Enjoyed the insights from everyone who has posted here. We have tried to capture our learnings from B2B clients in a series of posts on our blog (3 done, 2 more to go). What we have heard as 2012 trends are:
1. Maximize the RPM Investment: See http://bit.ly/kz-blg
2. Campaign & Funnel Automation: See http://bit.ly/trnds-2
3. Go Social, Go Cloud, without IT: See http://bit.ly/trnds-3
4. Connectors, Connectors, Connectors
5. Marketing Mobile to Business
David talks about 'Advocate management'. We are seeing that as one of the areas of interest for demand gen, i.e. tap into customer advocates to drive word of mouth, demand, leads and sales.
Ardath and Doug talk about APIs, and how different marketing systems and tools need to 'play nice' in the larger enterprise marketing ecosystem. Could n't agree more! That's the theme of what we mean by 'Connectors, Connectors, Connectors'. All marketing tools and systems need to decide what are their core competency areas, and then open up to others, so the marketer (customer) wins!
Joe talks about demand gen and social. We see that as well. In fact the larger opportunity (which we explore in 'Go Social, Go Cloud, without IT') is for enterprise marketers to work in a connect into social at every point of engagement with a prospect, whether it's an email, website, Facebook page, affiliate / partner, display, re-targeting or even mobile. Essentially make it real easy for a prospect or customer to advocate the brand or business, at the point of engagement.
The other opportunity we explore is leveraging 'Social Real Identity' in other B2B channels (e.g. a company website) making for a much richer experience for users. Imagine customer testimonials enhanced with social identity, increasing the relevance, trust and authenticity of those testimonials, even as they stay 'current' as the testimonial provider switches roles or companies...
The overriding need, we see, is for campaign approaches, or tools that tackle multi-channel campaign execution, while making life easier for the marketer. Enable quick and easy re-use of campaign components across channels. Take an 'improve what we already do' approach, as opposed to forcing marketers to completely re-invent an existing methodology, approach or process that they know works. They just want it to work better!