We see some powerful trends that are working together and fueling each other to re-define B2B marketing. This perfect storm will change the fundamentals and as a result increase the strategic importance of marketing. The way that these trends work together is very exciting and will create new opportunities for the marketing teams.
Changes in the customer buying process.
There are several studies pointing in the same direction. Customers will drive the purchasing process much further, before engaging with the suppliers and sales teams. This will change the way we work with lead generation, cold calling and the end-to-end sales cycle. Marketing will be in the lead to drive this change.
Integration between marketing and sales.
Given the new customer behavior, the old wall between marketing and sales must come down. These are not two different processes, we can’t separate the marketing activities from sales. It is one single end-to-end process – from when the customer need arises to when the deal is closed.
Changes are the new normal. We need to adapt and to embrace continuous changes in markets, competitors, products, technologies and business models. The good old days when we could make a business plan in October to cover the next year are gone. We are constantly adapting to changes and disruptions. In order to be agile and swift, we need control. It sounds like a contradiction, but trying to manage changes without control will lead to chaos.
This is an open door, digital channels are not new. But they will keep growing and they will continue to re-define the way we drive business. They will change communication patterns, processes and the way we think about our ways of working. The CMO will soon buy more IT than the CIO. This on-going change is an important trend.
Measure the result.
With all these trends working together to re-define B2B marketing and to increase the strategic importance of marketing – we will see new types of decisions. Decisions that will require new information and new KPI’s. The standard ones we see today, for example number of leads and campaign efficiency, will still be important. But there will also be an increasing need for visualization of trends and information about increasingly complex combinations of activities.
At Musqot we have embraced these trends and developed a solution to support the new exciting world of marketing. We call it re-thinking marketing.