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The Five Biggest Challenges Facing B2B Marketers in 2013

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The B2B business world is no longer a black and white world, that's for sure, and while there's no one right choice, having multiple good options makes it even more difficult to choose the right one for you.

Which markets do you go after? Where do you allocate your budget? How do you prioritize what comes next?

We recently asked members of our B2B Forum PAC—our Program Advisory Committee—what they consider the biggest challenges and the most urgent choices facing today's marketers. These smarty-pants marketers put their ears to the ground, so to speak, and returned to voice concerns with common themes.



  1. Creating a human voice. Telling brand stories. Choosing a style and a tone and a pace. What does it take to do that in the (insert stodgy industry of your choice) space?


  2. Adopting new technologies, services, and processes. In other words, operations. These are choices that keep many a good marketer up at night. And let's not forget big data (that's a big one). What is it, anyhow? And is it even a choice for you—or me?


  3. Generating leads? Sure. Converting those leads into paying customers? Absolutely. But... surely that's the sales team's responsibility, not marketing's job. Or is it?


  4. Retaining customers. Fostering customer loyalty. Then, turning those customers into advocates. Rinse. Repeat. Instantly fabulous. Wait—it's not always that easy?


  5. Generating measurable revenue results. Not just positive ROI on a single program, we're talking real dollars added to the company's bottom line. But what's the best strategy to accomplish that (and how will you prove to your CFO and CEO that success can be traced back to you)?


This year's program is still in the works, but we hope to cover some of these topics—and many others—at MarketingProfs' 7th Annual B2B Marketing Forum. That makes joining hundreds of other marketers in Boston on October 10–11 (pre-conference workshops October 9) for the smartest marketing conference of the year a pretty easy choice.



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Sharon Hudson is vice president of Advertising and Events at MarketingProfs.

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Comments

  • by Mr Marketology Fri Mar 1, 2013 via blog

    It is amazing how creatig you own voice is often overlooked. That is so important.

  • by Peter Cullen Sun Mar 3, 2013 via blog

    Amazing how the difference Marketing and Sales continues to blur online! Marketers are responsible for the bottom line like never before.

  • by Sergio Tue Mar 5, 2013 via blog

    Great points, especially number 4. In order to retain your customers its necessary to build trust , if you do that you are on the right track...

  • by SharonHudson Wed Mar 6, 2013 via blog

    Thanks for the comments! No doubt things are changing at breakneck speed for all marketers - and we in the B2B space are not immune. Time to choose a voice that has personality - you are so right Mr Marketology (great name!). And yea I've definitely noticed that sales and marketing are less and less distinctive. Not only are marketers accountable for the bottom line, like you say, Peter, but successful sales people are also employing solid marketing tactics! And it's no secret that keeping customers is a lot cheaper than acquiring new ones - so nurturing programs that result in building trust and loyalty will more than pay for themselves through increasing business to existing customers. Great observation, Sergio!

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