White Paper No. 3
1. Predicting future work
Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice in Organisational Behaviour at
London Business School, recently listed Five Forces which will shape the way work
will be done by 2025. The following is an extract from an article published in Business
...the future will
be less about general
skills and more about
in-depth mastery; less
about working as a
individual and more
collaboratively in a
joined world, and less
about focussing solely
on standard of living
and more on the quality
Professor of Management Practice
London Business School
By 2025, we can expect that more than five billion people will be connected by
mobile devices, the internet ‘Cloud’ will deliver low-cost computing services, and an
unprecedented amount of information in the world knowledge net.
The combination of technology and globalisation will have a profound impact on the
way we work in the future. Greater numbers of people will choose to move to the
mega-cities of the world, and new talent pools will emerge in areas across the globe
where the population is connected to the world knowledge net.
The coming decades will be defined by the largest demographic group the world has
ever seen — the Baby Boomers. In 2010, they were in their 50s and 60s; and by 2025
most will have left the workforce, taking with them a huge store of tacit knowledge and
It will increasingly be the norm to work much of the time from home or in small
community hubs to avoid the carbon costs and general wear and tear of lengthy
commutes. More people will work as freelancers and ‘neo-nomads’, expecting
increasing autonomy and freedom.
We can expect oil prices to rise substantially as the developing world uses more energy
and the sources of oil have become depleted and expensive to extract.
This could result in a rapid escalation of the cost of moving goods across the globe and
a rapid reduction of commuting and work-related travel. This will be a significant driver
to virtual working and home-based working.
Lynda Gratton is Professor of Management
Practice at London Business School.
We’ve taken Lynda’s Five Forces and applied them to B2B marketing. The result is a list
of 18 key evolutions.
She is the author of a series of best selling books
including Hot Spots, Glow and Living Strategy. To
view the full article from Business Strategy Review
please scan the QR Code or click the short-link.
White Paper No. 3
2. Eighteen key evolutions
The 18 key evolutions we have identified can be grouped under five headings. These
‘evolution groups’ are likely to impact B2B marketing from now until 2025. They are...
& Private Life
The infographic below illustrates the key evolutions, it’s available to share using the QR
Code or short-link at the base of this page.
Infographic I - The 18 key evolutions
BYOD results in 24/7
connection with work
Working longer hours,
but flexible time
Collaboration areas for
Greater use of
Baby-boomers will start
More decision makers
in buying team
More staff working from
between CMO & CIO
Fewer company cars,
higher delivery costs
Better use of office
space; desk-less offices
EU Data Regulation
may impact Big Data
Computer tablet more
popular than PC
To view and share the above infographic of the 18
evolutions, please scan the QR Code or click the
B2B data will include
elements of B2C
4 screen technology; TV
tablet, mobile & laptop
Arrival of busumers;
Now we have identified the key developments in our work environment we can study
them in more detail, and examine their influence on B2B marketing strategy.
White Paper No. 3
3. Future: Work & private life
This first evolution group concentrates on how work and private life will merge, how we
will travel to work and the length of our working day as well as career path.
BYOD results in 24/7 connection with work
We can already see how smart phones and other devices ensure we are connected
24/7 with both work and our private lives. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) means it’s not
unusual to receive private text messages during the working day or access work emails
outside of business hours.
As we become more comfortable with 24 hour connection, the limits of B2B contact may
be stretched - responding to work emails at 9pm in the evening or 3pm on Saturday
could eventually be considered normal.
Working longer hours, but ﬂexible time
As a result of 24/7 connection we are likely to work longer hours - when work is
available. Companies will offer more flexible working arrangements and there could be
a move towards project based work.
While there will be less job security, flexible working will mean a much better work/life
balance. People will have longer careers, and during your 70 years at work you can
expect to have spent a lot more ‘down time’.
Arrival of busumers; business consumers
When work was a function within strict limits (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday), we
communicated with people at different times and in different channels, depending
on whether we were targeting consumers or business people. That distinction will
disappear in the future.
Chart II - Who are the Baby Boomers?
