31 Jul

What has changed in the past 4 years in B2B marketing?

Change is not always obvious when you’re in the middle of it. Looking back over the past few years, here are a few things that I’ve noticed:Marketing automation and lead nurturing has replaced old fashioned email marketing Good news – more relevant, targeted communications. Powerful reporting that let’s you talk numbers with confidence. Bad news – requires excellence in content creation, which is HARD and TIME CONSUMING. So never mind the technology, it’s still hard work to engage people and keep them engaged.Social media has gone from “something we should do” to “something we’re doing” Good news – participation and experimentation are the only way to learn with this, so many brands are actually starting to do something meaningful. See, you never needed the “Social Media Guru”. Just a little courage. Bad news – It’s the new shiney corporate thing…everything now has to be “social media”. People feel overwhelmed with the volume and frequency of communication. The signal to noise ratio is terrible.We’ve gone through the GFC, and as always, marketing budgets get slashed first Good news – even people who used to have big budgets have started to look at more creative ways of marketing. Including social media. See point one. Bad news – Well, I know I for one would have loved to have had a little more to spend…Video is emerging as the killer app Good news: People were never designed to write and read, we were designed to talk, look and listen. Now that anyone can make and publish video at little or no cost, there is a whole new world of opportunity opening up to generate interest, build a brand and convert prospects. And if I was 20, I would go head first into that business. Bad news: As with everything online, the barrier to entry is low and so is a lot of the quality. This is not an easy game and requires people with skills to write stories, direct and create interesting stuff. No, I don’t subscribe to the idea that all you need is a flip camera…Have you seen any other trends and changes? What have I missed?