What trends will drive B2B marketing over the next three to four years? Where should savvy B2B marketers invest their resources to optimize results over the next few years?
Those were among the key questions I had the opportunity to address in a recent presentation at the Social Media Breakfast – Minneapolis St. Paul (#SMBMSP90 on Twitter).
The genesis for the presentation was the research done a few months ago in conjunction with Tony Karrer, asking the expert B2B blogging contributors to the B2B Marketing Zone one simple question as shown to the right.
The initial product of that research was the eBook, B2B Marketing Trends for 2016: 25 Thought Leaders Weigh In, previously summarized here.
The presentation detailed trends within marketing analytics, influencer and advocacy outreach, and marketing technology. But the biggest trend (both in terms of input from influential B2B bloggers and recent research) is the shift from focusing on quantity to quality in B2B content marketing. This quote from the brilliant Paul Gillin perhaps frames this up best:
“B2B marketers have finally realized merely throwing content into the ether is both expensive and wasteful. They’re adopting buyer personas, content targeting and matching content to stages of the buying cycle. Content marketing will continue huge growth in B2B but we’re going to get a lot smarter about how we invest resources. Marketers are beginning to realize buyers are people, not demographic segments, and they are appealing more to the motivations that influence human behavior.”
The event generated nearly 500 tweets (Social Media Breakfast attendees do like Twitter). Among the most noteworthy:
If you’d like to clip any of the stats or insights, here’s the presentation on SlideShare:
And if you’ve got an hour with nothing better to do, here’s the full video: