With a new year upon us, we’re all wondering what surprises 2011 has in store. BtoB magazine makes its own predictions for the top trends this year. For more of their predictions, visit BtoB’s 2011 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans survey.
• BUDGETS SHIFT MORE HEAVILY TO ONLINE
This has been happening gradually over the last several years but the pace is increasing as marketers have been seeking lower-cost, more measurable ways to reach their audiences during the recession. This shift is aided by improvements in technology. According to BtoB’s 2011 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans survey, 78.5% of B2B marketers plan to increase their online budgets this year.
• MORE EMOTIONAL, PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS
As marketers strive to connect with business execs at work and at home, they are getting much more personal and emotional. In other words, the line between B2B and B2C is becoming less distinct, reflected by TV, print and online ads that have much more of a consumer feel.
• DATABASE-DRIVEN MARKETING AND NEW CUSTOMER INTELLIGENCE METRICS
B2B marketers will get much more sophisticated at mining customer data and making that information the focal point of their communications.
As marketing techniques and data-mining programmes get more sophisticated and personal, so do the metrics used to evaluate these efforts.
• OPTIMISING SOCIAL MEDIA
Despite arguments to the contrary, social media is becoming an integral part of marketing for b2b companies: 62.6% of marketers plan to increase their spending on such channels this year, according to the Outlook survey.
• FEEDING THE CONTENT MACHINE
B2B marketers must continuously create and maintain content used for marketing purposes – from social media networks to landing pages, blogs to thought leadership events.