There has been quite a bit of change in B2B marketing over the past couple of years. Buyers have moved online, which has had a major impact on the buying process. Prospects now have instant access to much more information, so marketing’s involvement reaches much further down the sales cycle: they need to nurture prospects with relevant content until they are sales-ready. Sales people are still very important, but they can focus on facilitating the buying process rather than distributing information.
In addition to this general trend, a whole array of software tools is now available to help the savvy marketer. 10 years ago, email marketing was in its infancy. 5 years ago Salesforce.com was tiny compared to Siebel. And now we have sophisticated marketing automation software that changes how you do marketing.
Continuing Education for B2B Marketers
Considering these trends, now is a great time to to invest in some continuing education. Doctors do it, so why not B2B marketers? Enter Silverpop. They are organizing a B2B Marketing University this fall, with lots of interesting topics. They visit the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, Atlanta and Seattle, with other cities to follow. And just like in medicine, the vendor pays for it all: admission is free for qualified B2B marketers (too bad they don’t have a session in Hawaii).
For more details, see the Silverpop B2B Marketing University website. You can sign up to be notified when registration for the university opens.
LeadSloth will present a session at several of these events. I hope to meet several of my readers in person! Let me know if you’re attending.
Question: What Do You Want to Hear About?
There are lots of new trends that B2B marketers need to know about. Unfortunately, my session will only be 1 hour, so it is impossible to cover everything. What topics do you think B2B Marketers should learn about?
Please leave a comment with your preference, and I will use your input in my session.
Hi, Jep. Wanted to thank you for joining the University series this Fall. Really looking forward to your sessions.
As not only the organizer of this series — but also as a B2B marketing leader for more than a decade — I’m really interested in the topic of what happens ‘really far upstream’ in B2B marketing and what that says about what we should be doing ‘downstream.’ Specifically, how can inbound marketing activities, including SEO and social, be better integrated with active automation for lead management and nurturing campaigns? How can the two better dovetail, and what are opportunities for synergies that amplify the momentum and nurturing?
I know this is a big X-factor I spend a lot of time thinking about.
What are other marketers’ issues you’re wrestling with?
Many people have difficulty knowing where to start and how to keep it simple. Keeping it simple and providing an iterative roadmap that is reasonable and rational will make life much easier for most B2B marketers.
@Ian: that’s a great suggestion: how to get started is probably a big question for many people. It would be great to have a decision tree for this.
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