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Prepared by Slack and Company
Rich Dettmer
Justina Nguyen
SLACK AND COMPANY’S B2B MARKETING
PREDICTIONS AND TRENDS FOR 2015
[ 2 ]
B2B Marketing Predictions and Trends for 2015
As always, we approach digital marketing not
from a “gee wiz, that’s n...
[ 3 ]
Mobile marketing will reach equal consideration with the desktop in
B2B
What it is: B2B is beginning to
see mobile r...
[ 4 ]
Mobile marketing will reach equal consideration with the desktop in
B2B
• 5.9 billion people are mobile
users out of...
[ 5 ]
Marketers will fine-tune their content distribution strategy, with an
increase of using social as a key amplifier
Wh...
[ 6 ]
Marketers will fine-tune their content distribution strategy, with an
increase of using social as a key amplifier
• ...
[ 7 ]
Social ad spending and paid amplification will increase
What it is: There are changes in the
social landscape like t...
[ 8 ]
Social ad spending and paid amplification will increase
• 70% of marketers will increase
spending on social media ma...
[ 9 ]
Marketing automation will be considered the “standard” demand
generation and management approach
What it is: Marketi...
[ 10 ]
Marketing automation will be considered the “standard” demand
generation and management approach
• As more and more...
[ 11 ]
Video content creation, consumption, and advertising will continue to
grow
What it is: In Q4 2014 alone, 38.2
billi...
[ 12 ]
Video content creation, consumption, and advertising will continue to
grow
• 73% of B2B marketers use video
as a co...
[ 13 ]
“Content alignment with the buyer journey” will be the new black
What it is: In order to properly
automate a market...
[ 14 ]
• 79% of marketing leads never
convert to sales; 61% of B2B
marketers send leads directly
to sales, while only 27% ...
[ 15 ]
B2B Marketing will play a much larger role in B2B sales
What it is: As B2B buyers
behavior becomes more self-
servi...
[ 16 ]
• B2B organizations with tightly
aligned sales and marketing
operations achieved 24%
faster three-year revenue
grow...
[ 17 ]
Email will come roaring back as spam subsides
What it is: Acceptance of a
variety of email certification
standards ...
[ 18 ]
Email will come roaring back as spam subsides
• The email deliverability score
for B2B marketers has
increased from...
[ 19 ]
Marketing applications will appear on wearable technology
What it is: Wearable technology is
becoming more widespre...
[ 20 ]
Sales Percentages
Marketing applications will appear on wearable technology
• Multi-screen marketing,
responsive de...
[ 21 ]
The B2B e-commerce market is big and about to get bigger
What it is: B2B ecommerce has
lagged behind consumer
ecomm...
[ 22 ]
The B2B e-commerce market is big and about to get bigger
• B2B ecommerce is growing
slightly faster than US online
...
[ 23 ]
Integrated customer experience marketing in B2B will be a point of
emphasis in 2015
What it is: Consistent branding...
[ 24 ]
Integrated customer experience marketing in B2B will be a point of
emphasis in 2015
• 71% of B2B marketers agree
th...
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Slack's 11 B2B Marketing Predictions & Trends for 2015

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2015 is already here, and it’s coming in full-force. Holiday festivities and our
intermission from work seem so far away. Everyone is hastily getting back into the swing
of things, and it’s business as usual.

We’ve learned a lot over the past year through our client and internal campaigns and
projects – all the while keeping a close eye on what other B2B marketers are
experiencing and on trends and events that are impacting the world of B2B marketing.
What are the new challenges that we face this year (e.g. what’s inevitable and
unavoidable?) What changes are we seeing come out of 2014 and into the new year that
will affect how we plan and execute our clients’ strategies? As always, we approach
digital marketing not from a “Gee-whiz, that’s neat!” perspective, but from a “What real
changes are going to provide opportunities and challenges for our clients?” perspective.

From mobile to marketing automation to B2B e-commerce to social and content
marketing, we covered the bases with trends we feel will have the most impact on your
business. Whether you’re a financial services firm or a specialty chemicals manufacturer,
what we’ve proposed is relevant to any brand that is looking to influence the various
decision makers along the buyer journey.

Our predictions and trends highlight:
 What are the business drivers causing the trends
 What you can reasonably expect to achieve by adopting them
 The business consequences of not adopting them

We’ve peppered in compelling research and insights from third party sources (e.g.
studies, charts, infographics) to deliver our proof points. We’re here to empower and
educate our clients to make some of the most important decisions to meet their business
goals and objectives. And, it would make our day to know that you learned something
new from what we’re so passionate about doing everyday.

