Don't you love all of the articles that promise to tell us what the future will be like? But don't we also live in a time of constant change with unpredictable future states? Who would've guessed a year ago the global changes we have seen in just the last 6 months?
Yet people still try to predict the future.
I advise my clients to adapt to buyers as they want you to be now and you will be in a position to adjust in the future no matter the trends that actually occur.
Here is the article that spurred me to write this.
They predict that B2B marketing will be:
Chief change officer? Seems like a buzzword to me and I doubt that marketing will lead change across entire organizations.
Chief coaching officer? Nope. Not marketing's job.
Communications arm for HR and talent? Yep. That is already a requirement and marketing better be doing this now. I wrote about this last month so I was ahead of the curve!
More personal? Dan Tyre and I wrote about a market of one in our book Inbound Organization in 2018. Like the title of this article says, the future is now.
Metrics to understand marketing segments? Check. Behavioral metrics are the ones that matter right now. Market segmentation and focus are not new ideas but ones that are more critical today and will be in the future.
I like to define marketing as creating and communicating value to an audience that needs that value. I do not see this changing in the near future. In fact, the number one thing marketing should be doing now and I am sure 5 years from now is creating value for the organization by understanding who the target audience is and what they need in terms of value.
Messaging, storytelling, channel, and tactics all take a back seat to understanding what is going on with the target audience which includes employees, stakeholders, and potential customers.
Once you have this understanding you can then tailor your marketing efforts to the audience. Sounds simple. But in my experience many B2B marketing companies do not take the time to connect with customers on a regular basis, survey lost/won deals, run NPS survey campaigns, or spend much time with the sales and service teams understanding what is going on with real customers.
Content is a constant challenge for many B2B companies. Lack of time, talent, and topics cause many companies to fall back on product and specification-driven content. These companies have the time, talent, and topics but they fail to realize that this is their most important resource. What they know, how they solve problems, and their ultimate value must be converted into engaging interesting content in order to attract the best prospects.
This content disconnect is the biggest opportunity in B2B marketing over the next five years.
What happens when B2B companies understand that their best marketing comes from creating great content:
The opportunity to reach your audience exists today. The fundamental connection between marketing and value will not change. The biggest thing that needs to change is the B2B companies need to understand that the product they make is not the key to the future. Products are very easily commoditized.
Great content, excellent customer experience, and tight communities are the keys to your successful B2B marketing future.
Talk to me anytime about your content marketing. We help companies adapt to the future now by developing, optimizing, and delivering great content.