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Attention B2B Marketers: ‘We’re Not in Kansas Anymore’

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by: Mary Scheibel

Taking on the Lions and Tigers and Bears of the New Marketplace

With the forces of technology and globalization swirling all around, B2B marketers sometimes might feel like Dorothy, jolted as she lands in the Technicolor wonderland of Oz.

But it’s probably a good thing if we feel a bit out of sorts, because it means at least we’re recognizing the changes. Now, however, we must adapt – lest we get bewitched and left behind in this bright new world. dorothy

Today’s reality is that marketing is more strategically important than ever to a company’s growth. So marketing, like other business functions, can no longer be a silo. Marketers must work closely with sales, IT and company leadership to advance success.

The good news is that research shows many B2B organizations are recognizing these changes and evolving accordingly.

In “B2B CMOs Must Evolve or Move On,” for example, Forrester Research polled 117 marketing executives about how they take on today’s dizzying array of challenges. From branding exercises to talent acquisition programs to media relations, it seems every second of a B2B marketer’s day is about seeking to strengthen a company’s position in the industry and achieve key goals.

It might just take a wizard to sort it all out. Here are three other ways, according to Forrester, that smart marketers are moving ahead.

  • Business leaders are seeing the value of marketing data. Access to deep data about click-through rates, demographics and more is bringing powerful new insights – and a responsibility to use these insights to produce results. More and more, company leadership is looking to marketing data to provide active input in strategy, goal-setting and planning.
  • Marketing leaders are taking on broader responsibilities. B2B marketers are being asked to wear many hats. In a world of social, mobile and digital, the breadth of skills required to succeed in marketing today has hit an all-time high. Marketers aren’t just branding or advertising experts; they’re now being asked to be the voice of the customer, bridging the gap between company leadership and target audiences.
  • Fostering a direct connection between marketing and business results. It’s simple, companies who understand that marketing has an impact on a businesses’ success will be the companies who reach their goals. More than 78% of respondents to Forrester’s survey say that marketing’s influence on corporate strategy is greater today.

A marketer’s role will only continue to expand and evolve, so how can we keep up? In a future blog, we’ll discuss what B2B marketers can do to stay ahead. In the meantime, as you take in this amazing new environment, watch out for wicked witches on the yellow brick road to success.

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