What are your thoughts on our 11 B2B marketing predictions and trends for 2015? Have
any others of your own to add? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Published in: Marketing
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Slack's 11 B2B Marketing Predictions & Trends for 2015

  1. 1. Prepared by Slack and Company Rich Dettmer Justina Nguyen SLACK AND COMPANY’S B2B MARKETING PREDICTIONS AND TRENDS FOR 2015
  2. 2. [ 2 ] B2B Marketing Predictions and Trends for 2015 As always, we approach digital marketing not from a “gee wiz, that’s neat” perspective, but from a “what real changes are going to provide opportunities and challenges for our clients” perspective.
  3. 3. [ 3 ] Mobile marketing will reach equal consideration with the desktop in B2B What it is: B2B is beginning to see mobile response rates equal those of desktop response rates. What it means: We are finally at the inflection point in B2B where mobile marketing channels must be considered at the same level of emphasis as desktop channels Why it matters: If our clients continue to focus only on the desktop they will be missing half (or more) of their marketing opportunity
  4. 4. [ 4 ] Mobile marketing will reach equal consideration with the desktop in B2B • 5.9 billion people are mobile users out of 7 billion people worldwide • It’s projected that by this year, mobile usage will surpass desktop usage • 68% of mobile users are using Android, while 19% use iOS. • Mobile is being used more and more for the purposes of emails, social media, news, & research/surveys – averaging over 50%.
  5. 5. [ 5 ] Marketers will fine-tune their content distribution strategy, with an increase of using social as a key amplifier What it is: In 2014, B2B marketers realized the importance of creating and publishing content, with “content strategy” as a core focus. However, many failed when it came to executing a successful content distribution strategy (only 38% rate their efforts as effective). What it means: Even if you have the best content out there, it won’t matter if the content doesn’t have visibility. Only 26% of marketers are investing in content distribution, even though more than half believe they need to. Why it matters: 54% of the most effective B2B marketers have a documented content strategy. Strategic distribution and personalization of content is what will set businesses apart in this hyper-competitive landscape.
  6. 6. [ 6 ] Marketers will fine-tune their content distribution strategy, with an increase of using social as a key amplifier • 26% of marketers are investing in content distribution, even though more than 50% believe they need to • 60% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets • 94% of marketers say that social media is an important part of their marketing mix, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites • The focus on social media distribution will lead to increased organic usage and increased paid social media advertising to extend the reach of content and lead generation
  7. 7. [ 7 ] Social ad spending and paid amplification will increase What it is: There are changes in the social landscape like the decline of Facebook’s organic reach & decline in promotional page posts starting Jan. 2015, and Twitter’s new results-driven business model of its ad platform. What it means: Content visibility will become more competitive, and the demand for ads will increase. Marketers will need to spend more for their content (via ads) to reach their audience. Marketers will also need to take advantage of Twitter’s performance- based structure. Why it matters: With the increase of content creation and curation, there will need to be a push to boost content consumption to stay abreast with competitors in real-time. Continued testing and optimization will be key here.
  8. 8. [ 8 ] Social ad spending and paid amplification will increase • 70% of marketers will increase spending on social media marketing – Marketingsherpa.com • Social advertising spend increased by 40% in 2014 and will top $8.5 billion, growing to nearly $14 billion in 2018. • Top metrics used by marketers to measure social media success include: social media traffic, audience engagement, audience growth rate, overall brand awareness, and lead gen.
  9. 9. [ 9 ] Marketing automation will be considered the “standard” demand generation and management approach What it is: Marketing automation has long been predicted to become the standard approach to direct marketing. This is the year in B2B where the majority of savvy marketers will adopt it. What it means: There will be a fundamental shift in the way demand generation is handled for B2B companies. This will make for a bumpy year for many marketers, but will yield improved results. Why it matters: Marketing automation has been found to increase demand generation performance by as much as 18% while reducing resource requirements for program management.
  10. 10. [ 10 ] Marketing automation will be considered the “standard” demand generation and management approach • As more and more companies are now utilizing marketing automation, training on the technology is becoming a more important initiative and mandate from the C-Suite • Marketing automation is also getting cheaper, now that there are dozen of alternatives for all-in-one solutions – which means more widespread usage
  11. 11. [ 11 ] Video content creation, consumption, and advertising will continue to grow What it is: In Q4 2014 alone, 38.2 billion videos were watched (+43% from 2013). Videos continue to be one of the top 5 most effective tactics for B2B marketers. (82% report success) What it means: Video is being used more and more as a way to talk about products and services instead of a long whitepaper or article, along every stage of the buyer’s journey. Why it matters: Attention spans are declining and expectations of content are growing. Not only is it important to create attention-grabbing, quality visual storytelling, but it’s also crucial to have a video distribution strategy in place.
