Month: June 2015

Modern B2B Marketing in the Era of the Empowered Buyer


In the past 20 years marketing has changed exponentially more than it has in the past 100 years. Today, buyers possess infinite choice and infinite power.

We live in an “instant” world. Whether it’s instant access, information, gratification, justification or rationalization, all of these “instants” have impacted the way that businesses who market to businesses, think, act and react.

And it’s not only the “instant-factor” on behalf of customers or prospective customers. “Instant” plays on the both sides of the fence, in the marketer’s own world of instant marketing dashboards, real-time marketing analytics, or programmatic algorithms on mountainous stacks of marketing technology.

For marketers, “Instant” isn’t even good enough, as we have encroached on the crystal ball business, predicting behavior based on prior or instant behaviors, ranging from predictive analytics to predictive lead scoring.

Rather than dwelling on the “good old yesterdays” of how it used to be, CMOs must be looking beyond today at tomorrow, seeking that next innovation, striving to equip themselves and their organizations to stay as far ahead of the fast approaching storm of constant and continuous change. Change in culture, perceptions and processes driven by transformational technological change.

In 2015, Business-to-business CMOs are enjoying the longest tenure in recent history- at an average of 61 months according to the Spencer Stuart study. Yet, many B2B CMOs are struggling with significant challenges while they are reacting to the fact that CEOs are increasingly calling on them for strategic input. In fact, the CMO now comes second only to the CFO in terms of the influence he or she exerts on the CEO. CMO’s have increased responsibility in the C-Suite, and with that responsibility comes accountability and with accountability comes risk. According to an IBM CMO Study “2/3 of CMOs will be held accountable for ROI by 2015, but half feel insufficiently prepared to provide hard numbers.”

There’s the risk of change weighted against the risk of not changing.

Today, Marketing in the Era of the Empowered Buyer amplifies the risk of not changing, and while safely cradling the status quo is most appealing, it really isn’t a viable option as change is imminent for those marketers who must succeed. This new era of B2B marketing magnifies the risk for CMOs in choosing the correct path to successful change.

Welcome to a relatively new concept in content presentation- The “Modern B2B Marketing in the Era of the Empowered Buyer” Content Stream.

Throughout the Summer of ’15, various types of content will be produced to tell you this story. A very important story indeed, for those who view themselves as modern marketers. The purpose of this work is to provide a 30,000 foot view for CMO’s or B2B marketing leaders. And while I acknowledge and welcome those who are in the roles of Directors, Managers, Product and others, I begin the presentation of our work with the assumption that our readers have an advanced understanding of modern marketing and have followed the trends up until today, which enables us to discuss our points at a very high level.

In the next installment of Modern B2B Marketing in the Era of the Empowered Buyer, I begin with a look at what the world was, and what it is now relative to modern marketing. Stay tuned right here on my blog for the continuation of the content stream presentation.