11 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011

11 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011Around this time last year I wrote about the 10 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2010 and while I would say 7 out of 10 have already materialized and the others are on their way. So that begs the question – what’s on the horizon specifically for B2B Marketers next year?

Here are 11 concrete ways I think the environment in which B2B Marketers operate will evolve in 2011.


  1. Facebook Advertising – will continue to improve and unfortunately get more expensive. After 9 years of Search Engine Marketing – I think it is safe to say any keyword you are going to buy is maxed out when it comes to the Google AdWords auction process. So people are looking for an alternative and that’s Facebook Advertising. I even wrote a book this year on just this topic called Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley). And as more people find out about this gem of an advertising experience CPC and CPM prices will continue to march upward – I have already begun to see this in my own ad buys!
  2. Mobile Marketing – I know I said last year was the year of mobile marketing but I just saw a stat from a Mary Meeker presentation that smart phones will eclipse PC sales in 2012 (that’s just a year away) which will lead us to more mobile usage than PC usage so you better start your Mobile Marketing program now. Keep in mind we all start in the same place and that’s at ZERO! Mobile it totally optin and you need to start building your mobile optin list now.
  3. Facebook will move into Mobile Ads – having said what I just did about us marketers not having a good mobile optin list – its just so natural for Facebook to ask you (you will ask us first Mark right?) if he can extend his advertising into your mobile device which he already has (if you put it on your profile). I have been thinking about this play for Facebook for a while – glad I am getting it down on virtual paper for my grandkids to see!
  4. Social Media Strategists will become Chief Customer Officers – ok so you know I am also @Avaya_Support on Twitter so perhaps this is a closet fantasy for me but it may just come true – perhaps not this coming year but in years to come. Think about it marketers have been given this gift of Social Media which is reinventing areas of your company on the fly. In my company alone we have seen it touch Product Development and R&D, to Billing and Finance, to HR and Recruiting, to Customer Service and the Contact Center. You need someone to own the customer experience now in all those external channels and your internal channels as well!
  5. Ecommerce will hit Facebook – Next year the deal that Facebook has with oodle.com for the Facebook Marketplace will be over. My predication would be they cut the cord there and open up a marketplace of their own. Startups like Payvment, and Alvenda will help companies large and small to open up shop in Facebook. Delta, Levis and 1800 Flowers are already there – can Victoria Secret, Brooks Brothers, and Godiva be far behind?
  6. NFO is the new SEO – that’s News Feed Optimization on Facebook. Basically .2% of fans return to a fan page and in some cases it’s more like .02% (hat tip BrandGlue) So people on Facebook who “like” your Fan page basically never go back to it. So stop thinking of it as a micro site and making it all fancy. What you need to focus on is the content and optimizing the content to get comments and likes which will help you drive amount of people that Facebook will show your page to. It’s all based on Facebook’s algorithm called EdgeRank.
  7. Advocate Marketing comes into Focus – you know all those people we are delighting with great customer service using Twitter – well they have become a strong voice for our brand. Now we are looking at ways of collecting and harnessing them. Tools like Zuberance are helping to do just that and allowing firms to do special things with their advocate base like provide them special events, invites to live events etc. We are just scratching the surface on this one but I can tell you its going to be big!
  8. Reputation Management emerges in organizations – Toyota, United Breaks Guitars, Dominos Pizza, Motrin Moms, Dell Hell – we have had some major disasters all brought on my lack of speed in this market. Many firms are listening now for their brand (I know I spoke to 50 of them this year about this issue) but I don’t think they are ready for a crisis. I did a Reputation study on this topic two years ago and it proved how many companies lack the infrastructure then – we have come a long way since but do you really have a process to react quickly?
  9. Real Time Marketing makes headlines – ok so I am reading David Meerman Scott’s latest book called Real Time Marketing but you know what – he’s right! He’s got tons of examples of firms that capitalized or failed to capitalize on Real Time issues (United Breaks Guitars!) We all need a lesson on how to be more real time – it’s a great book, I can’t put it down – I have read every book David has published and I can tell you – you need to read this one!
  10. Someone better win the SmartPhone Application race soon – I can’t keep building 4 versions of the same application in order to cover the SmartPhone market – Blackberry aps, iPhone aps, Android aps (what the growth rate on Android) and Windows aps. Ok yes HTML5 should help this but throw in iPad and various other tablet aps and marketers are starting to look like Technologist which brings me to my next prediction.
  11. The Rise of the Marketing Technologist – Marketers for the last few years have been closet techno geeks and its time for them to rise up – companies need digitally fluent marketers who can apply technologies to help make marketing more measurable and scientific. Then we can really change the dynamic from marketing as a cost center to marketing as a profit center!

32 comments to 11 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011

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  • Paul: Really good stuff here. I’m particularly interested in how NFO is driving Facebook marketing efforts. And my sense still is that not enough marketers are talking about it or understand it. I expect to see a major ramping up of NFO discussion in 2011, though!

    Curious about this stat: “Basically .2% of fans return to a fan page and in some cases it’s more like .02%” Is that listed in a post or case study somewhere, or part of BrandGlue’s own research? I’d like to be able to reference more officially in my writing and conversations.

  • I heard the BrandGlue CEO speak and he mentioned it was based on their own research

  • I’ve preached #11 for awhile now. Company’s can’t see past IT only function. I say it’s someone that knows both, but how do you get that sold into a culture?

  • @Christien – I agree its someone who is keen on both technology and marketing – but from a culture perspective I think it gets forced upon the company (much like consumer innovation is getting forced upon companies) and then next thing you know it is part of the fabric of the organization. I think thats how it gets into the culture.

