31 Predictions on the Future of B2B Marketing
Each year, through the year, I’m reviewing the latest trends and predictions for digital marketing to update Smart Insights members and to include in new editions of my books I’m working on. Looking to the year ahead, I have just updated my ideas on trends in marketing for 2015 with a focus on the latest software tools to help digital marketers - please take a look and vote on the most important trend for your business!
My reviews tend to span across all of digital marketing, so I was interested to see this compilation of predictions compiled by Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing focusing on the future of B2B Digital Marketing.
It’s curated by Top Rank Digital in association with Marketing Profs for their upcoming B2B Forum, so I was interested to take a look at the predictions from the different B2B Marketing specialists! I’ve embedded the Slideshare at the end of this post so you can scan, but I’ve also been through the predictions and have pulled out some of the most interesting. I was impressed with the lookahead beyond one year - always a challenge to crystal ball gaze beyond what’s happening now. Here's my pick of 5 from the 31 predictions for future.
1. Precognitive Marketing
Justin Steinman, @justinsteinman CMO at General Electric Healthcare takes a leaf from “Minority Report,” where he describes Precognitive Marketing as a marketing engine that takes publicly available data about a prospect’sbusiness performance and challenges, and then shapes a customized sales and marketing approach.
He says that Precognitive Marketing includes a unique demo that proactively shows how your solution can address needs that prospects may not even know they have. Prospects will react so positively to Precognitive Marketing that they will call you to ask for a sales call!
2. Cranial Implants!
An entertaining prediction as you would expect from Doug Kessler @dougkessler, Co-founder & Creative Director at Velocity Partners. He’s sure Google’s working on Google Cranial Implants (GCI) use low-energy proximity sensing to trigger “B2B-neuro-content”’ in the frontal lobe of the user. So if a male prospect who’s in your funnel gets within 8–10 feet of a salesperson, he will involuntarily shout “Bingo!” and get an erection (you can opt out but who would?). The implant also allows Google to index your hopes and fears to serve more relevant native thought-vertising.
Back in reality, he predicts and Immersive screen-based content (like Snowfall) to start replacing print-like content and Content personalization to come to B2B in a big way.
3. The Chief Customer Journey Officer!?
Joel Book @joelbook, Director of eMarketing Education at Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud describes one of the biggest trends in B2B Marketing as the rapidly expanding technology budget for the CMO. Gartner predicts that, by 2017, the CMO will have a larger IT budget than the CIO. He says:
“As Marketing, Sales and Customer Service functions converge, CMOs are being asked to shoulder responsibility for not only creating brand awareness and generating leads, but nurturing those leads by providing information that aids purchase, and delivering relevant and timely customer service communications. In short, “NextGen CRM” is all about personalizing and optimizing the B2B buyer’s product research, buying and usage journeys. And the CMO is rapidly becoming the company’s Chief Journey Officer!”
I like this prediction since it fits in with our recent focusing on Customer Experience management and our new free Customer Journey report download.
4. The Totally Dynamic Website
Websites Become Completely Dynamic ! says Andy Zimmerman @AHZimmerman Chief Marketing Officer at Evergage. He explains how most currently fail on one-to-one marketing as we try to engage prospects with relevant content on our websites. Yet, with few exceptions, sites today fail to engage effectively because we treat all visitors the same way and show the same information every time. This is his future and I like it:
“Imagine a world where your site is a blank slate. Then, based on how each person arrives (via search, AdWords, social, referring site, etc.) the content and navigation builds out automatically. And based on every action by visitors (what they click, search, download, read, etc.) the site continually builds out – always serving up the most relevant content on a completely dynamic basis”.
5. Death to B2B Silos
Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael, previously of SAP and now Head of Strategy at NewsCred says that with Content Marketing now the 2nd largest marketing expense after advertising at the majority of large businesses. Yet most marketing resources and people are devoted to creating content that often goes unused, unread or unshared….
He suggests that The B2B Marketing organization of the future will begin to rapidly transform. Silos like branding, advertising, lead generation will all disappear!
“The B2B Marketing organization of the future will be organized around data, content and technology: data (for personalization), content (for target audience consumption) and technology (required to act like a 21st century marketing organization)”.