B2B Marketing & Lead Generation predictions for 2011!


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Lead generation is an intrinsic part of every B2B organization, without this activity it is impossible to keep a business up and running. 2010 saw many interesting trends in the space of B2b online Marketing and Lead generation.

According to a recent eMarketer report, in 2010 marketers put more money into online advertising than newspapers, with online marketing budgets touching a whooping $26 billion.

The year also saw, B2B marketers taking to social media with a vengeance, according to a research by Biz Report, 86% of B2B firms today are using social media, compared to 82% of B2C outfits. This is in line with Outsell‘s ‘Annual Advertising and Marketing Study 2010?, where it stated that – B2B Marketing spending on social networking sites would rise 43.3% in 2010.

The most significant development of 2010 in my view was definitely the remarkable growth experienced by the marketing automation industry. According to Demandgen Report, approximately 1,500 new customers adopted marketing automation systems in 2010, double the number last year. All the leading marketing automation solution providers including LeadFormix reported exponential growth.

Entry of giants like Oracle and IBM into this space, further validated the value that marketing automation solutions offer B2B organizations and hopefully will act as a catalyst in further consolidating the marketing automation industry in the coming year.

Considering 2010 was such a happening year for B2B marketers, it would be interesting to find out what 2011 has in store, especially in the marketing automation space.

According to various analysts in 2011, marketing automation industry will see even more growth, particularly among a broader range of business verticals and newer markets like, UK, Asia etc.

In a response to a recent query on Focus.com on expected B2B Lead generation trends for 2011, Shreesha Ramdas, COO, LeadFormix mentioned some interesting points, considering, his was one of the top rated answers, I assume, the points he made are in line with the 2011 expectations of other experts in the community and hence take the liberty of sharing them on this blog.

According to Shreesha, “Some B2B Lead Generation trends marketers can watch out for in 2011 are..

+ Critical Mass: Marketing Automation will reach critical mass and have the mindshare of all B2B marketers. Just as email marketing has become ubiquitous in marketing departments, we will see the foundations of Marketing Automation starting to become ubiquitous in 2011.

+ Solution, Not Software: B2B Marketers will realize that just buying marketing automation software tools without building the right processes and people around them will not work. Some may wrongly conclude that marketing automation does not work but will eventually realize that Marketing Automation should be a “complete solution” with people, processes, and integration with other tools becoming an integral component of the solution to ensure success.

+ Content is King: B2B Marketers will realize the importance of having a large number of high quality, up-to-date pieces of content to engage prospects in the research and buying process. Buying guides, ROI analyses, success kits, rich-media content and games that engage prospects, Q&A communities will gain importance and marketers that invest in content will start seeing the ROI.

+ Marketers Break Away from Corporate Website: B2B Marketers will start hosting their content with Marketing Automation players rather than relying on their IT department bureaucracy to manage their content on the corporate website. Control of the core corporate websites will remain sacred with the IT departments but marketing will own their content related to the corporate website and host it within the Marketing Automation systems.

+ Pricing Model Experiments: Marketing Automation and other marketing technology companies will experiment with “pay-for-performance” or “freemium” models as current models will not give them the necessary scale.

+ Email metrics will improve: B2B marketers can expect Email marketing solutions available on Marketing Automation platforms to go beyond the measurement of open and click rate and increasingly cover more website activities by a prospect in response to a marketing email.

+ ‘Marketing Qualified lead’ term will go mainstream: And ‘Marketing Qualified lead Rate’ will become a relevant measure for marketing efficiency and success both from a marketing initiative perspective and from the marketing’s ability to efficiently screen out low potential contacts.

+ Webinars will become part of mainstream content: And a mandatory offering by B2B companies as part of their Lead generation and Lead nurturing processes.”

You can visit www.focus.com for some more interesting insights by other industry experts as well.

Looking ahead 2011 definitely holds a lot of promise and equal number of challenges. Increased awareness and interest in digital media space is going to make it harder for marketers to pin down their prospects and convert them into leads, but then the more the challenges the better the chances of finding innovative solutions, which help improve our communication channels and also provide us with better insight into the minds of our prospects and Leads.

So here’s wishing all our readers a prosperous 2011, complete with quality packed sales pipelines and a higher rate of conversions.

Photo courtesy – Yahoo Finance

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Merlin Francis
Merlin Francis is Director of Communications for LeadFormix. Merlin has over a decade of combined experience in the field of print and television Media, PR and Corporate communications. This includes her 3 year stint as an entrepreneur running a successful public relations and event management consultancy.


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