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B2B marketing predictions for 2010

We were recently asked where we thought B2B marketing would go in 2010.  Made us think. So here are some predictions for the next year:

THE KIND-OF-OBVIOUS PREDICTIONS:

Content Marketing will go from strength to strength
It’s a buzzword but not a fad (because it works). But response rates will fall due to ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ eBooks.

Web video will become a B2B staple
It’s such a good way to tell a complex or abstract story – and it’s so easy to do.

The whole social thing will calm down a bit
Settling into its valuable place in the mix — just not the whole enchilada.

Lead nurturing will ramp up
It should take off like a rocket but marketers are still scared of salespeople…

Marketers who get good at Google Analytics will get all the girls (or boys)
Analytics will move to the centre of the B2B marketing world

SOME LESS OBVIOUS CALLS:

Mobile marketing will make inroads in B2B
Not so much mobile web sites but useful apps. It’s time.

Vertical search will start to rattle Google’s cage
Unless they find a brilliant way to strengthen their vertical chops.

Top B2B companies will make content strategists the most important job in the team
As suggested in this recent post.

AND A FEW WE WISH WOULD COME TRUE:

‘Personal brand’ coaches will disappear up their own arses
Leaving nothing but a trail of tweets

There will be the first ever Marketing Awards Awards
With categories like ‘Best Trophy’, ‘Most Categories’ and ‘Most Poetic But Barely Edible Gala Menu

Sales and marketing folks will make peace
Valuing each others’ contribution and recognising the value of playing well with others

Everyone will have a Microsoft Windows 7 Party
With balloons and cake and hats and stuff.

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6 Responses to “B2B marketing predictions for 2010”

  1. Billy Mitchell

    First of all, i hope your wishes come true about “personal brand coaches” and I’d add in “life coaches” too but that would eliminate half the world’s population so maybe not.

    You guys at Velocity are way ahead of me with many of your ideas, so thanks for the more serious “previews” too. I enjoyed your B2B Content Marketing Workbook and agree with your prediction about web video for B2B as
    a smart part of the mix.

    Since you focused your predictions on 2010, how do you think the economy will influence B2B marketing?
    It certainly had an impact this year on budgets. From my first-hand perspective, B2B Marketers, and client-side marketing departments are waking up to the fact that it’s time to wake up. If the pie is smaller, market share is more important than ever.

    I am very optimistic about 2010.

  2. Doug Kessler

    Thanks Billy – We’re very positive about 2010, too. In tough times, B2B marketers tend to cut the stuff that doesn’t work (or can’t prove it works), leaving more budget for the stuff that does. That’s why we’re seeing more content marketing, more web video and (we predict) more lead nurturing.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  3. Carlos Hidalgo

    I like the post and think a lot of these will come true. As for an additional prediction, I would add to the lead nurturing component in saying that lead management process development will begin to take root in more organizations. Lead nurturing, while a component of lead management cannot stand alone. The overall process is not individual silos, i.e nurturing, but has to be looked at holistically and take into account:

    - data
    - lead planning
    - lead routing
    - lead qualification (including scoring)
    - lead nurturing
    - metrics
    - automation

    Without looking at the other components that have an affect on lead nurturing, the nurturing programs will fall short.

    One other thing to note is that when this process is developed properly (with both marketing and sales involvement) organizations do see the “gap” between the two groups go away. As there is now a process as to how the groups will work together and communicate.

    I think 2010 holds great promise for B2B marketers and believe there is no better time to be in this space!

  4. Doug Kessler

    Excellent comment, Carlos. Thanks. Of course, you’re right – Lead Management is a lot more than Lead Nurturing.

  5. Jeremy Victor

    1. B2B Blogs will cross the chasm. *blog* will no longer seem like a four letter word to c-level executives. “Where did you hear that…some blogger?” Blogging will gain the definition it deserves – a one to many publishing platform used to engage a community in conversation and demonstrate thought leadership.

    2. Try. Measure. Fail. Try Again. It’s okay, content marketing is new. The only way to learn what’s effective is to start. Every vertical market will have its own set of tactics that will work. The leaders that emerge will have overcome the fear of failing by having effective MEASUREMENT tools in place and opening up and being honest and authentic.

  6. Doug Kessler

    Nice ones Jeremy. Thanks!

    You’re right, blogs are already making the leap into the mainstream (at least the good ones).
    Love the emphasis on experimentation too.

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