The b2b eMarketing Skillset is evolving


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Weekly blog update from FusionMARKETER by

My love of marketing began shortly after graduation from College. Fresh with a BS Marketing/BS Psychology, I was ready to jump into the agency game, get to work and then go for the MBA. As it turns out, my first gig after college was at a technology company providing solutions to Agencies. I was involved in Direct Response/Database marketing solutions and had the pleasure of supporting campaigns for agencies like Gray, Bozell Worldwide, JWT to name a few. As fate would have it, my path took me into CRM and then into database marketing software, where i’ve carved out a comfortable niche ever since. I’ve always remained a student of marketing however and in the last several years, working in B2B marketing, I can’t help but wonder when Colleges and MBA programs will offer a B2B eMarketing major?

In the retail marketing sector, of which I am a prodigal son, there is no shortage of coursework and degrees and areas of concentration for the student marketer. This makes sense because if you look at the average retailer like an Orvis or Target or Sears….their marketing staff numbers into the hundreds whereas at most b2b companies, marketing staffs number less than ten. The bodies and the money are in retail. I think another issue with offering eMarketing for b2b coursework is that it can be tricky to measure response and campaign ROI quickly and accurately. In B2C – you run a campaign and monitor sales/transactions. Pretty simple. In B2B, we generate leads, turn them over to the sales department and hope for the best. We also have dramatically lower volume of activity and response in B2B relative to B2C campaigns.

However, B2B marketing, eMarketing in particular, is a truly interesting, challenging and fun segment of the markeitng universe. Campaigns can be extremely deep, contain may disparate elements and extend over long periods of time. If a b2b company is engaging in a lead nurturing campaign, each campaign may leverage may different types of technologies and include very complex processes that involve cross-departmental coordination. Good Stuff!

When I look at the b2b eMarketing segment as a whole, it’s growth has been limited to point solutions such as email software, web tracking software…..and basic campaigns. I’ve seen a fair amount of people who understand the discrete components of what we classify as b2b eMarketing. As a broad definition, let’s call b2b eMarketing the practice of using electronic media for the purpose of lead generation. This includes email, search, social and on line advertising. There are a lot of b2b marketers out there who get one or two aspects of this. Many b2b marketing professionals understand email marketing and some basics around search. Few truly grasp social media and how to make that work in the context of lead generation (I’ll lump myself into that category…but I’m learning). Fewer still understand multi-disciplinary approaches to b2b eMarketing such as lead nurturing and drip marketing.

The evolution of the b2b marketing skillset seems to follow a predictable path for many professionals.

1. Simple Email Marketing

2. Simple Search Marketing

3. PPC marketing (Adwords)

4. Drip Email Marketing/Simple lead nurturing

5. Lead Scoring/Lead Management

6. Social Media (basics such as blogging, twitter, LinkedIn)

7. Web Analytics and web visitor tracking

8. Integrated lead nurturing

9. Fully integrated marketing and sales demand generation processes

10. eMarketing fully integrated into the sales process

I implore the higher education community to create at least a 101 class in this. It doesn’t have to me a major or even a minor….just a few classes to give the broad perspective and philosophy behind b2b marketing would be a good start. In the meantime, it is up to us in the industry to continue to work towards educating b2b marketing professionals and help them gain the skillset they need to be successful in their professional endeavours.
eMarketing as a segment has weathered the downturn very well. Companies are investing heavily in tools and solutions that are designed to leverage cost-effective web technologies for lead generation. b2b Marketers would do well to position themselves for professional growth by becoming experts in all aspects of b2b eMarketing.

Companies like mine, www.salesfusion.comtruly offer integrated solutions for marketers ready to master the complete set of eMarketing disciplines. Good solutions should also enable the marketer to grow with the technology. I offer regular webinars on various topics in b2b eMarketing. They can be found on our online resource center at

Kevin Miller
Kevin Miller is VP Sales & Marketing for - a SaaS based demand generation solution that specializes in helping b2b companies implement nurture/drip marketing.


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