Top 10 B-to-B Marketing Trends for 2011. Key Theme: Digital!

BtoB Magazine just released its top 10 trends for marketing in 2011 based on research conducted among marketing executives, agencies and industry experts. It’s a very good summary. Here is the list with my brief commentary. For the full article, click here.

  1. Budgets shift more heavily to online: As they should. More targetable. More measurable. More engaging. More efficient.
  2. Changing nature of B-to-B: It’s more Web-centric because buyers are always on and want more control of when and how the get information. And who they get it from.
  3. More emotional, personal connections: Companies are waking up to the fact that business buyers are actually people too, complete with their own emotions and irrationalities.
  4. Database-driven marketing: New tools make it much more effective to initiate the right conversation with the right person at the right time.
  5. New customer intelligence metrics: By integrating data from multiple touch-points, more complete pictures of customers and segments can be derived.
  6. Optimizing social media: Social media, with all its important variations, is central to the personal and professional lives of business buyers and it is time for it to be integrated into all B-to-B marketing programs.
  7. Feeding the content machine: Because of #2, effective content is essential for engaging prospects and customers the way they want to be engaged. Well-written information, compelling video and useful applications need to be roadmapped and developed with the rigor of a development team.
  8. Expanded partnership with media: Media companies are in the business of developing great content and marketers are finding new ways to partner for unique content. It makes sense to use media companies for what they are really good at.
  9. Growth of mobile apps: Business decision makers want access to information wherever they are and on whatever device they are using. As smart phones get smarter and iPads and tablets get more ubiquitous, user experiences optimized for each platform will be increasingly important.
  10. Immediacy in search results: Google assumes real-time information is very useful to searchers and therefore factors in immediacy of content. Good search results will increasingly depend on great social media marketing and rapid content development.

These 10 items could keep any B-to-B marketer busy all year. Are you ready to attack these issues? If you’d like help developing your game plan, drop me a note.