Ahh, it’s a (digital) age-old dilemma.
You work, work, work at marketing B2B, but not being the leader in your respective niche, you feel like your efforts are always strenuous. Well, fret not noble Anthillians. Here is some timely advice as we head toward 2013.
In 2013, smart businesses on the rise will niche their niche and then create real thought leadership through both online and off-line channels.
There are a number of other tactics that ambitious B2B businesses will be employing in the coming year to get ahead.
Here’s a look at the top B2B trends for 2013 and beyond… (echo, echo, echo)
One: Fixing a hole where the rain gets in…
The most successful B2B businesses will be the ones that have three things handled and to plug holes in existing strategies:
- They are engaging prospective buyers throughout the buying cycle
- They have employed Thought Leadership in their communication strategy
- Their sales and marketing functions are operating as one
Two: Leadership + thought, whodathunkit?
The most successful sales teams will have a high profile Thought Leader who is heading a campaign in each market niche. Why preach when you can teach? This is how rapport and trust are earned in the digital economy; through education.
Three: We are one
Forget the old debate about who owns the sales funnel – sales or marketing? Sales and Marketing functions will be completely integrated and strategically managed together from a senior role for maximum leverage.
Four: Can I get some McLeadership with extra experience to go?
Sales Managers managing their teams at a macro level will be highly trained performance coaches, as well as bringing their experience in sales. This combination will be seen as an essential part of the sales management toolbox.
Five: Nurture marketing — a must-have
Nurture Marketing will help to fill the traditional gap in the sales lead pipeline by maintaining engaging communication with prospective clients until they become sales ready. Both digital and traditional communication will be integrated.
Six: Content marketing, FTW!
Content will become a strategic element of the B2B product/service/solution mix – and will be delivered both online and offline. What does content deliver? Traffic. What does traffic bring? Leads. And what do sales teams value more than anything else? Donuts! (I mean, leads.)
Seven: Don’t forget Big Data
Small and Medium sized business will become more interested in customer data processing and analysis, content and sales and marketing automation. The global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Finance sectors will fuel this development with increasing investment and leadership.
Eight: Integrated Sales & Marketing Automation
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology will become more closely integrated with Marketing Automation Systems (MAS), enabling greater effectiveness. Beyond 2013, at least one system will offer best of breed of the two functionalities in the same package.
Nine: LinkedIn Groups
IN 2012, LinkedIn Groups became competitive environments for nurture marketing and lead generation. In 2013, LinkedIn Groups will become really competitive environments for nurture marketing and lead generation. Really.
Ten: Thought leadership succession planning
There will now be a succession plan for Thought Leadership, just as there is for senior management in many organisations. Appropriate individuals will be identified and groomed for their long term potential to be the face of the organisation’s niche campaigns.
Predictions on the flip side…
- There will be a widening revenue and growth gap between those who successfully move on these market developments (Integrated Sales and Marketing, Thought Leadership and Nurture Marketing).
- More apps, more blogs, and more social media options will accelerate confusion for the average Business Owner
Leanne Knowles is a business coach and strategist with more than 25 years experience in business development and marketing. Headswitch specialise in B2B growth and strategy and regularly conducts Workshops for business owners. For more information about B2B Strategy, check out Leanne’s blog. You can also… DOWNLOAD THE eBOOK.