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Slack's 11 B2B Marketing Predictions & Trends for 2015

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Prepared by Slack and CompanyRich DettmerJustina NguyenSlack and companys B2B marketing predictions and trends for 2015[ # ]B2B Marketing Predictions and Trends for 2015As always, we approach digital marketing not from a gee wiz, thats neat perspective, but from a what real changes are going to provide opportunities and challenges for our clients perspective.[ # ]Mobile marketing will reach equal consideration with the desktop in B2BWhat it is: B2B is beginning to see mobile response rates equal those of desktop response rates.What it means: We are finally at the inflection point in B2B where mobile marketing channels must be considered at the same level of emphasis as desktop channelsWhy it matters: If our clients continue to focus only on the desktop they will be missing half (or more) of their marketing opportunity

[ # ]Mobile marketing will reach equal consideration with the desktop in B2B

5.9 billion people are mobile users out of 7 billion people worldwideIts projected that by this year, mobile usage will surpass desktop usage68% of mobile users are using Android, while 19% use iOS.Mobile is being used more and more for the purposes of emails, social media, news, & research/surveys averaging over 50%.

[ # ]4Marketers will fine-tune their content distribution strategy, with an increase of using social as a key amplifierWhat it is: In 2014, B2B marketers realized the importance of creating and publishing content, with content strategy as a core focus. However, many failed when it came to executing a successful content distribution strategy (only 38% rate their efforts as effective).What it means: Even if you have the best content out there, it wont matter if the content doesnt have visibility. Only 26% of marketers are investing in content distribution, even though more than half believe they need to. Why it matters: 54% of the most effective B2B marketers have a documented content strategy. Strategic distribution and personalization of content is what will set businesses apart in this hyper-competitive landscape.

[ # ]Optimizing for search and mobile, building relationships with branded publications, and reaching out to influencers in your field are just a few ways to make sure your content reaches your target market.

We can see that with our current client we have great content but were not utilizing the available channels to amplify

5Marketers will fine-tune their content distribution strategy, with an increase of using social as a key amplifier

26% of marketers are investing in content distribution, even though more than 50% believe they need to60% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets94% of marketers say that social media is an important part of their marketing mix, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites The focus on social media distribution will lead to increased organic usage and increased paid social media advertising to extend the reach of content and lead generation

[ # ]6Social ad spending and paid amplification will increaseWhat it is: There are changes in the social landscape like the decline of Facebooks organic reach & decline in promotional page posts starting Jan. 2015, and Twitters new results-driven business model of its ad platform.What it means: Content visibility will become more competitive, and the demand for ads will increase. Marketers will need to spend more for their content (via ads) to reach their audience. Marketers will also need to take advantage of Twitters performance-based structure.Why it matters: With the increase of content creation and curation, there will need to be a push to boost content consumption to stay abreast with competitors in real-time. Continued testing and optimization will be key here.

[ # ]As Facebook organic reach is declining dead and fewer promotional page posts will be seen starting Jan. 2015, the demand for promoted posts and ads will increase. Therefore, brands will have to spend more for their ads to reach their audience.Twitter has moved to offer businesses more advertising choice and flexibility in how and what they pay for. This means more SMBs will begin using their ads, and the new fee structure will allow for certain performance-based/objective-based actions rather just retweets or clicks (e.g. Website clicks/conversions, app installs, new followers, etc.). This business model moves to a more results-driven approach, rather than just increasing brand awareness/visibility.With the increase of content creation and curation, there will need to be a push to boost content consumption. Continued testing and optimization will be key here.7Social ad spending and paid amplification will increase

70% of marketers will increase spending on social media marketing Marketingsherpa.comSocial advertising spend increased by 40% in 2014 and will top $8.5 billion, growing to nearly $14 billion in 2018.Top metrics used by marketers to measure social media success include: social media traffic, audience engagement, audience growth rate, overall brand awareness, and lead gen.[ # ]Marketing automation will be considered the standard demand generation and management approachWhat it is: Marketing automation has long been predicted to become the standard approach to direct marketing. This is the year in B2B where the majority of savvy marketers will adopt it.What it means: There will be a fundamental shift in the way demand generation is handled for B2B companies. This will make for a bumpy year for many marketers, but will yield improved results.Why it matters: Marketing automation has been found to increase demand generation performance by as much as 18% while reducing resource requirements for program management.

[ # ]Marketing automation will be considered the standard demand generation and management approach

As more and more companies are now utilizing marketing automation, training on the technology is becoming a more important initiative and mandate from the C-SuiteMarketing automation is also getting cheaper, now that there are dozen of alternatives for all-in-one solutions which means more widespread usage

[ # ]Video content creation, consumption, and advertising will continue to growWhat it is: In Q4 2014 alone, 38.2 billion videos were watched (+43% from 2013). Videos continue to be one of the top 5 most effective tactics for B2B marketers. (82% report success)What it means: Video is being used more and more as a way to talk about products and services instead of a long whitepaper or article, along every stage of the buyers journey. Why it matters: Attention spans are declining and expectations of content are growing. Not only is it important to create attention-grabbing, quality visual storytelling, but its also crucial to have a video distribution strategy in place.

[ # ]The typical time-starved businessperson, doing research at the top of the consideration funnel, grabs a moment to watch a video because he or she is hoping to learn something quickly.11Video content creation, consumption, and advertising will continue to grow

73% of B2B marketers use video as a content marketing tacticThe popularity of whitepapers as a B2B content marketing format is actually declining in relation to more interactive, easily digestible formats such as videoIn 2014, the use of video content for B2B marketing increased by 8% to 58%, while the use of infographics topped the adoption list increasing in usage by 9% to 52%.Video content can increase the changes of front page Google ranking by 53 times50% of those who viewed a marketing video went on to make a purchase for their business[ # ]Content alignment with the buyer journey will be the new black What it is: In order to properly automate a marketing campaign, marketers must identify content and offers that are appropriate and compelling to each target audience at each point in the buyer journey.What it means: Marketers will be required to audit their content to find where it aligns with their target audiences and where they have gaps in their messages and offers.Why it matters: In order to take advantage of the opportunity offered by Marketing automation, B2B marketers have to have content in the can for each stage of their automated programs.

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79% of marketing leads never convert to sales; 61% of B2B marketers send leads directly to sales, while only 27% of those leads are qualifiedAligning content with the buyers journey yields 73% higher average conversion rates for marketers who do vs. those who dontContent aligning may open your audiences eyes to goals they may be missing or pain points they need to changeContent alignment with the buyer journey will be the new black [ # ]Great video: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/43/50025

14B2B Marketing will play a much larger role in B2B salesWhat it is: As B2B buyers behavior becomes more self-service, B2B marketers will take on more and more of the buyer journey.What it means: In order to maintain a consistent voice to the B2B buyer, it is critical that marketing and sales become more aligned in messages and content.Why it matters: A lack of alignment between marketing and sales will create a buyer journey that hits a cliff at the point the journey switches from marketing to sales.

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B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growthThe objective of marketing and sales alignment is knowing when a process is working and when it isntImprove communication between departments, set measurable goals/guidelines, improve transparency, and build mutual respectB2B Marketing will play a much larger role in B2B sales

[ # ]Email will come roaring back as spam subsidesWhat it is: Acceptance of a variety of emai

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