Hubspot, a leading inbound marketing provider, is a great resource for B2B marketing how-tos and best practices. I just took advantage of their offer to download the “20 Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2013 and Beyond” they compiled.
These are the issues that marketers are being encouraged to pay attention to and incorporate into their planning for 2013. Looking ahead and planning is one of the critical steps in successful marketing.
However, as an advocate of best practices, I have taken it upon myself to judge the validity and value of these trends. Here are the first 10 divided into three categories:
“Inbound Marketing Grows Enterprise-Wide”
Yes, this channel should and will integrate into all aspects of marketing and all departments in an enterprise.
“Social Media Gets Integrated”
Having the ability to integrate social media with contact databases to build additional behavior data is a big win.
“Be Mobile or Fall Behind”
It’s the newest channel and it’s growing rapidly. As reported in an earlier post, 84% of C-level executives see their email on their smartphone first.
“Social and Content Impact SEO Even More”
This reports that search engines are now paying more attention to social media and content than “having the right H1 tag.” Treating all digital efforts and channels as one make a company’s SEO far more powerful.
“Companies Look to Hire More Inbound Marketing Talent”
The stats presented show that “inbound marketing” jobs have increased 53% and “content marketing” jobs have increased by 26% since October 2011. This trend may increase.
“Big Data Gets Bigger — and Digestible”
Data has always been the part of marketing that is the big deal-breaker. Any new technology that allows for access to more customer behavior data is a sure way to improve the results of inbound and outbound marketing.
“Know Thy Customer”
B2B marketing has always been and always will be more effective the more that marketers and companies understand their customer and prospects. Marketing automations systems are helping companies learn more about the behavior and attitudes of their prospective customer, but targeted list sources, modeling and regression-analyses have been around to provide this insight for decades.
“Marketing Becomes More Accountable for Revenue Generation”
Few individuals in C-level management believe in the value of marketing. However, any marketing group that is incapable of tracking lead source all the way to sales is centuries behind the times.
“Marketers Embrace ‘Smart’ Content”
What’s new is the embracing part. “Smart” direct marketers have been matching content to a prospect’s position in the buy cycle for years. Recognizing return visitors or responders and directing content to them based on their behaviors is now and has always been a best practice.
Don’t Believe It
“‘Campaign’ Fade Out, Real-Time Marketing Is In”
This is another way of saying that social media will replace traditional outbound email and direct mail efforts. As long as marketers want to keep control over the number of qualified leads they can generate and the efforts remain cost-efficient, outbound marketing campaigns will not go away. If the incoming calls and emails to sales start slowing down, my clients just crank out another “campaign” and get them going again.
Paying attention to trends is important. However, good B2B marketers should remember that best practices in marketing have not changed.
Review of the last 10 trends will come next week.