Live Births in UK; 1925-2011
1925-45 1946-64 1965-81 1982-00 2001-11+
Between 1946-1964 there was a significant rise
in the birth rate in the UK (and world-wide). These
‘Baby Boomers’ had a positive effect, increasing
both productivity and consumption.
Many commentators believe the knowledge,
skills and work ethic of the Baby Boomers will be
missed when they retire.
Source: Office for National Statistics, 2012
The merging or work and private life may mean we all become ‘busumers’ - functioning
as both business people and consumers 24 hours a day. Decision-makers are just as
likely to choose a new supplier on Sunday afternoon, as they are to choose a new bed
after a Management meeting on Monday morning.
Baby-boomers will start retiring 2020
The Baby Boomers helped the world re-build itself after WWII. In 2020, they will begin
retiring, taking with them knowledge, skills and a unique work ethic. They form part of
the original knowledge crowd.
Most baby-boomers will retire at 60-65 years old, but future generation X & Y will need
to work longer to support an ageing population. Future buyers could be 65-70 years old.
Fewer company cars; higher delivery costs
The price of oil is rising as reserves run dry and extraction becomes expensive. A recent
Daily Telegraph* article claimed that Saudi Arabia would run out of oil to export by 2030,
and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers** estimates oil may run out by 2050.
The impact will be fewer company cars and less long distance travel (by car or plane).
Rising oil prices will also affect delivery costs, perhaps resulting in fewer imports and
more local production. The reality of distance equals money will finally hit.
White Paper No. 3
Greater use of public transport
Higher fuel prices might result in more people using public transport to get to work,
assuming they are not working from home.
London Underground has already installed WiFi at many stations, and the Dubai Metro
has WiFi connection in the tunnels. As a result we can expect to see greater use of
mobile devices; with both hands free, people will be able to respond to emails and
concentrate on web content.
Impact of Work & Private Life on B2B marketing
Being connected 24/7 could mean 24/7 sales and service. It may become acceptable for
you to engage with existing and potential clients at weekends and work-day evenings.
Selling to the person, as well as the organisation
As we become
with 24 hour
connection, the limits
of B2B contact may be
As the workforce becomes more nomadic, so it could become increasingly important to
build relationships with individuals as well as companies.
Work in the future could be similar to a film production crew. A group of experts will come
together to complete a project, and then disband to move on to the next project. You
should ensure that when they find their next project, you are on their contact list as an
expert in your field.
Membership of reputable trade organisations and speaking at trade events/seminars
should be part of your plan.
Filling the knowledge gap
As baby boomers retire they will take with them a library of knowledge built over
decades. Content marketing can help fill the knowledge gap. Documents, videos and
graphics that help to educate (and position your company as an expert) could be in
The distance equals money equation could result in more local selling. Companies
could possibly become concentrated in tighter geographic areas, with a number of small
suppliers serving their needs.
Grab them on the way to work
As more people travel to work on public transport, their smart devices will give them
access to content marketing and strategic articles. They will have the time to think
strategically, and time to absorb complex propositions before they reach their busy
You might also consider putting transport advertising on your schedule (escalator
panels, station posters, tube cards, etc.).
White Paper No. 3
Video-conferencing and video-call areas
Video-conferencing is already a popular and valuable tool during the sales process, but
we could see video-calling play an increasingly important role as the cost of sending
sales executives to meetings begins to rise.
More staff working from home
The distance equals cost equation will also apply to staff. The cost of commuting will
become prohibitive and as more people use public transport congestion could also
become an issue. Companies will need to find more effective and cost-efficient ways for
staff to work, and working from home could be a common solution.
Impact of Work Location on B2B marketing
Identify the knowledge leaders
Marketers should try to identify the knowledge leaders within organisations, people
who tweet, blog, comment and engage with webinars/seminars. They are likely to be
influential in the collaborative areas of future offices.
Make content easy to find and digest
GlaxoSmithKline have already found that desk-less offices lead to faster decision
making, so that may put pressure on marketing departments to ensure content is easily
accessible and quicker to digest.
