B2B Marketing Predictions – 3 Actions To Achieve Your Goals in 2011

Michael Brenner on May 10, 2011 in Marketing Strategy

Is 2011 turning out the way you expected? Is B2B Marketing tackling the big strategic challenges or just slogging along and fighting the organizational fires that tend to consume too many of our days?

Over the last week, I received two separate requests to update my predictions for how this year is turning out. So figuring these two data points are pointing to a trend, I thought I would offer my update on the state of B2B Marketing in 2011.

Maybe you will see parallels in your organization. And maybe you will be completely surprised by what I see…

In my B2B Marketing predictions for 2011, I list 13 separate predictions. I will comment on each one below but for the time-starved blog scanner, here is a summary:

Three Actions for Today’s B2B Marketer

  1. Get better. Every company should look to address the opportunities to become more efficient through a more engaging content marketing strategy, cheaper inbound leads and effective nurturing through marketing automation. Or just Start a blog!
  2. Get focused. Companies need to become more social by understanding that when marketing focuses on putting the customer first and their needs first, business outcomes are much easier to achieve. This also means realigning all content production to be more value-based on personas and the customer journey. Content marketing is the how, meeting customer needs is the why.
  3. Get current. Marketers need to shift more spend to digital channels and ensuring you have the right content (in the right context) required to be successful for today’s customer. This also has massive implications for talent and training. Do you have the skills on your team to pull this off?

Now here is the detailed review:

Still trending…

  • Marketing automation is slowly becoming a foundational B2B marketing activity.
  • Customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention are re-emerging as key metrics B2B marketers.
  • Marketing and sales alignment continues to be the #1 issue for marketers.
  • The quality vs. quantity of leads debate will rage on. (You still have to do both).
  • The ROI of social media continues to be challenged.
  • Inbound marketing spend is slowly grabbing more share of the marketing budgets
  • We might be re-discovering that happy employees create loyal and satisfied customers who in turn improve profit margins.
  • We are seeing an amazing rise of mobile devices usage

Warning signs and question marks…

  • Attribution modeling is sooo not hot.
  • Too few are talking about the shortage of digital marketing talent
  • Is display media experiencing a resurgence?
  • I’m not so sure “the brand is back, baby!”
  • Is the iPad making laptops obsolete?

What are you seeing in B2B Marketing? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Showing 3 comments
  • Carlos Hidalgo

    In the area of getting better, process has to be included. With no process in place that unites sales & marketing, getting better will continue to be unattainable.

    • Michael Brenner

      Excellent addition Carlos. Thanks for keeping me honest. You cannot automate a process that doesn’t exist…

  • Hali Johnson

    Well said, Michael. Engaging content and automated lead nurturing in marketing are vital, and should be “foundational”, as you stated, for increased effectiveness. At its core, marketing automation technology offers a more effective solution for listening to prospective customers and establishing open lines of communication. Our Net-Results clients have had increased success by providing relevant, timely, and educational content via our platform that better meets their customers needs.