10 BtoB Marketers Predictions for 2010

Around this time last year I wrote about some Predictions for 2009 and while I would say 8 out of 10 have already materialized and the other 2 are on their way, it has become clear that this year was the year we past the point of no return on Social Media. Recession or not Social Media was on a roll ignited by the visibility of events like Obama’s win and Iran’s election protests.

So that begs the question – what’s on the horizon specifically for BtoB for marketers next year? Here are 10 concrete ways I think the environment in which BtoB Marketers operate will evolve in 2010. Enjoy!

  1. Facebook Advertising will take off – This year Facebook saw their advertiser base triple! Facebook ads today remind me of Google AdWords in 2001 with low CPC’s on topics and segments many marketers will want to reach. I believe Facebook Ads will become the close “cousin” of Google AdWords – just with a more targeted and behavioral way to dial in your ads. BtoB Marketers should try it out for recruiting or even brand advertising – also don’t forget my book Facebook Marketing for Dummies comes with a credit for $50 Free Facebook ads (thanks to the good folks at Facebook and Wiley for agreeing to publish the book with that credit in it).
  2. Mobile Marketing – Frankly I think Social Media is just a warm up for Mobile Marketing. Years ago we talked about how we didn’t want Mobile ads popping up just as you walked in front of Starbucks for example. But now new applications enabled by social such as Location Based Services (LBS) have arrived and give context to mobile marketing – I think you will see more of these applications enabled by your Social Graph become more important in the next year. For BtoB Marketers you might begin to experiment with Location Based Services especially at live events.
  3. Social will leave Marketing – This year Marketing and Communications totally “got” social media but next year is the year it starts to transform the rest of your BtoB organization from Product Development and R&D, to Billing and Finance, to HR and Recruiting, to Customer Service and the Contact Center. Social Media is not like the dotcom rush to build a website and have a group of long haired people running it in a corner of your organization. Social is a process that has the power to transform your entire organization. Its time next year to embrace it!
  4. Corporate Websites will become less important – As every company gets more experienced with Social Media you will see more consumption of content off of the corporate website in places like Facebook, YouTube, and relevant Communities and Forums. “Away games” will be the norm for your more opinion related content and the corporate website will be the place where you go to get just the more official product or service related content.
  5. Lead Generation tools must combine with Social Media tools – Right now we have tools to listen, tools to monitor, tools to track clicks to the corporate website, tools to track leads that are being nurtured. But this has to change – its impossible to optimize based on each of these silos – BtoB Marketers need lead gen tools with social media built in so we can optimize effectively. There is a huge opportunity here that some company needs to fill fast.
  6. Listening tools will also get much stronger – Another tool opportunity is for listening tools to do better sentiment analysis and routing of the real opportunities both positive and negative directly to the sources in the organization. The routing is key and having done this manually all year – it is just not a scalable model.
  7. How to handle Advocates will become more important – having spoken directly with tons of customers this year and dare I say made (or at least identified) advocates in the socialsphere, we need a place to put them to collect them to harness them and energize them when we have something cool to talk about. This will increasingly become a challenge for most marketers. Having spoken recently to Pepsi, HBO, RIM, Warners Bros, and American Express about their challenges in this space – BtoB or BtoC this is an area where they want to focus on next year.
  8. MicroVideo shops will start popping up – video is just still to expensive for many BtoB Marketers and with the advent of some cheaper high definition video cams – I think you are going to see many small video shops popping up. Young college students that are fluent in Video or creative types from ad agencies that might be out of a job can and should start up solo practioners video shops.
  9. Businesses will demand Intelligence not Social Media – Next year I think you will see vendors announce tools that deliver intelligence from social media right where it is contextually needed – we saw a glimmer of this with SalesForce.com and the introduction of their new product Chatter. This is an early indication of the need for more contextually related Social Media data that can provide the type of intelligence that the business demands.
  10. Facebook will surpass Google for the #1 site online – This one I have been tracking since the beginning of last year. Whether you know it our not Facebook has been inching closer to the #1 spot this year beating out Yahoo for the #2 spot in November (according to Alexa.com). The delta for #1 with Google is just 14 Million visits per month (18 Million if you ask Compete.com) which is nothing in the grand scheme of things! I predict you will see Facebook surpass Google by Valentines day 2010. Mark it down people 😉

35 comments to 10 BtoB Marketers Predictions for 2010

  • Alexander

    Came across your blog. Very good.

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Alexander – thanks for commenting glad you liked it!

  • Jessica

    Great insight on the evolution of social media & convergent marketing/communications. I shared this post with my followers.

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Jessica – thank you for commenting and thanks for sharing this with your followers too!

  • Andy Michaels

    I will definitely keep track of how things progress next year.

    ————-

    Andy Michaels
    http://www.andy-michaels.com/

  • Doug Kessler

    Good one!

    I did a 2010 Predictions post recently too and with some similar trends:

    http://www.velocitypartners.co.uk/2009/11/06/b2b-marketing-predictions-for-2010/

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Doug – excellent post Doug – I see we think alike a many issues – thank you for sharing

  • Tyrone

    Thanks for sharing these great insights! I would have to agree that as it all started through the social media, marketing and its convergence in building good relationships will be even much effective strategy for the coming year. In fact, this will not only be a change but an improvement to the online media.