Infographics, short 300-word blogs and 2 minute videos (with links to more heavy-weight
documents), could ensure you are part of the buying discussion at an early stage.
Greater use of traditionally B2C channels
As people work from home they are likely to be exposed to more B2C marketing
channels. They may decide to view a news channel during their lunch break and we
could begin to see more dedicated ‘vertical’ business channels on digital TV.
More firms might decide to join companies like FedEx and use TV commercials to reach
decision-makers; or radio,national newspapers and even direct mail to home addresses.
Video requires camera-confident sales executives
Greater use of video calling/conferencing will require sales executives who are cameraconfident. Telemarketing Sales Agents will need to learn new body language skills and
be comfortable in front of camera.
Provide video cubicles
As most tablet computers will be fitted with video-calling, it may be necessary to provide
video cubicles to reduce background noise and provide a neutral back-drop to the call.
Be mindful of working hours at home
The home environment is a private space, even when it’s being used for work. So
Marketing Managers will need to ensure they don’t over-step the mark and encroach on
territory that decision-makers regard as out-of-bounds.
White Paper No. 3
5. Buying process
The arrival of the internet has changed the buying process forever. Product and service
comparisons can be completed quicker and new suppliers are just a click away. The
next stages may be more decision-makers in the buying process and crowd-sourcing to
build project-based teams.
More decision-makers in buying team
According to a series of surveys*, the number of people involved in a buying decision is
rising... up 16% in just one year.
Four out of five
sales involve at least
one in ten sales
involve more than ten
Miller Heiman’s annual Best Practice Study* found that four out of five sales involve
at least four people; one in ten sales involve more than ten decision-makers. And the
larger the company, the bigger the problem. For example, companies with more than a
thousand employees have an average of 21 people in the decision to buy technology.
Crowd-sourcing; virtual ‘short-term’ teams
Crowd-sourcing began in 2006, and the Chart below shows a steep rise in demand for
these short-term projects. As staff and companies become less loyal to each other, and
the advantages of project-based work become apparent to both parties, we can expect
to see more crowd-sourcing in the future.
As discussed earlier, buying teams might emulate a film production crew; a team of
experts brought together to complete a project and who disband after the work is
completed - but who recommend each other for future projects and meet again.
As a result, it will become necessary for staff to develop expertise in a particular field or
they could find themselves excluded from future projects. The days of the ‘generalist’
manager or buyer may be numbered.
Impact of Buying Process on B2B marketing
Chart III Rising interest in Crowd-sourcing
Index of search term ‘Crowdsourcing’
Team to Team selling process
As buying teams grow it will be wise to connect ‘team-to-team’, each expert dealing with
their opposite number and building relationships that can develop into trust.
Maintain contact as they move to new projects
As individuals move to their next project you will need to ensure you maintain
contact. Encouraging buyers to sign-up or download using their personal email
address or mobile number and connecting with them on LinkedIn will ensure continuity
Source: Google Adwords, 2013
Large organisations such as AOL, Microsoft and
LinkedIn have all used crowd-sourcing recently.
According to a recent survey** revenues of
Multiple languages/cultures as virtual teams are worldwide
Companies are already sourcing the best teams from a world stage, and that will
become more common in the future. Ensuring content is available in a number of
popular languages and being aware of cultural differences will help buyers engage more
readily with your proposition.
crowd-sourcing firms grew 74% between 2010
and 2011, and 53% a year earlier. The 14 crowdsourcing firms that took part in the survey have
total revenues of about $50 million.
* Source: Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study
** Source: www.crowdsourcing.org
White Paper No. 3
The pace of technological change seems to be increasing almost every year. New
technology replaces previously new technology, making strategy difficult to formulate.
Four screen technology; TV, tablet, mobile & laptop
Many believe our lives will be organised by four screens, and at least 3 of them will be
available at the office... all 4 if you are working from home.
We need a whole
new paradigm about
how people use
control their life,
rather than be
controlled by it
Sales Director IT Services
Google believes people use multiple screens in two ways: sequentially (going from
one screen to another) and simultaneously (using more than one screen at once).