  12. 12. [ 12 ] Video content creation, consumption, and advertising will continue to grow • 73% of B2B marketers use video as a content marketing tactic • The popularity of whitepapers as a B2B content marketing format is actually declining in relation to more interactive, easily digestible formats such as video • In 2014, the use of video content for B2B marketing increased by 8% to 58%, while the use of infographics topped the adoption list increasing in usage by 9% to 52%. • Video content can increase the changes of front page Google ranking by 53 times • 50% of those who viewed a marketing video went on to make a purchase for their business
  13. 13. [ 13 ] “Content alignment with the buyer journey” will be the new black What it is: In order to properly automate a marketing campaign, marketers must identify content and offers that are appropriate and compelling to each target audience at each point in the buyer journey. What it means: Marketers will be required to audit their content to find where it aligns with their target audiences and where they have gaps in their messages and offers. Why it matters: In order to take advantage of the opportunity offered by Marketing automation, B2B marketers have to have content “in the can” for each stage of their automated programs.
  14. 14. [ 14 ] • 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales; 61% of B2B marketers send leads directly to sales, while only 27% of those leads are qualified • Aligning content with the buyer’s journey yields 73% higher average conversion rates for marketers who do vs. those who don’t • Content aligning may open your audiences’ eyes to goals they may be missing or pain points they need to change “Content alignment with the buyer journey” will be the new black
  15. 15. [ 15 ] B2B Marketing will play a much larger role in B2B sales What it is: As B2B buyers behavior becomes more self- service, B2B marketers will take on more and more of the buyer journey. What it means: In order to maintain a consistent voice to the B2B buyer, it is critical that marketing and sales become more aligned in messages and content. Why it matters: A lack of alignment between marketing and sales will create a buyer journey that “hits a cliff” at the point the journey switches from marketing to sales.
  16. 16. [ 16 ] • B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three- year profit growth • The objective of marketing and sales alignment is knowing when a process is working and when it isn’t • Improve communication between departments, set measurable goals/guidelines, improve transparency, and build mutual respect B2B Marketing will play a much larger role in B2B sales
  17. 17. [ 17 ] Email will come roaring back as spam subsides What it is: Acceptance of a variety of email certification standards including Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy (SPF), and DMARC (Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) are making a real dent in spam traffic. What it means: If B2B marketers follow the rules, their emails will make it through while spam gets stopped at the server level. Why it matters: With the growth of automation, it will be key to have high deliverable rates on scheduled and triggered messages through email.
  18. 18. [ 18 ] Email will come roaring back as spam subsides • The email deliverability score for B2B marketers has increased from last year, as many databases contained less outdated/incorrect email addresses.
  19. 19. [ 19 ] Marketing applications will appear on wearable technology What it is: Wearable technology is becoming more widespread, which opens up a whole new way to connect. What it means: Because current adoption is low, it’s a great time for low-stakes experiments on marketing strategies with wearable tech. Why it matters: This is the holy grail of marketing: delivering the right content at right time and at the right place. As technology becomes even more embedded into our daily routines, marketers can expect a data flood from the ocean of information collected by apps.
  20. 20. [ 20 ] Sales Percentages Marketing applications will appear on wearable technology • Multi-screen marketing, responsive design and integration with other devices will be areas of focus as wearable technology becomes more widespread • By 2018, the wearable technology market will rise to a value worth $5.8 billion. • Although Google Glass web browsing only accounts for a small part of the total online traffic, it’s incidence has also rise 135%, more than the growth of tablet (39%) and mobile growth (38%)
  21. 21. [ 21 ] The B2B e-commerce market is big and about to get bigger What it is: B2B ecommerce has lagged behind consumer ecommerce as B2B organizations have been challenged in serving up multi-touch, multi-decision purchases through ecommerce What it means: Increasing support for repeat purchase models and service oriented ecommerce models has increased the match between B2B needs and ecommerce capabilities Why it matters: 2015 will be a year that sees and acceleration of B2B entities trying and adopting ecommerce business modules
  22. 22. [ 22 ] The B2B e-commerce market is big and about to get bigger • B2B ecommerce is growing slightly faster than US online retailing at a rate of 19%, compared to 17% for B2C ecommerce • At over $500 billion in total sales, the market is an increasing target for innovators, developers, and retailers
  23. 23. [ 23 ] Integrated customer experience marketing in B2B will be a point of emphasis in 2015 What it is: Consistent branding and messaging across the entire customer experience has long been a goal of B2B marketers but is a challenge given the complexities of multi-decision buyer processes What it means: Increased visibility of customer interactions, particularly through web reviews and social media has increased both the focus and the measurability of the customer experience Why it matters: Savvy B2B marketers will use both direct research and a variety of social signals to measure and optimize their customer experience so that it is consistent and integrated across all customer touch points and channels
  24. 24. [ 24 ] Integrated customer experience marketing in B2B will be a point of emphasis in 2015 • 71% of B2B marketers agree that their customers’ rising expectation for consumer-like convenience experience impacts how to interact with them • It’s predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator • 85% of B2B marketers view customer experience as critical to achieving their strategic growth priorities

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