As a MarTech consultancy, clients often ask for expert opinions on new B2B marketing tools. My team and I tend to be cautious when faced with these questions – while new technology is often exciting, experience has told me that adopting something too early in the technology hype cycle can end with wasted budget and unpleasant surprises.

At the same time, one of the benefits of being so embedded in the MarTech world is that we can identify promising technologies pretty early on, and test drive them to understand how our clients might use them in the future. Here are three B2B marketing tools that you should be paying attention to in 2019.

Building business applications (Enterprise Software) requires significant capital. Businesses can not quickly build their own custom solutions, and software development companies are limited in the number of applications they can build. Once an application is functional (minimal viable product or MVP), user experience and additional functionality is often left out, leading to adoption and change management issues.

Skuid is a cloud-based platform that allows non-programmers to develop custom applications. Code can be used to fine-tune applications, but the non-coding interface places the priority on quick and attractive design. The goal, according to Skuid, is to solve specific B2B technology challenges by helping companies develop solutions that function well, can be built with relative ease, and are user-friendly enough to encourage adoption.

The Skuid applications you build can automatically synchronize with other applications and data in the cloud, such as major Marketing Automation and CRM platforms, creating a seamless integration process.

In recent months, a growing number of companies are using Skuid for some pretty major application development projects; most notably, international accounting network company BDO LLP used Skuid to build a global payroll ecosystem which operates across 162 countries. Gartner also named the company as the 69th Fastest Growing in its 2018 Technology Fast 100. After seeing many B2B companies struggle with building custom applications over the years, I see no sign of this innovative solution slowing down.

I have heard many conflicting opinions about predictive analytics from CMOs and Marketing Directors. The most common concern is the complexity and cost involved as well as traditional internal data limitations. This offers a limiting view into a company’s potential moves, with no real insight on how to capture net new customers. It’s easy enough to find out what is already working without predictive technology, so what is the point?

Predictive analytics are only worth the investment if they can offer an in-depth look at the market overall, rather than just what your company is doing. This level of data-mining may have seemed impossible years before, but Lattice Engines has developed a predictive analytics platform that tracks more than 21,000 attributes for 200M+ companies. This insight, combined with internal data and crunched through sophisticated algorithms, is providing predictions and ideas that would surprise even the most insightful marketer.

Lattice Engines Infographic

Incorporating a rich third party “data lake” and combining it with machine learning enabled predictive analytics, Lattice Engines is democratizing access to cutting edge sales and marketing tactics, enabling businesses to intelligently  harness big data at a fraction of traditional cost.If 2018 was the year of GDPR, then 2019 will be the year of GDPR management tools – good ones, that is. It’s true that many GDPR compliance programs currently exist, but they were developed in a hurry when the law passed and still have a few kinks to work out. Most existing tools also don’t integrate with marketing automation platforms like Eloqua and Marketo, meaning that GDPR readiness in larger B2B companies has been mostly done manually up to this point.

Companies are not taking the legislation lightly, and are well aware that similar bills could be passed outside of the EU at any time. This is a major opportunity for software application developers, especially those who combine GDPR readiness with data integrity to help companies clean up their databases for legal and business reasons. It is also a unique situation where early adoption of a technology may not be a bad thing for B2B Marketers, as compliance with the legislation is an immediate need.

With B2B Marketing tools, remember to look before you leap.

Working with different B2B Marketing companies has given my team at MASS Engines insight into many emerging technologies. Not only do we have the privilege of getting to know the B2B products and services our clients are marketing in their own verticals, but we are also given a front row seat as they implement and test new MarTech.

There are hundreds of new technologies and growing approaches in the field of marketing automation. While there are many trends and technologies worth discussing, I wanted to be selective and only outline those tools which are most proven or promising at this stage. The price tag and change management challenges of MarTech mean that it is particularly important to “look before you leap” in this sector, and to roll out new solutions in a phased way to ensure effectiveness at each turn. As discussed in a recent post:

“The key to balancing innovation with cost-efficiency is to ask the right questions before jumping in: get clear on available budget, analyze how new tactics fit into your overall Marketing funnel, and keep a finger on the ever-changing pulse of digital marketing trends.”

I look forward to seeing what 2019 holds for MarTech, MASS Engines, and the B2B companies that inspire us to think about tomorrow’s solutions as we work through today’s problems.