The more change occurring the more questions arise. B2B Marketers are experiencing continuing as well as new challenges. What are the big questions for B2B Marketers?
Survey after survey indicate B2B marketers have this issue top of mind. Creating demand and filling up a pipeline is loaded with pressure packed environments. In my qualitative buyer research work, I see shifts in behaviour on the part of buyers. There are unique sets of goals and behaviours emerging in the area of nurturing. Calling into question how leads should be defined and segmented. Lead research and unique lead persona development will emerge to help B2B marketers address this most important question.
How do we use and do we have the expertise to use marketing automation successfully?
Marketing automation has moved from the infancy stage and is being more widely embraced. Many organisations have been in the “let’s just get started” phase. Experiencing the pain of implementation. The next level question is how to make marketing automation more effective and a standard part of operational procedure to get better results.
How do we imbed into the organisation the content marketing operation?
Content marketing has certainly arisen as one of the core capabilities that B2B marketing must hold. It is causing sweeping shifts in thinking about the role of marketing within the organisation and how to build systems internally. To implement content marketing solicits further questions related to structure, roles, and skillsets. Presenting CMO’s with the formidable task of figuring out how to build internal strength in content marketing.
What do customers and buyers want, where are they on the buyers journey?
When this question is asked, there is a tendency to give a product-centric answer. This is one of the hardest questions to figure out. Since no one is assured to be a mind-reader of others, this will take a much more structured approach, to understand how your potential clients think as well as what is motivating this thinking, it takes skillful client and buyer research.
How do we stop reacting and plan for the future?
There is palpable tension in the air for B2B Marketers this year. The need to know and the need to get results creates mounting pressure. When results may not have been as expected, it is bound to cause some to push the panic button. It can become a fire drill. All hands on deck to create the next campaign. What is happening is buyers are out in front and B2B marketers are trying to catch up. I advocate having a solid foundation of buyer intelligence to work with. This means a collective body of research-based reference knowledge like audience personas, buyer personas, mapping tools related to content and buying journeys, and much more. These give you the perspective you need to know why something may not have worked and to plan intelligently. Another words – stop hitting the panic button.
How do we build more buyer predictability into B2B Marketing?
Predictive analytics continues to grow. It holds promise to scale down Big Data and give the ability to predict buying behaviors. While this may help us to predict how buyers may behave online for example, it may yield little on predicting why. A capability I am advocating is developing customer and buyer foresight planning. This type of planning calls for emerging buyer scenario modeling and mapping capabilities. Knowing where your buyers may be headed can give you the foresight needed to anticipate future motivations. In addition, share your foresight and help them envision a future which includes you.
There are many more questions. It is the nature of business and marketing. It is the one constant we can count on. Things will change enough which will create more questions. B2B Marketing leadership and success will be predicated on the ability to answer the big questions.