4 B2B Marketing Predictions For 2016
From the explosive growth of ABM to the consolidation of martech vendors, columnist Peter Isaacson takes a look at what marketers should expect this year.
As we move into a new year, you read a lot about predictions. Being a CMO, I normally come up with my own, but this year, instead of consulting my crystal ball, I thought I would do something a little bit different.
So a few weeks ago, I brought together marketing leaders from New Relic, Atmel, Red Hat and Linqia in a Twitter Chat (#b2bcmochat). We discussed the B2B marketing landscape and the trends and strategies that would prove popular in 2016.
Panelists, as well as about a hundred marketers, shared their thoughts on the changes that are occurring. The conversation covered several topics, ranging from Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to budget and changes in your tech stack.
Here are four insights that came up during our conversation:
Account-Based Marketing Will Explode
There’s a lot of research out there that shows Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is on fire. According to Demand Metric, 71 percent of B2B organizations interested in adopting ABM are testing or already using it.
But this is the year ABM sophistication will really grow. As marketers build full-funnel ABM strategies, we’ll see more marketers doing cool things with ABM technology.
During our chat, several leaders discussed how the category itself will become a well-known marketing strategy.
— Kristin Hersant (@kristinhersant) December 17, 2015
Bigger And Bolder Steps Will Be Made To Achieve Sales And Marketing Alignment
I’ve always said that sales and marketing alignment is a top priority for B2B companies. This year, we’ll see B2B marketers taking big steps to align their goals and metrics with sales.
In fact, research firm IDC has said that organizations can save as much as 20 percent of sales and marketing expenses by aligning and automating some sales and marketing processes. This will require a shift away from traditional marketing metrics like unique users and click-through rates. Instead, marketers will need to focus on the metrics that sales actually cares about, such as opportunities, close rates, funnel velocity and annual contract value (ACV).
A6: echoing experience comments. Mktg+sales need to establish a joint view of customer journey (not just the funnel) #b2bcmochat
— robsong (@robsong) December 17, 2015
Content Marketing Budgets Will Increase
According to data from Digiday, content marketing budgets are projected to grow by 59 percent, outpacing both display and search. As budgets increase, so will the need for bigger and better stories — stories that aren’t just about your products, but about the challenges and needs of your prospects.
— Sander Arts (@Sander1Arts) December 17, 2015
Marketing Technology Vendors Will Proliferate And Consolidate
With more than 2,000 marketing companies in the space, there’s already lots of technology out there. In 2016, we’ll see a lot more growth and a lot more consolidation. Segments like predictive marketing (that grew like a weed) will now consolidate.
We’ll also see a big change in how marketing technology is managed. Marketers will no longer purchase and manage tools on a one-off basis. Instead, we’ll see tools being managed more like an IT infrastructure.
A9: Managing marketer tools more like an IT infrastructure vs. as one off tools #b2bcmochat
— jackieyeaney (@jackieyeaney) December 17, 2015
As we enter 2016, all of us will be taking big steps to become more innovative, data-driven and strategic with our marketing. I’m excited to see the changes take shape and to plan accordingly.