Here’s what I believe will be the top trends affecting B2B marketers in the upcoming years:
- Consolidation of Disparate Marketing Solutions
If you haven’t noticed, big software vendors like IBM, Adobe, Oracle and Saleforce.com are buying smaller, point-solution marketing vendors with the goal of a consolidate marketing solution. This is a big win for marketers as buying integrated systems for marketing automation, lead management, content management, social, marketing resource management, etc. makes deploying these capabilities much easier… perhaps at the expense of increased costs and vendor lock-in.
- Responsive Design for Email and Website
Mobile is big and only getting bigger. To manage the complexity of devices and screen sizes, B2B marketers will have to contend with this complexity. The key solution is responsive design, allowing emails and web pages to display appropriately based on screen size and device.
- Big Data Moves to the Cloud
Big data is moving to the cloud. A host of new solutions allow marketers to run predictive analyses and enhanced ad campaigns through vendors hosting and processing data in cloud.
- CMOs Tenure Continue to Climb
It used to be CMO had an average two year tenure. This has now increased to nearly four years and will like to continue. CMOs have learned that strong business acumen and the rise of marketing operations and analytics are the key to having relevant conversations with CEOs, CFOs, etc. The CMO conversation has moved from discussing events, PR, and leads to conversations around relevant KPIs, such as marketing’s contribution to revenue, customer retention and brand awareness.
- Company Websites Increase in Importance
The buying cycle has changed where buyers are in control of their journey as they traverse the internet to educate themselves. Once a prospect has reached your website, it means you have a good chance to make the short list. This trends will continue and smart marketers will capitalize by investing in web technologies and capabilities around content management, personalization, optimization and web reporting.
- Content Remains King
The popularity of white papers, webinars and videos will continue to be used for both awareness and demand generation. The staple of B2B marketing efforts will continue.
- Social and PR Continue to Merge
Increasingly marketers are treating social as micro PR. You’ll see a continued trend where Social and PR are managed within the same team.
- Managing Compliance as a Must
Beyond email compliance, B2B marketers face a host of compliance issues as new laws spring up. These new compliance topics include PII data, website cookies and social media
- Mobile App Marketing Goes Mainstream
Mobile apps are becoming a big part of many companies go-to-market strategy and the trend will continue. B2B marketers must become strong at managing the nuances of marketing apps.