Sequentially is more for targeted tasks, while simultaneously is mostly supplementing
TV watching while browsing on another device.
Although Google’s research* is consumer-centric, we should remember that our
business and private lives may merge. Marketers need to appreciate how people juggle
four screens for various tasks during the entire day, and target adverts that will appeal on
each device - and understand the different things buyers do on each device.
Computer tablet more popular than laptop
The rise of tablet computers means executives are no longer tied to their desk, free to
roam the office and collaborate more with colleagues. Cloud-based software will give
them access to all the functionality they need. In addition, tablets are far easier to take
home - giving an uninterrupted link to work on a screen larger than a smartphone.
Technology and information overload
According to psychologist and author Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D, information overload
can lead to indecisiveness and bad decisions. Indecisiveness occurs when you’re
“overwhelmed by too many choices, your brain mildly freezes and by default, you
passively wait and see”.
On the subject of bad decision-making, she comments “You make a hasty decision
because vital facts get wedged between trivial ones, and you consider credible and
non-credible sources equally”.
Chart III Tablet or Laptop? Who will win?
Computer Tablet vs Laptop
Jamie MacIver MA, Data Scientist at SCi Sales Groups, highlighted how
information overload affects buying decisions, “With so much to choose from, it becomes
impossible to rationally assess each option on its own merits. Instead, the main factor
becomes whether the option considered can stand out from the masses. Medium of
communication – not quality of product – becomes the main factor in choice”.
In addition, the overload could extend beyond just information. Technology overload
may also become an issue, as we try to manage all the devices in our lives and are
constantly encouraged to use unfamiliar tools. Jonathan Butler, Sales Director IT
Services at Avanade, supports this view. He believes “We need a whole new paradigm
about how people use technology to control their life, rather than be controlled by it”.
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Source: NPD Display Search, 2012
White Paper No. 3
Impact of Technology on B2B marketing
Compatibility is not enough, your marketing will need to be optimised for the
devices used by your target audience. As the volume of marketing ‘noise’ increases,
the companies that speak most clearly will be heard.
But optimisation does not necessarily mean for every device. Analytics will tell what
devices your prospects are using, and it makes sense to concentrate your limited budget
on those tools.
As work and private life merge,
the way we use 4 screens at home
could be mirrored during work.
of people shuttle between various
devices to get a task done.
Seeing an advertisement on TV,
checking it out further on a
smartphone or tablet, then doing
more intensive research on a PC.
of people use multiple screens
sequentially, and they almost
always do it in the same day.
of people watching TV, do so with
another device, most often their
Make full use of a bigger screen
As people carry their tablet computers to and from work, it gives marketers a screen
larger than a smartphone to display their message. Infographics, video and other
graphic or picture based marketing make a greater impression on larger screens.
Need to understand buyer’s preferences
As access to different communication devices increases it may become necessary to
understand a buyer’s preference in communication. Do they respond more to email or
telephone? Are they more actively engaged with Twitter or LinkedIn?
Storing their preference in your CRM will enable your message to be viewed quicker and
acted upon faster.
Use marketing channels that cut through the clutter
Information or cognitive overload may become an issue in future marketing as
buyers are bombarded with messages. Choosing the right marketing channel so that your
message is registered and can be recalled could become crucial.
Beatrice de Gelder, Department of Psychology at University of Tilburg, conducted an
experiment on the recall (or recency) of spoken words versus written words or line
Over 190 students took part in the research** and she concluded there was a “clear
picture of the effect of presentation format on recall. Recency of spoken lists was largest,
recency of non-speech sounds was intermediate, and there were no significant recency
effects for visually presented lists (written words or pictures)”.
