The rise of the modern B2B marketer is changing the way marketing and sales teams work together to generate new business and deliver ROI.
New research from our parent company Contentive, a B2B media and events company, found that the role of the modern B2B marketing professional is rapidly shifting, due to the explosion of data, analytics and automation tools.
Contentive surveyed its trusted community of B2B marketing professionals and ClickZ readers to learn more about their key challenges and for a glimpse for what the future holds for B2B marketing.
The top three trends that are influencing emerging strategies are personalization, artificial intelligence and influencer marketing.
The survey found that 57% of B2B marketers consider personalization as the key trend that will influence their marketing strategy for the next 12 months. With an increasing focus on utilizing data and technology to craft personalized, tailored messages, the modern B2B marketer is constantly testing, iterating and optimizing different marketing channels to analyze the success of their marketing campaigns.
As a result, marketing budgets are no longer fixed, with 48% marketers allocating budgets on an on-going basis to effective channels. In many cases, this means marketing budgets are increasing, with 66% respondents expecting their marketing budget to increase for the year.
Collaboration between sales and marketing is also increasingly important, with ever stronger focus on new business conversion as well as ROI from existing customers and website traffic. Top of the funnel leads are no longer the preferred campaign outcome. Marketers are increasingly challenged to deliver nurtured, or even sales qualified leads.
Key findings from the survey:
57% of B2B marketers is the key trend personalization will influence next 12 months.
50% of B2B marketers are now demanding leads that can go into the middle of the funnel.
ROI priorities are clear, with conversation rates, yield growth and site traffic top of mind.
Collaboration with colleagues is more critical than ever. As marketing becomes more visibly integral to business success, five colleagues now typically have input on investment decisions.
Content marketing is here to stay. Like social media and email marketing these channels remain critical to delivering on ROI goals.
'Marketing is shifting from an art to a science, and has been significantly disrupted by technology over the last few years. It's about blending the data science of marketing with the art of brand-positioning, whilst not ignoring critical parts of the marketing mix such as brand building, thought leadership and positioning your business as a solution to your customer's problem,'' said Sandeep Saujani, CEO of Contentive.
To learn more about the key findings, download the full report here.