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Tyrone – agreed – glad you enjoyed my predictions – thanks for commenting!

  • Dave Raffaele

    Great list and dead on. This may be a prediction for 2020, but I think it is also only a matter of time till brick & mortar becomes nothing more than a distribution channel. Who needs to shop at a store when you can shop online and just pick up at the store. There is noone at Best Buy that is going to do more than tell me where something is at this point. I am not saying there aren't great sales reps at Best Buy, I am saying that as social tools become even more main stream, everyone will have their own crowd of sales reps on-line without even stepping in to the store.

    Thanks for sharing this list.

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Dave – I agree – I did 99% of my holiday shopping online. Only needed the store to pick up an item that I couldn't get sent to me!

  • kashmiah

    You hit it on the head with some of these predictions. The evolution is bound to happen. I do disagree with you on Google. While Facebook has been making tremendous strides the past few years (and I've been following them as well), but their privacy problems along with Google looking to acquire smaller startups, they'll continue to stay ahead at the top. Plus Bing hasn't really made a dent like they had hoped they would after the Yahoo partnership. Whatever happens, this year will definitely be a very interesting year.

  • seo freelancer philippines

    I see Facebook as a search competitor of Google.

    Facebook has become the top social networking website to beat.

  • Paul Dunay

    @ SEO – I agree – I think there will be a fierce competition between Google and Facebook next year! Should be an interesting year …

  • Promotional Products

    Paul,

    Thank you! This article is exactly what I have been searching for. Excellent information. It makes sense that facebook and mobile advertising would be most popular… it's the 2 things people are on everyday… including myself.
    Thanks

  • Jasmine

    Thanks for your post. It's really very informative.

  • Paul,
    Very insightful observations. I am particularly interested in #5 re: Lead Gen and tools integrating. Lead Gen is crucial – if you don’t get and track/nurture leads, and ultimately close deals, what’s the point?

    I would be interested in knowing which companies you think are making the most progress in this integration area? I am in the process of starting my own company (Integrated LeadGen Results) and on the lookout for good vendors to service my clients. Thanks for any help you could share.

    Have a great year in 2010!

    Phil Lauterjung

  • admin

    Phil – I see a few vendors that are working on integrating social into their lead gen tools – personally I like Genius, Marketo, HubSpot and LeadLife
    In fact I will be using Genius on this blog next year.

    BTW I think this is a great area for a new type of agency to play – many firms both small and large cant devote enough staff to optimizing their lead nurturing work hard for them – thats where a new type of agency (like yours) could really clean up

    All the best in the new year!
    P

  • I can’t say that I agree with your opinion but I respect it.Thanks for a great blog with lots of interesting posts.

  • Great post, Paul. I firmly agree with all of your predictions except perhaps #9 – great concept but not sure that’ll happen so quickly.

    I really agree with #1 – I have been reaching CEO’s and CMO’s of Fortune 1000 companies for 3.00/click and pretty much free impressions all year – I think Facebook is up for an even bigger 2010 than their massive 2009. Cheers!

  • This is swell in terms of SEO. Nada appears to irritate on it compared to this.Funnily enough, this is just what was talked about some years ago at the last blackhat about search engine optimization in ’94.

  • Biswajit (Bee) Parashar

    Paul,

    Forward thinking and insightful. Conversations about marketing often consciously or unconsciously emphasizes lead generation as an objective for a given market. Social media marketing will no doubt also begin to have a serious impact of the other key objective of comprehensive marketing, namely identifying markets that promises sustained profitable growth and help solidify a business’ position within its life cycle. Your insights will be extremely useful.

    Bee

  • @ Bee – Yes I agree we often talk about lead gen or ROI unconsciously. Mostly this stems from the last few years of belt tightening – so the efficacy of what we do need to be there in the bottom line numbers

    As for Social Media – we are only beginning now to take that channel to the next level for pure lead gen – I know it sounds like crazy but I think there are conversations that are purely lead gen related where your brand is not involved but would like to. I am leading that charge for Avaya.

    As far as the broader use of social – I think you will see social take off in other areas of the company like – R&D and Product development, HR, Recruiting, Finance, and Billing – wherever a channel can be opened with a customer you will eventually find social media

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  • Howdy Paul, Re: video I’d say the trend is now towards training than hiring a shop to do every video. Since SMB’s are flocking to video, they’d rather do the small stuff in house and need to know how to do it.

  • @Talmadge – you know I am seeing the same thing – funny you should say that – I have heard about few projects like that which are mostly focused on training even in Large Enterprises! Thanks for the comment!

  • hi Paul,

    Very interesting analyses. One of our member shared it on our business site : http://www.privatebizz.com

    we will be happy if you join it to publish your articles

    greetings

  • @Serge – thanks I will check it out

  • Thanks for that it’s just what I was looking for. Come visit sometime maybe you’ll find something useful too 🙂

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