The B2B Marketing Revolution: An Outlook for 2011

A recent issue of BtoB Magazine cites Rick Segal, Worldwide President of GyroHSR: “…a paradigm has shifted, (and) b2b marketing is not only obsolete, but it may well be very much dead.”  In creating a context around this statement, Segal explains the impact that mobile devices are having, as they transform individual people into communications network nodes.  As a result, this is changing the work and personal life balance that business people have tried to achieve.  There is little demarcation for either any longer.  Is this an opportunity for b2b marketing professionals?  Segal and others believe it is.  It very well may be, but that doesn’t mean a shift toward mobile will kill other media.

While we can talk about the significance of certain trends and evolutions taking place, our guiding principle has always been that we want to engage the customers of b2b marketers where they are or where they congregate.  There is still no panacea, no silver bullet, and no one thing you have to do to accomplish this.  Why?  Because people have different reading and researching habits; they get information from various sources and in various ways.  This is why multichannel communications work, and why integrated B2B marketing campaigns succeed.  

This point is demonstrated as you take a look at the results of BtoB Magazine’s recent 2011 marketing outlook survey.  

52% of b2b marketers report they will increase their marketing budgets in 2011.  A majority of them are planning a double-digit increase; one-fourth will increase budgets by more than 20%.  Most of this increase will occur in:

  • Online media (78.5% will increase) – spending will be on websites, email, social media search, online video, webcasts and banner ads (in that order)
  • Events (44.3% will increase) – virtual events, webcasts
  • Direct Mail (36.6% will increase)

Many recognized there was an “over-rotation” to digital last year and are rotating back to print media this year, resulting in increases in more traditional marketing, such as direct mail and print.

Notable is the increase in social media, with 68.6% now indicating they are using social media for marketing purposes: brand building, thought leadership, lead generation customer feedback and advertising.

So there is no silver bullet.  Multichannel and integrated B2B marketing is still the way to go to cover your bases.  So bring on the mobile marketing revolution, but people will also want to read print, use their PC, attend industry events and meet with suppliers.  

Identify all of your customers’ touchpoints and place your message at each of them.


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