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Companies are allocating more budget to marketing, year on year. Without the knowledge to efficiently and effectively spend, those marketing dollars are going to be wasted… Generating leads, actually proving ROI, and securing budget in the first place are the top three challenges that collective marketing departments face! In a digital landscape so fiercely competitive, B2B brands need to first accommodate the wider ‘hot topics’ before deciding on any granular details — like what channels or technology to utilize. It’s a multi-step approach that ultimately serves to maximize profit. Here are three panoramic trends and encompassing events shaping your marketing strategy in 2018 and beyond…

  • BP

    Brenda Pace

    2 months ago #

    Hey Erik,

    Fascinating article! It's amazing to me that Companies are finally wised up and are budgeting more wisely. That is, to include extra monies for marketing purposes. The more marketing, the more leads, the more consumer buying, right? What surprised me if the amount spent on training personnel. Isn't it easier to train those you already have employed than to hire outside? This always bugs me. Train your valued employees and they will shine. It doesn't take much to do this. With algorithm changes, it has become more difficult to reach our target audience, especially on Facebook, however, I refuse to give up. Where there is a will, there is a way and I'm sure these algorithms aren't full proof. There is always a loophole and someone is going to find it..... who knows! Maybe me! LOL

    Anyway, great article with loads of great information. Thanks for the great share!

    B

    • SH

      Sam Hurley

      2 months ago #

      Brenda! :D

      Thanks for reading and leaving such a thoughtful reply — Awesome! :)))

      Spot on there! Employees are gold dust. And the bonus? Encourage them to all be highly-socially active on the top networks, and they can spread your word for you ... Beating algorithms and their progressive squeeze on reach.

      Always a way! :D

      Thanks Brenda,
      Sam :)

    • EE

      Erik Emanuelli

      2 months ago #

      That's the first thing I thought too. If companies are investing more into marketing, there's more income opportunities for us, digital marketers.

      With so many changes on Facebook, it's becoming harder to get leads and traffic for free, without paying for ads. I see little engagement in my Facebook blog pages, even if posting funny stuff.

      If I had a big company, I'd surely invest on employees. Like Richard Branson says:
      "Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients."

      • SH

        Sam Hurley

        2 months ago #

        One of my favorite points to the piece, Erik! A number of socially-active employees can bring a TON of benefits to any business today. #BeatTheReachApocalypse :D

    • Michaela Šárkoziová

      2 months ago #

      Well written!

  • DG

    Dana Gore

    2 months ago #

    Yep, there's no question things are constantly changing.
    And I agree with you that gen z seemed to start their lives "connected from birth".

    With all of this, there's still the "old-fashioned" necessity to connect to the customer/buyer from an authentic and personal place. I hope that regardless of how things continue to evolve with tech that we still never lose that human touch.

    Thanks for putting this together :)

    • SH

      Sam Hurley

      2 months ago #

      Pertinent point there, Dana! And I'm so glad you brought it up...

      No matter how fast the industry moves, it's vital not to get so caught up in pace and tech, that we forget what it means to be human.

      The companies that stand by this ethos, will survive! :D

      Thanks so much,
      Sam :)

      • EE

        Erik Emanuelli

        2 months ago #

        Agreed on your point of view.
        I'm afraid of when the time will come where everything is automated and the human part of this world will disappear. If you think about it and look around, it's already happening. In the metro, at the restaurant, at the park, I see people with their heads down, playing and surfing on their smartphone all the time!

  • LS

    Lisa Sicard

    2 months ago #

    Thanks Erik for sharing Sam's informative piece here.

    It amazes me how the budgets keep on going up but some of it is wasted on old tactics and methods that don't really work.

    The technology to get the analytics today is much easier to use today - thank goodness!

    It surprises me more people don't use these to realize what is really working and what is not. I meet with small businesses all day and many do not know where their website traffic comes from or even their foot traffic in their store! I know they are very busy running their businesses with inventory, services, their own staff, etc.

    But even many CMO's are not fully aware of the latest changes in social media or other assets of digital marketing. It's a never ending job!

    • EE

      Erik Emanuelli

      2 months ago #

      Good to hear you enjoyed Sam's piece, Lisa.
      I really liked it too.

      What is worrying me, social media marketing is becoming infinitely more difficult as algorithms are constantly changing (wow, 100,000 signals are influencing the Facebook algorithm!).
      And it's almost impossible to get tractions on business page posts, without relying on ads.

      And other social networks are following Facebook strategy.
      As Sam stated in his post, it’s a money game, after all…

      • SH

        Sam Hurley

        2 months ago #

        A painful yet current reality, Erik — I wonder if new networks will break through, that operate differently?

        After the FB crisis, I believe it will be very welcomed by all...

    • SH

      Sam Hurley

      2 months ago #

      Thanks so much for leaving a thoughtful reply, Lisa! xD

      Always appreciated...

      Running a business of any size is definitely never easy — So it's understandable that larger brands still fall short amidst the many changes, despite the cash resource they have to hand. However, knuckling down on this stuff truly pays (both in the form of ROI and efficient spending / saving)!

      Measurement is of course, the ultimate decider. Don't analyze, never succeed...

      Thanks again, Lisa!
      Sam <3

      • EE

        Erik Emanuelli

        2 months ago #

        During my years of online venture, I found out that being able to change, adapting and keeping up with udpates is fundamental to survive and stay competitive.

  • JH

    Joy Healey

    2 months ago #

    Thanks for sharing these interesting tips.

