2013 Game Changers: More Visual Content, Real-Time Nurturing And The Rise Of B2B Brands Among Predictions

Published: January 22, 2013

From more visual content marketing to the rise of the B2B brands, a panel of experts weighed in with their predictions for the future of marketing automation in 2013. The webinar, “2013 Demand Gen: What Does the Future Hold?” was sponsored by Demandbase.

While white papers still have their role as part of a marketing strategy, users are looking for content that can provide them with a snapshot of trends, said Maria Pergolino, VP of Marketing for Apttus. “Content marketing is going to become more sophisticated and visual,” she said, adding that social media sites such as Pinterest are becoming more mainstream and infographics are becoming more common. “You can’t just double the number of white papers and double your success.”

Other predictions from Pergolino:

  • Marketers will better leverage tools and software to drive demand for named or targeted accounts; and
  • Marketing tools and software integration will expand, allowing for more accurate campaign attribution.


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Howard Sewell, President of Spear Marketing Group, said companies have been using marketing automation tools for more than five years and, “the industry will reach a tipping point in 2013.”

Other forecasts from Sewell:

  • More lead nurturing will occur in real-time. “What you’ll see much nurturing that not only responds to buyer in real time but does so with dynamic content tailored to the individual,” he noted; and
  • More companies will use lead nurturing for customer marketing, including cross-selling and upselling.

Andrew Gaffney, Editor-in-Chief of Demand Gen Report, predicted that the merger of data and metrics will be a key trend to watch in 2013. “Data has been both a pain and an opportunity for most marketers,” he said. “Marketers tend to think about the creative side, but there is a new skillset for marketers – and I think it has already started and will be heightened in 2013 and beyond – to be able to use all of these tools and channels to gain greater insights about the buyer.”

Other forecasts from Gaffney:

  • Being able to look at where marketing investments are being made and how those investments are performing; and
  • The rise of marketing technologists to analyze the data across different channels and platforms.


Jason Stewart, Director of Marketing for Demandbase, a targeting and personalization platform, anticipated a “B2B brand renaissance,” in 2013. He added: “I think we are going to see a reinvestment in brand marketing and reinvest in marketing tactics that are not as easily measurable as lead generation.”

Stewart’s other predictions:

There will be a greater emphasis on engagement rather than conversion as a key performance indicator. “If someone goes to my web site and downloads a white paper, that’s interesting,” he said. “But it is far more interesting if that person’s profile is similar to companies that I’ve sold to in the past and they are actively engaged on my web site,” and;

There will be a continued focus on revenue performance management. “It won’t be about how many leads can you capture at a trade show or how many visits to the web site, but more about the quality of the lead,” he said, adding that there will be a continued focus on generating quality leads that will have an impact on the buying process.

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