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Five Trends B2B Marketers Need to Understand to Succeed in 2012

by Chris Chariton  |  
February 13, 2012

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Five B2B marketing trends that will dominate 2012
  • Why marketers should focus on content creation, online marketing, and technology in 2012

To learn how to defeat their enemies, kings and other rulers once relied on soothsayers who read animal entrails or on astrologers who charted the stars to divine the future. More recently, farmers (and others) relied on the Farmers' Almanac to decide whether that new winter coat or snow blower would be a good or bad investment.

Gaining a glimpse into what tomorrow holds has always been a strategic advantage. Fortunately, today we have something a little better than entrails or stars to guide us—namely, hard data.

Although statistics and the trends they reveal may not always be entirely accurate (ask any stockbroker about that), they certainly give us a quantifiable advantage when making decisions about strategies and tactics for the future.

With that advantage in mind, consider the following five significant trends that will affect B2B marketers in 2012, according to GlobalSpec.

1. Content will be more critical than ever

As more content becomes available online that helps B2B buyers build internal business cases and justify purchasing decisions, the demand for relevant content will increase even more.

That growing demand is part of a rapidly accelerating cycle that shows no signs of leveling out—a trend that should signal to B2B marketers that they must continue to produce quality content.

Moreover, the greater the average order size, the greater the amount of content that marketers need to make available, according to GlobalSpec's research. When the average order size is less than $1,000, 83% of buyers surveyed said they review three or fewer pieces of content. When the average order size is more than $10,000, however, 70% of buyers said they review four or more content pieces.

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Chris Chariton is senior vice-president of product management and supplier marketing for GlobalSpec, a leading provider of digital media solutions that connect industrial marketers with their target audience of engineering, technical, industrial, scientific, and manufacturing sector professionals. Chris can be reached via

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  • by Denysedd Mon Feb 13, 2012 via web

    Marketing hasn't really changed has it?
    It is still about talking to the right customer at the right time with the right message and offerring the right product or service.
    However, what has changed are the skills and tools to do this, which means that a new breed of marketer is needed; one with cultural sensitivity and technological expertise in adition to creativity.

  • by Robert Lindsey Mon Feb 13, 2012 via web

    Should also mention that mobile isn't just for the kids anymore. Marketing Profs has a mobile app but the future is mobile web. Seconds ( is a good place to go to check out how that works.

  • by Jonathan Crowe Wed Aug 15, 2012 via web

    It won't be too long before it's time for the trends for 2013! Now that it's August any new insights?

    I absolutely agree re: social media. Marcel LeBrun, SVP and GM of Salesforce Radian6 said that “the marketing industry is undergoing the biggest transformation it’s seen in 60 years thanks to the unprecedented growth of social networks...CMOs are reinventing their businesses into social enterprises, re-thinking their strategies, and ultimately becoming part of the conversation.”

    Salesforce is just one of the companies getting creative with social media and other online tactics. OpenView recently released a report highlighting 10 examples of companies getting creative with new B2B marketing tactics:

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