    As a baby-boomer, I find it quite scary to think of Millennials and Generation Z running marketing in the near future. I hope they'll market to me in a way that I can follow LOL because sometimes what's "obvious" to them is completely mystifying to me - particularly on mobile devices. Of course, if they don't cater for my needs i won't be buying from them :-)

    Let's see what GDPR brings! If it can stop my inbox filling with unrequested info, no one will be happier than I. But I somehow doubt it will make any difference to me as a recipient which causing conscientious marketers a whole load of work.

    • EE

      Erik Emanuelli

      2 months ago #

      Every big marketing campaign should take into consideration the complete picture of their audience, whether different in age, geo location, gender or interests.

      • SH

        Sam Hurley

        2 months ago #

        Know your audience first, and everything else thereafter becomes infinitely more logical! :)

    • SH

      Sam Hurley

      2 months ago #

      Hey Joy!

      "I hope they'll market to me in a way that I can follow."

      Exactly — I touched on this within another reply, and definitely agree.

      By 2025, it'll be interesting to see if the new wave are considerate to the older generations, like the older generations are being forced to consider them today...

      As long as everybody knows their own audience, marketing should *always* be relevant!

      Thanks Joy!
      Sam :D

      P.S. The GDPR is such a huge event. Big corp costs to prepare must be into the billions...

  • LR

    Lorraine Reguly

    2 months ago #

    I found this stat fascinating: “By 2025, Millennials and Gen Z will represent 75% of the workplace.”

    Wow! (Who feels old now?)

    It is important, though, that businesses pay attention to these people. Not only are they consumers, but they are decision-makers, too, as you pointed out.

    I have a few friends who are Millenials (plus a son, too), and they seem to be a lot smarter nowadays. Probably because of the technological generation they were raised and live in!

    • EE

      Erik Emanuelli

      2 months ago #

      “By 2025, Millennials and Gen Z will represent 75% of the workplace.”
      Wow!

      We better stay updated and prepared, to remain competitive in future! :)

    • SH

      Sam Hurley

      2 months ago #

      Hey Lorraine!

      Yeah, me too LOL! Although I'm a millenial, it still widened my eyes...

      These whippersnappers! LOL.

      Indeed, very important to pay attention the this new wave of the population. They are smart, super-savvy and too familiar with marketing 'tactics'. They demand real people-focused stories and inspiration, rather than straight-up, boring ads etc...

      To reinforce this point: Digital 'ad' spend overtook TV advertising last year!

      Thanks Lorraine!
      Sam :)

  • RC

    Ravi Chahar

    2 months ago #

    Hey Erik,

    No doubt that many companies are trying to target the B2C consumers through the AI-based marketing campaigns. B2B marketers need to understand that communication with the consumers is the key to increase the growth rate.
    Glad to read about it.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    ~Ravi

  • PG

    Paige Gerber

    2 months ago #

    Hey Erik, love how ABM made the list - creating personalized experiences for consumers is now a must. As marketers, we should always strive to create experiences that make customers and prospects feel understood and valued. It helps create an alignment with your brand from the get-go!

    We included this stat from Adobe in one of our ebooks recently, and I think it's really interesting: Brands that use personalization are 26% more profitable than those that don't. If that's not a case for personalization, what is? Thanks for sharing - great article!

  • RC

    Reginald Chan

    2 months ago #

    Great B2B topics and thanks for sharing. In short,it's fascinating to read and discover them! Appreciate it!

    • EE

      Erik Emanuelli

      2 months ago #

      I like to read @sam___hurley posts. There's always something new to learn.

      • SH

        Sam Hurley

        2 months ago #

        "There's always something new to learn." — The same certainly goes for marketing as a whole, my friend!!!

        Thanks Erik. A pleasure... :-)

    • SH

      Sam Hurley

      2 months ago #

      Thanks a ton, Reginald! I found this piece particularly insightful to research and put together — Eye-opening considerations for any business! :)

  • SH

    Sam Hurley

    2 months ago #

    Hey Erik!

    Cheers for sharing this one with the GH folk — I'm so glad you found it useful! xD

    What was your favorite #B2B 'hot topic'?

    In summary, the key is to simply: Know *your* audience. Get that right, and the rest falls into place!

    Catch you soon,
    Sam :)))

    • EE

      Erik Emanuelli

      2 months ago #

      The Hot Topic #2: "The Young Decision Makers" is particularly interesting to me.
      And it makes me realize, even more, than I'm getting older!
      Younger generations are beginning to come to power, as they are starting to generate income and then influence big decisions.
      If I think about it, the way a company address the marketing campaign to the old audience should be completely different than the one to Millennials and Gen Z.
      Tech and mobile here goes a long way!

      Thanks for sharing, Sam. Definitely, an interesting piece!

      • SH

        Sam Hurley

        2 months ago #

        It goes too quick, right Erik??? ;-)

        I believe I mentioned it in another comment — I wonder if the newer generations will need to be as accommodating to the older wave, when marketing to their demographic? Or will everybody just eventually 'catch up' to be on (almost) the same level where tech and preferences are concerned?

        Interesting to see it develop...

        Thanks for your positive input, Erik!
        -Sam-

  • CR

    Cori Ramos

    about 2 months ago #

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for going into great detail on the 3 hottest trends right now.

    It doesn't surprise me that more brands are tailoring marketing plans to their customer demands like rapid response time, 24/7 availability and the ability to use their preferred devices.

    Spending more money on marketing, I think that's going to be trend for years to come.

    And by the chart you shared for top marketing challenges, I can see why training is on the list...only 19% put money toward training their team and I think it should be in the top 3 - if not for employees but for ourselves as well.

    You're right about Gen Z having been connected from birth and since they make up 50% of the population combined with Millennials, it only makes sense that brands tap into those groups.

    Thanks again for putting this post together for us Sam. I've added it to my Pocket so I can read through each action plan carefully. :)

    Have a great day!

    Cori

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