As our 4 screens become full, using alternative speech based methods of
communication, such as telemarketing, could ensure your message stands out from the
* Source: Google, The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior, 2012
** Source: European Journal of Cognitive Psychology
White Paper No. 3
7. Future: Data
According to Bryan Eisenberg, founder of the Digital Analytics Association, the world is
currently generating more data in 2 days than in all the days before 2003. The sheer
Volume, Variety and Velocity (3Vs) of information has increased; partly as a result of the
explosion in digital marketing and the data it generates.
decide to off-load the
data piece from the
CMO and CIO and give
it to a Data Scientist
or Chief Data Officer,
who would look at it
from an infrastructure
and marketing point
Head of EMEA Integrated Marketing
Big Data and the Single Customer View
Managing the ‘3 Vs’ has been a problem. But Eisenberg believes that as new companies
enter the Big Data arena, and provide cloud-based solutions, the capabilities that had
previously been accessible only by large organisations will find their way into smaller
companies. Big Data for the little guys.
Add to this the increased capability to process data and we could finally have a Single
Customer View of thousands of customers, enabling Marketing Managers to give them
all an individual experience.
EU Data Regulation
But there is a problem on the horizon - the EU Data Protection Regulation (EUDR).
The EUDR changes B2B marketing from an opt-out system to an opt-in rule. It is a
fundamental shift, and due to be implemented 2014-2016. The Regulation states you
must obtain explicit consent through ‘clear statement or affirmative action’ to store and
use both B2C and B2B personal data.
Personal data includes job title, email, direct line and even IP address. This could mean
that less prospect data is collected, so Big Data could become a little bit smaller.
B2B data will include elements of B2C
As work becomes more short-term, executives are more likely to give their private
contact details. This ensures they keep useful contacts and remain part of the
knowledge crowd after they move to their next project.
Big Data may also enable B2B marketers to join the dots, accessing useful B2C
information to build a better profile of decision-makers. Jonathan Butler, Sales Director
IT Services at Avanade, explains “If I’m selling Microsoft solutions to an organisation and
I know the CIO is a Microsoft fan - with a Windows phone, Windows 8 tablet, Hotmail and
an Xbox - then I know that my audience is likley to be receptive to our services. That’s
good for both parties”.
Chart III How big will Big Data become?
Closer relationship between CMO & CIO
Many CMOs and CIOs are already working closely, and there is evidence that CMOs in
some firms are spending as much on IT as the CIO. Marketing data is set to move from
the back-office to front of house, and smart CMOs will forge dynamic relationships with
CIOs to squeeze extra ROI from data.
Projected growth of world data
Lee Koenig, Head of EMEA Integrated Marketing at SAP, believes customer data could
become a separate function, “Companies may decide to off-load the data piece from the
CMO and CIO and give it to a Data Scientist or Chief Data Officer, who would look at it
from an infrastructure and marketing point of view”.
Source: IDC, Dec 2012
White Paper No. 3
Impact of Data on B2B marketing
Build for Big Data...
Content marketing will continue to play an important role in B2B lead generation, and the
creation of touch-points to add valuable insight and social data to customer profiles, will
further inflate Big Data. Make sure your CIO is prepared.
Marketing executives will need to start building for Big Data today, so they are able to
make sense of all the information tomorrow. Potentially, it will enable us to segment
customer data like never before and create a true one-to-one marketing relationship.
... but prepare for the EUDR
If Big Data enables one-to-one marketing, then the EU Data Regulation (EUDR) could
herald one-to-none marketing. Smart companies have started getting consent for
marketing from prospective customers now - using content and special promotions to
To become an expert on the EUDR, scan the QR Code or use the short-link at the base
of this page.
You need to keep an eye on consumer law
As more prospective customers use their personal contact details (personal mobile
phone or email) it will become necessary for B2B marketers to ensure they comply with
any B2C regulations as well as B2B.
Make the CIO or CDO your best friend
The marriage of CMO and Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Data Officer (CDO)
may result in...
a) if you are selling products to the marketing department it might be
wise to include the CIO/CDO as part of your target audience,
b) if you are selling to other departments take your CIO/CDO out
for a beer, they could prove to be very useful.
How the EU plan to kill B2B marketing and what you can do to stop it
Possibly one of the biggest threats to the future of
B2B marketing is the EU Data Regulation. Scan the
QR Code or use the short-link to find out more.