What is the future of B2B Marketing?
It used to be that companies pushed towards marketing innovation in B2B to differentiate and stand out. Today, understanding what’s next in B2B marketing is not an easy ticket to the winner’s circle at all. It’s a matter of survival.
Convergence of disciplines as well as tactics used both in consumer and business marketing have created a matrix of competition previously unseen in the business to business marketplace.
It almost makes you wish for simpler times like the nostalgic 1950s where one could imagine a world of “flying cars” and “vacations on the moon”. Such imagination is essential for innovation and seeing into the future for what’s next in marketing.
To tap into that imagination, B2B Marketers from all over will be converging in Boston this October for MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. Included in that group are some of the top B2B brands in the world including IBM, Xerox, LinkedIn, Marketo, HubSpot and General Electric.
B2B marketing thought leaders will also be in attendance, sharing their insights into what’s next for business marketers. To inspire some imagination about the future of B2B marketing, we reached out to some of those big brands and influencers to get their predictions on B2B trends, examples and even ideas that are so far out there, they seem like science fiction.
Speaking from their retro / futuristic TVs, here are a few of those predictions – with a little humor and more than a little imagination:
TL;DR Retired After a Long Run
Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, Author of Everybody Writes
The Internet announced that its shorthand phrase TL;DR (“Too Long; Didn’t Read”) is being replaced with a new phrase: GR;LI (“Great Read; Loved It”).
Smart businesses around the world celebrated the move as a victory for quality content that’s ridiculously useful and valuable – no matter the length.
Pundits credited B2B marketers for leading the charge, and they celebrated by looting jargon and buzzwords from their content and burning them in public bonfires. Particularly flammable were words and phrases such as “value-added,” “impactful,” and “best-of-breed.”
“I don’t understand what happened,” said Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of Buzzfeed. “One minute the sole alternative to long, boring content was all cat pictures and listicles and useless quizzes about which Jaden Smith tweet best represents your soul… and then POOF, it’s gone.”
B2B & B2C Will Be Replaced by B2i
Vice President of Marketing at Xerox Global Services
In the future there is no distinction between types of marketing, B2B or B2C is irrelevant because everything is marketed to the individual, and everything is controlled by your smart devices.
When the alarm on your phone wakes you up, you hear a message about the latest traffic report and a reminder to leave early because your car is almost out of gas. As you listen to the news, through iHeartRadio on your phone, all the commercials are customized to you.
You might hear a promo for a new coffee flavor that works in the Keurig you just bought, or you might hear a promo on a new product/service based on the Google search you did last night.
End of Days for “Franken Tools”
Inbound Marketing Evangelist at HubSpot
In the old days we “networked” computers together with floppy disks. Laughable, right? Similarly, today’s marketers “network” all their digital tools together by pulling .csvs from different tools. In the future, all this compiling will seem just as laughable as floppies. In the future, marketing won’t need to pull and combine sets of data from different tools to gauge funnel effectiveness.
Whether by acquisition roll-ups, purpose-built all-in-one suites, or home-grown integration (hiring developers to stitch together the APIs of your preferred tools), the days of “Franken tools” are numbered. We’ll spend less time measuring results, and more time actually getting results.
The days of awkward manual number crunching and guesstimation are numbered.
Mind-Meld: B2B and B2C Share Insights
Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Social Media at LinkedIn
B2B companies will increasingly hire B2C agencies for fresh perspectives, new ideas, and to learn how to better humanize their messaging and campaigns to better connect with their prospects earlier on in the buying cycle.
In turn, B2C will start utilizing B2B’s technology for relationship building and more effective cross selling and upselling along the way.
Both disciplines have something to learn from one another as forward-thinking marketers stop citing acronyms and start focusing on creating better overall marketing experiences.
Informative and entertaining = “info-taining”. That’s exactly how we’ve assembled a collection of 0ver 30 B2B marketing predictions from some of the top brands and industry influencers in the B2B space. And we put it all into an eBook.
Here’s the full eBook with all 31 B2B marketing predictions included:
What predictions would you add to this collection? What do you think will define B2B marketing in the future?