Around this time last year I wrote about the 10 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2010 and while I would say 7 out of 10 have already materialized and the others are on their way. So that begs the question - what's on the horizon specifically for B2B Marketers next year?
Here are 11 concrete ways I think the environment in which B2B Marketers operate will evolve in 2011.
- Facebook Advertising - will continue to improve and unfortunately get more expensive. After 9 years of Search Engine Marketing - I think it is safe to say any keyword you are going to buy is maxed out when it comes to the Google AdWords auction process. So people are looking for an alternative and that's Facebook Advertising. I even wrote a book this year on just this topic called Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley). And as more people find out about this gem of an advertising experience CPC and CPM prices will continue to march upward - I have already begun to see this in my own ad buys!
- Mobile Marketing - I know I said last year was the year of mobile marketing but I just saw a stat from a Mary Meeker presentation that smart phones will eclipse PC sales in 2012 (that's just a year away) which will lead us to more mobile usage than PC usage so you better start your Mobile Marketing program now. Keep in mind we all start in the same place and that's at ZERO! Mobile it totally optin and you need to start building your mobile optin list now.
- Facebook will move into Mobile Ads - having said what I just did about us marketers not having a good mobile optin list - its just so natural for Facebook to ask you (you will ask us first Mark right?) if he can extend his advertising into your mobile device which he already has (if you put it on your profile). I have been thinking about this play for Facebook for a while - glad I am getting it down on virtual paper for my grandkids to see!
- Social Media Strategists will become Chief Customer Officers - ok so you know I am also @Avaya_Support on Twitter so perhaps this is a closet fantasy for me but it may just come true - perhaps not this coming year but in years to come. Think about it marketers have been given this gift of Social Media which is reinventing areas of your company on the fly. In my company alone we have seen it touch Product Development and R&D, to Billing and Finance, to HR and Recruiting, to Customer Service and the Contact Center. You need someone to own the customer experience now in all those external channels and your internal channels as well!
- Ecommerce will hit Facebook - Next year the deal that Facebook has with oodle.com for the Facebook Marketplace will be over. My predication would be they cut the cord there and open up a marketplace of their own. Startups like Payvment, and Alvenda will help companies large and small to open up shop in Facebook. Delta, Levis and 1800 Flowers are already there - can Victoria Secret, Brooks Brothers, and Godiva be far behind?
- NFO is the new SEO - that's News Feed Optimization on Facebook. Basically .2% of fans return to a fan page and in some cases it's more like .02% (hat tip BrandGlue) So people on Facebook who "like" your Fan page basically never go back to it. So stop thinking of it as a micro site and making it all fancy. What you need to focus on is the content and optimizing the content to get comments and likes which will help you drive amount of people that Facebook will show your page to. It's all based on Facebook's algorithm called EdgeRank.
- Advocate Marketing comes into Focus - you know all those people we are delighting with great customer service using Twitter - well they have become a strong voice for our brand. Now we are looking at ways of collecting and harnessing them. Tools like Zuberance are helping to do just that and allowing firms to do special things with their advocate base like provide them special events, invites to live events etc. We are just scratching the surface on this one but I can tell you its going to be big!
- Reputation Management emerges in organizations - Toyota, United Breaks Guitars, Dominos Pizza, Motrin Moms, Dell Hell - we have had some major disasters all brought on my lack of speed in this market. Many firms are listening now for their brand (I know I spoke to 50 of them this year about this issue) but I don't think they are ready for a crisis. I did a Reputation study on this topic two years ago and it proved how many companies lack the infrastructure then - we have come a long way since but do you really have a process to react quickly?
- Real Time Marketing makes headlines - ok so I am reading David Meerman Scott's latest book called Real Time Marketing but you know what - he's right! He's got tons of examples of firms that capitalized or failed to capitalize on Real Time issues (United Breaks Guitars!) We all need a lesson on how to be more real time - it's a great book, I can't put it down - I have read every book David has published and I can tell you - you need to read this one!
- Someone better win the SmartPhone Application race soon - I can't keep building 4 versions of the same application in order to cover the SmartPhone market - Blackberry aps, iPhone aps, Android aps (what the growth rate on Android) and Windows aps. Ok yes HTML5 should help this but throw in iPad and various other tablet aps and marketers are starting to look like Technologist which brings me to my next prediction.
- The Rise of the Marketing Technologist - Marketers for the last few years have been closet techno geeks and its time for them to rise up - companies need digitally fluent marketers who can apply technologies to help make marketing more measurable and scientific. Then we can really change the dynamic from marketing as a cost center to marketing as a profit center!