The Future of B2B Technology Marketing

Today’s customers are feisty and demanding, are you ready to embrace tomorrow’s opportunities?

There has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. Developments in the role of technology, adoption of smart devices and tablets, plus the development of the ‘internet of things’ is extending technology into areas of our life previously unheard of.

Today’s corporate marketing departments are a world away from where I started my career. Back then around 25 people of various backgrounds and skills from product marketing, packaging, market research, sales promotion, design and the print ad pro formed a marketing team in one open plan corporate head office, with not a computer in sight.

Back then the rule of thumb for production of a brochure was 3 months and included specialist photography and illustrations, which had an awe and mystique around how these carefully crafted pieces of art were created. Nowadays, we can create the same marketing brochure in 36 hours and that includes delivery anywhere in Europe.

How marketing has developed?

For 35 years, up to the late 1990’s, print and broadcast media dominated promotion of consumer brands through mass communication in press and on television. Then along came the internet and the dawn of interactive marketing. Marketers were able to do business online with websites, email and virtual marketplaces creating the idea of selling to a market of one. Technology introduced personalization and individual customer experience.

Today, we have even more possibilities to create one-to-one marketing opportunities, with social media, search and mobile computing. But in an era of rapid change and information overload there has also been a shift of power. Consumers rule and they demand content and an experience on their own terms, when they are ready for it. For marketers it’s a world in which paid media is integrated with campaigns that ‘earn media’, especially with viral projects that generate huge awareness and very low cost sales leads.

The Internet today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But more change is ahead

According to Gartner: A ‘Nexus of Forces’ is coming together to re-shape the way we think about new business opportunities. The convergence of social, mobile, cloud & information is creating a shift of control into the hands of users far more than we’ve ever seen before and organisations have to absorb the way users, consumers, employees want to work and build systems to support that, or lose out. This change makes it easier for small start-ups or agile companies to leap frog big organisations that can’t move as quickly and grab opportunities to expand into new markets, reach new customers and engage with communities or employees that advances the business. >

So what does that mean?

With so many avenues for media, people choose how and when they access information, on what device and at any time of the day or night. Social media is blurring the traditional lines between B2C and B2B as people converge to be treated as individuals, not part of an enterprise or consumer group. Even device usage is converging as companies adapt to employees bringing their own devices to work (BYOD). By 2015 half of the devices on corporate networks will be mobile and global app downloads are predicted to increase to 76.9bn next year, a market worth $35bn.

Are corporate marketing departments lagging behind these changing times?

According to the ‘B2B Lead Generation Marketing Trends’ Report 2013 – 52% of companies no longer use direct mail, despite 49% reporting marketing budgets are increasing. So there has been a fundamental shift to online content, primarily email marketing and rich media such as podcasts and video, but the biggest issue still facing marketers is generating high-quality leads.

41% of companies don’t know their cost per marketing qualified lead (MQL) and 49% are yet to figure out how mobile marketing fits into their strategies.

So what’s the future direction and role of the CMO?

The changing role of the CMO will mean more responsibility for business growth and customer relationships, as forward thinking businesses transition to become marketing led organizations. Digital marketing activity will increase and the use of technology to monitor customer insight, business analytics and revenue management data will lead to more accurate predictions on marketing effectiveness and future trends.

Some CMO’s will advocate changing marketing planning processes to be better aligned with how customers buy. This will result in a change in resource management and decisions regarding what skills to have in-house and what specialist knowledge is outsourced.

Introducing technology to monitor digital campaign metrics and effectiveness also allows clients and agencies to move towards value based compensation – payment based on achieving agreed goals.

Tomorrow’s opportunities – Quick wins

There are challenging times ahead, but here are some quick wins that can help any business achieve short term gains.

Social media integration – integrate, measure and inform with social media.

Bora can show you how to market to and through social media networks, generate leads, develop online communities, measure word of mouth marketing and manage online reputation.

Migrate outdated websites – no longer is a brochureware website enough to engage customers.

We can help create interactive digital campaigns, with a strong and compelling user experience that takes advantage of enhanced marketing techniques.

Trial mobile advertising – divert a small amount of online advertising budget to fund mobile advertising pilots.

What do you need from an agency partner?

There is no doubt that business relationships are going through dramatic changes and you need an agency partner that understands these issues. To discuss more about the topics raised, or if you need help understanding the impact this has on your marketing, please contact us. Bora provides strategic advice, technical skills, robust creative services, user experience design, content marketing and campaign management for technology clients.

Contact us today.


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