After the pleasures of the festive break (seeing friends and family; eating well; sharing gifts and (my personal favourite) enjoying an endless number of lie-ins) getting back to the normal routine is tricky. I, for one, find it testing in January, so need to look purposefully for reasons to be cheerful about the year ahead.
In a work sense, that means continuing the mission to encourage more b2b companies to make themselves and their marketing efforts smarter, and more aligned to the realities of how people actually buy from them. So here in a very short post, are my top three predictions for how the b2b world will have to adapt in 2013:
- Business plc will wake up to social media, especially proven routes such as Twitter and LinkedIn. The numbers of clients and prospects using these channels will rocket this year, making it much easier to convince cynical colleagues as to the benefits of incorporating these channels into our business conversations
- The best marketers will present an increasingly ‘human’ face to their organisations, recognising that buyers are emotional beings, turned off by corporate language and structures that get in the way, who instead are turned on by great ideas that they can access easily
- We will learn (rapidly) to express complex ideas visually – through video, graphics, pictures – to get any cut through in a world that is connected 24/7. By explaining things in images, we will inspire our business buyers to understand more easily how we can help them fix their problems, and still be recognised for being excellent technically. This isn’t dumbing down. This is smart business practice
In preparing this post, I also asked marketing consultant, Richard Davies, from RED Communications to share his predictions for 2013. You can find out more about Richard at redslowwe.tumblr.com/ or twitter.com/redslowwe. Do you agree with either of us or have other thoughts to throw into the debate?
‘If retail is all about location, location, location then marketing is all about integration, integration, integration. Which means that the days of the ‘Digital Strategy’ are numbered. Why? Because ‘Digital’, no matter how broadly or narrowly you define it – and we all do that slightly differently, is just one aspect of a properly organised and resourced marketing mix. So it should never have had a strategy of its own in the first place…
‘But finally during 2013 it clicked. You went back to basics. Redefined your ‘Communications Challenges’ by asking what the market needed to know; how they would prefer to find it, when, in what form and through which channels…
‘You stopped talking about ‘digital’ at all. Got rid of the Digital Marketing Manager and took a totally integrated approach to communicating with your customers. It was a different approach of course. You adopted the mantra of ‘having a conversation with’ rather than ‘talking to or at’ the customer. The Board finally saw the value of this too and resourced you properly…’ [Source: http://redslowwe.tumblr.com/post/38395432646/b2b-marketing-in-2013-the-year-digital-grew-up%5D