The B2B marketing research team has just published its 2016 predictions report, outlining four shifts that B2B marketing professionals can expect by December 31 of next year. This report is aligned with and part of a series of Forrester predictions reports — each discussing the effects on specific roles in a company, but all part of the greater picture: The Age Of The Customer.
B2B buying has changed: Buyers prefer to do research themselves rather than rely on vendors’ sales reps. Our report highlights several major changes coming in 2016 as a result of this shift and organizes their implications into four realms: go-to-customer strategy, the accelerating shift from art to science, tech investments, and B2B messaging. In the report, we explain these changes, with data and research substantiation, and also outline what they mean for B2B marketing professionals. Here are some of the key takeaways:
- As funnel becomes life cycle, marketing will need to manage a new dynamic with sales.
- Marketing’s role as steward of the customer relationship will surge.
- Buyers will expect B2B suppliers to be at the right (digital or physical) place, at the right time.
- Big data will help manage sales and marketing activities.
- Through-channel marketing will become a critical success factor for many B2B companies.
- Adoption of through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) will even affect the success of enterprise marketing automation vendors.
- Mobile will become the primary target for all systems.
- The current sales enablement vendor space will implode.
It looks like 2016 is going to be a lot of fun. As we say in the report, B2B marketing organizations will transform
— from the role of mere supplier of leads and collateral …
— to the architect of full customer engagement.
We all look forward to discussing these trends with you.
Always keeping you informed! Peter
This post originally appeared as ‘B2B Marketing Professionals — Prepare For 2016 By Considering These Predictions‘ by Peter O’Neill for the Forrester Blog