B2B Marketing Predictions For 2011
Whenever I start to see Thanksgiving turkeys flying out of the grocery store and Black Friday ads start to appear, I know it’s that time of year to prognosticate. So here is my list of B2B Marketing Insider predictions for 2011.
2010 was the year social media moved from cutting edge to mainstream (right?). And what a wild ride it has been. While some have predicted the consolidation of Twitter and Facebook or the demise of Foursquare, I am sticking to the practical topics most B2B Marketers I know are talking about:
- Marketing automation and automated lead nurturing will become a foundational B2B marketing activity as we are expected to accelerate deals through our funnels.
- Customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention re-emerge as key metrics B2B marketers will use to measure the performance of their holistic marketing programs.
- Attribution modeling will become a hot topic as digital marketers begin to understand and recognize the real cost of the “last click” problem where results of marketing activities are tied to the last tactic a lead touched.
- Marketing and sales alignment continues to be the #1 issue impeding marketing’s ability to be perceived as a major driver of B2B business value.
- The quality vs. quantity of leads debate will rage on. (Hint: you have to do both).
- The ROI of social media programs will continue to be challenged by some executives. Too many marketers and business executives still question the value of social media (mostly in private). While the rest of us catch on to what works.
- Inbound marketing spend will grab more share of the marketing budget but will stay far from a majority in most B2B companies.
- The shortage of digital marketing talent will create a seller’s market for online, search and social marketers.
- Display media experiences a resurgence as advanced targeting, re-targeting and behavioral methods allow marketers to demonstrate real value in display.
- The brand is back, baby! We will remember that results improve when we balance awareness activity on top of effective consideration techniques and pay-for-performance demand generation.
- Colleagues and managers will start to treat their fellow employees with a little more respect as the economy turns around. We will re-discover that happy employees create loyal and satisfied customers who in turn improve profit margins. (I wanted to stop at 11, but there’s more)
- From the fading influence of newspapers for world news to newsletters for company news, traditional communication including email will have a tough time competing with the amazing rise of mobile devices usage for web surfing, texting and micro-blogging for consumer attention.
- The iPad and possibly other tablets will start to make laptops look soooo 2000-singles as more and more move 100% of their digital work and personal lives to these devices.
I am sure that I have left some items off the list. Tell me what you think! Challenge my predictions and give me a few ideas of your own.
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