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Demand Generation Strategies for 2012: 5 Emerging Trends in B2B Marketing

State_Of_DemandGen_copy_1The proliferation of devices and changes in media preferences is dictating the rapid evolution of marketing strategies. As organizations work to cater to today’s time-starved buyer, the new sales and marketing landscape is driven by a variety of technologies and tools.

DemandGen Report polled leading experts in the demand generation space for their outlook on these key emerging trends. As highlighted in the upcoming State of Demand Generation 2012 Report, thought leaders pointed to the following emerging trends for 2012:

  • Gamification for B2B— Referred to as “nurturing at its best” by BlueBird Strategies Partner Cari Baldwin, gamification has already taken flight in the B2C world. In an effort to provide a recreation-based approach to marketing, gamification is poised to help organizations with both internal and customer-facing communications.

“Gamification is attracting marketers,” Baldwin wrote in the report. “But marketing automation has so far seen little gamification. It’s time for this to change.”

In the report, Baldwin offers tips on how marketers can use gamification, as well as a case study example of how one organization drove more than $200,000 in business via gamification.  

  • Mobilization— As people are accessing more channels than ever, including email, social media, smart phones and tablets, marketers have even greater opportunities to collect the best customer data.

“Savvy marketers will know that in order to drive the most revenue, they will need to reach prospects on more than one channel,” wrote Bryan Brown, Director of Product Strategy at Silverpop.

Brown offers tips on how marketers can mix up marketing to mobilize campaigns via tablets and smart phones.

  • Bringing B2C tactics into B2B— Who says B2C has more fun? While industry research indicated that the vast majority of B2B traffic is typically coming from new visitors, it’s a reality for every marketer is challenged with — lesser opportunity to leverage any sort of stored history to personalize the experience for the browser.

“BtoB sells to accounts, not individuals, and yet most of the widely practiced personalization techniques are geared towards individual behaviors or browsing histories,” wrote Jason Stewart, Director of Marketing at Demandbase.

In the report, Stewart offers five steps B2B companies can take to implement an account-based personalization model on their web sites to drive conversions.

  • Connecting Marketing To The C-Suite— As Revenue Performance Management made significant headway as an important, emerging category, selling to the C-Suite has become an increasingly hot topic of conversation.

“Driving top-line growth is the universal C-suite challenge, which is why Revenue Performance Management immediately caught on so quickly,” noted Eloqua CEO Joe Payne, of the emerging category. “Simply put, RPM is a good night’s sleep for an executive who tosses and turns over revenue fears.

Payne offers 3 ways Revenue Performance Management differs from marketing automation.

  • Integrating Social & Traditional Media- The proliferation of media channels has tasked marketers with the critical challenge of being present across a variety of forums. Progressive marketers are integrating social initiatives into traditional media usage to optimize prospect reach, communication and engagement.

“At the end of the day, the goal for all marketers is to find new and compelling ways to engage with their leads and prospects,” wrote Shawn Naggiar, Chief Revenue Officer at Act-On Software. The one-two punch of marketing automation combined with social media added to your standard marketing mix enables you to elevate your marketing effectiveness with minimal disruption and cost.”

Naggiar offers 5 steps to up the ante with marketing automation.

A real need for new adopters is often “working out the kinks” of an automation system by subscribing to a process-based approach. This starts by identifying obstacles to then develop an understanding of how to integrate efficiently for the best results. 

“Organizations using any technology alone to address their marketing and sales challenges can often experience a negative return,” noted Terry Flaherty, VP Marketing at Bulldog Solutions. “Implementing a marketing automation system can actually leave you with more problems than you started with prior to the implementation.”

Flaherty offers the 7 building blocks of successful marketing automation.

With industry expectations set high for rapid growth in technology-driven marketing automation, 2012 is poised to be a year of innovation and enhanced adoption. These and other key demand generation trends will be explored in the upcoming State of Demand Generation 2012 Report.