketers to buy ad space in an efficient, automated fashion. And this year publishers and marketers are realizing that programmatic isn’t just about utilizing low-quality, remnant inventory. If you aren’t yet a player in programmatic, first read his breakdown of this new exchange, then jump right into the programmatic marketplace.

Ditch the bad marketing habits

With a constantly shifting landscape, it’s easy to make mistakes in digital marketing. But when the Time’s Square Ball drops, make sure your New Year’s Resolutions involve ridding your marketing strategy of bad habits.

Sara Flick, Director of Communications and PR for ZOG Digital, comprised a list of digital marketing no-no’s. The catalogue of marketing sins included: using outdated goals, operating in silos, full reliance on automation, ignoring responsive design, and more. Check out the piece before you dive into 2015 campaign planning.

Out with the old, in with the new mobile metrics

Ever heard of the “fat finger problem”? It’s the problem of inflated click-through rates due to accidental clicks on mobile devices. This year, a new Nielson study revealed “click rates can have an inverse impact on ad engagement” CTR’s can no longer be the method of measurement for mobile performance. Why? Because it’s inaccurate. 20% – 40% of clicks are unintentional.

We said hello to more precise mobile metrics this year, and in our post Mobile Marketing Analytics: Which Metrics Measure Success?, we shared them with you. In 2015, start paying attention to Secondary Action Rates (SARs), Store Visitation Lift (SVL), and app activation rate.

Relevant content, retargeting, and programmatic aren’t enough

Although ad tech is indispensible in today’s digital marketing sphere, Betsy Scuteri, Senior Director of Marketing, reminds us that all the technology in the world is not enough to build a brand. Everyone should be retargeting, leveraging customer data, and utilizing programmatic advertising; but B2B marketers must go beyond all these. They must tell a story. In order to truly create disruption, brands must create emotion, deliver new customer experiences, and enlist brand ambassadors. These are the methods that truly create memorable and sustainable brands in 2014 and beyond.