My first experience with B2B Marketing in the digital marketing industry started as the worlds of Public Relations and SEO started to collide early in 2001.
Our tiny agency won a media relations account for a $1 billion company in the high tech industry. What set us apart from all the other big PR shops was how we used SEO with PR content to attract incoming media opportunities on top of outbound media pitching and brand content creation. As time went on and content as the key player, other disciplines converged in our B2B marketing practice.
Since then, the coming together of marketing/communications disciplines in the B2B world has accelerated. Why? Changes in technology and buyer behaviors for sure (like prospects pulling themselves through 60-90% of the sales cycle before contacting sales). Other driving forces range from the need to achieve greater impact to delivering a more congruent experience for buyers through the sales cycle.
This trend towards convergence will continue even more in the coming year and as part of our work with MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, I was fortunate to talk to 3 B2B marketing experts on the topic – to get their perspectives on how B2B convergence and integration is impacting the future of B2B Marketing:
The Disappearing Silos of B2B
Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael
Head of Strategy at NewsCred
Content is the 2nd largest marketing expense after advertising at the majority of large businesses. Yet most marketing resources and people are devoted to creating content that often goes unused, unread or unshared.
In the future of B2B, silos like branding, advertising, & lead generation will all disappear! @brennermichael
The B2B Marketing organization of the future will begin to rapidly transform. Silos like branding, advertising, lead generation will all disappear!
The B2B Marketing organization of the future will be organized around data, content and technology: data (for personalization), content (for target audience consumption) and technology (required to act like a 21st century marketing organization).
Mind-Meld: B2B and B2C Share Insights
Jason Miller @JasonMillerCA
Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Social Media at LinkedIn
B2B companies will increasingly hire B2C agencies for fresh perspectives, new ideas, and to learn how to better humanize their messaging and campaigns to better connect with their prospects earlier on in the buying cycle.
B2B and B2C will learn from each other to create better overall marketing experiences. @JasonMillerCA
In turn, B2C will start utilizing B2B’s technology for relationship building and more effective cross selling and up-selling along the way.
Both disciplines have something to learn from one another as forward-thinking marketers stop citing acronyms and start focusing on creating better overall marketing experiences.
Master the Inbound Outbound Universe
Frank Days @tangyslice
VP of Marketing at TwinStrata
The lines between inbound and outbound marketing continue to blur as mainstream media are being forced to change business models.
Content marketing and traditional marketing will become fully-integrated and indistinguishable. @tangyslice
Much like ecommerce versus brick and mortar retail ultimately morphed into multi-channel retail, I expect content marketing and traditional marketing to become fully-integrated and indistinguishable.
B2B marketers who master the intersection of inbound and outbound marketing will thrive while others will get stuck in outdated silos.
Well said Michael, Jason and Frank. If you’d like to see all 3 of these B2B Marketing experts in person, (along with over 50 others) then I hope you’ve already registered for the sold out MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Boston Oct 8-10. If not, no worries. You can sign up for on-demand access.
For more B2B Marketing insights and predictions, check out this Future of B2B Marketing eBook we created for MarketingProfs. It includes a range of predictions ranging from practical, to wishful to things that are so far out there, they’re literally science fiction.
Do you see similar converging disciplines in the B2B Marketing space? What predictions would you add?