According to BtoB magazine, my fellow BtoB marketers are “cautiously optimistic” about the business environment in 2010. This is the first of the top 10 trends for the year. If I may say, this doesn’t seem new to me. It’s in our DNA as marketers to be optimistic. Have you ever met anyone who professes to be a marketer who did not think things would change for the better? If you did, he or she was not in the right profession.
The “cautious” part, though, might be new. At least it’s certainly warranted in this still-shaky climate. Budgets remain tight, and the need to prove results is ever more present. We should always be cautious about spending. In fact, we should be investing, not spending, with a solid rationale for doing so. That means measuring our performance, basing our future decisions on past measurement.
Which leads me to another top ten trend: Increased focus on accountability. See? There are good things that come out of the recession, and one of them is a greater emphasis on data analytics and accountability.
Other top ten trends:
Positioning for a recovery. Which is another way of saying, “taking advantage of the recession.” Recessions can provide you with an opportunity to increase your market share. You can especially gain by differentiating yourself from competitors who have remained silent throughout, while you build awareness. Recessions can be game changing, and if you’re still standing, be sure to get your story out.
Integrating social media. This is more than a marketing tool. It’s a way to really interact with and thoroughly understand your customers. Apparently social media can galvanize your whole company to focus on customers. I dunno. I’d love to see it, but so far, I think we have enough trouble just trying to integrate marketing communications.
Lower-cost content marketing. Yup. Thank-you, social media, for making it possible. We really needed this as a way to get our message out there during hard times.
So those are the top five of ten big BtoB marketing trends: cautious optimism, more accountability, positioning for a recovery, integrating social media and lower-cost content marketing. Are these your top trends too?