  • Susie Q.

    Dear Paul, Hi
    I just wondered where you saw blogs in all this and if they are see as as useful as the online marketing
    Thank you

  • @Suzie Q – I think of blogs as a “swiss army knife” of social media – its something everyone should have and is an enabler to many of the predictions above

  • Susie Q.

    Thank you

  • I find your article quit intriging. Have been trying to use blogs for marketing and must say that it is a great methode.

  • Great post, thanks!

    Particularly liking point 11 as it is something I feel quite strongly about.

    Not only in terms of measuring and analysing, but also about creating useful tools tied to a brand and marketing adding real value to users.

    Utility is the new marketing. 😉

  • […] lista interesanta am gasit aici – 11 predictii despre schimbarile in B2B marketing in 2011. Paul Dunay a anticipat foarte bine acum un an schimbarile si provocarile prin care vor trece […]

  • @Manne – interesting notion .. if IT is becoming utility based then Marketing Technology can and will become utility based too!

  • 1. How exactly are any of these B2B?
    2. 10 is a rant, not a prediction.
    3. 11 is really all we need. Why not also add “content strategists” and “social business tacticians” to the growing list of made-up positions?
    4. Real time reputation management is not the same as real-time marketing, Paul. You’re getting your pegs confused.
    5. News Feed Optimization is not a substitute for SEO.
    6. Chief Customer Officers? Really? CCO? Will the customer service manager answer to them too?
    7. … oh, never mind. You can do better Paul. You used to write good stuff.

  • @Oliver – I am sorry you found nothing about this post that could inspire you as the Ultimate Brand Builder that you are

  • […] Buzz Marketing for Technology: 11 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011 […]

  • It’s really quite a shame that advertisers missed out on about 18 months of Facebook advertising with sub-nickel eCPMs and penny CPCs. The cost has risen dramatically over just the last few months and that trend will continue right up until there’s an opportunity to increase ad inventory — specifically, it seems inevitable that Facebook ads will become available for publishers off of Facebook.

    Hopefully that will spark a new golden ad of Facebook advertising (personalized, contextual ads … wow).

    cofounder, Alvenda

    p.s. Brooks Brothers went live on Facebook on our platform in 2009 🙂

  • @Lou – wow I am honored you commented on my blog – I am a big fan of your platform and speak about you guys often!

    Please let me know if there is anything I could ever do for you – and congrats getting bringing Brooks Brothers live!

  • […] that wasn’t reason enough, consider these 11 B2B Marketing Predictions for 2011, 8 of which are “social” communications, including mobile tactics. Advocate marketing […]

  • I am not sure it will reach the magnitude of the list you provided but let me share a little secret marketing tool that as soon as people learn about it, it will explode…

    Offer Walls. Not a secret in and of itself but few people know how cost effective they really are. Imagine only paying for an ad AFTER the customer has already completed the task you want (filled out a survey, signed up, downloaded, etc…) or for many, after they have bought your product.

    At SOCO Games, we have millions of potential players see our logo for free and we only pay once a player has completed our tutorial (15 min. time investment).

    Pay for completion is the way to go. Forget pay for click or 1000 impressions. We tried FB ads and the ROI is 10 times better. We are a Facebook game but traditional companies are seeing the same return if they know what they are doing.

    Check out companies like gWallet, Tapjoy, Sponsor Pay, Super Rewards, Matomy, etc… to learn more.

  • @Jeff – very interesting – I agree we will see more pay per action types of models emerging – thanks for sharing how you do it!

  • Hey Paul, notice three of the 11 are focused on Facebook? What a phenomenon this has grown into and will continue to become, if Facebook keeps making strides in the right direction, so much b2b effort will be focused there. I also see a focus on reputation management and branding which stems from the fact that social media is at the forefront and it is more of a focus now that companies put their best face forward. Great post!

  • @Nick – Thanks nick I cant help myself after writing 2 books on Facebook – everything starts to look like Facebook to me 😉

    also if you are really interested in the reputation topic when it comes to social I recommend – ReputationGarage.com

    those guys are doing some cool reputation work for big brands – let me know if you want an intro to the CEO


  • Hi Paul,
    I like and respect your insight so please don’t get me wrong… but. Doesn’t this seem alot like upgrading the china on the Titanic?

    Suppose we expose sales and marketing to the same process and resource management principles that we apply to manufacturing, distribution, finance, supply chain and service management. You could drive a truck through the gaps in “best-practice” revenue generation.

    I am an old ex-IBM sales buffalo so excuse my bias, but marketing seems to have lost the connection between what they do and enterprise revenue goals. The Theory of Constraints tells us that every enterprise process has at least one bottleneck that when removed will transform (revenue) performance. Do your 2011 predictions transform revenue performance?

    I agree with your predictions, but don’t you think it sad that these micro tactics are the big marketing trends for 2011. No wonder CMO’s are dropping like flies.

  • Peter Altschuler

    Your predictions all seem to come around to some consumer-driven version of B2B, so I’m not sure how to interpret your smartphone application item.

    According to Aberdeen and Gartner, it’s not App Store-style tools that will have the greatest impact on enterprise mobility. It’s the ability to extend enterprise resources to mobile devices — both smartphones and tablets. In that environment, there are the same multi-platform challenges you reference (particularly for anyone using traditional mobile application development tools — SDKs, IDEs, frameworks, and the like), but there are newer approaches that eliminate those restrictions.

    Leading that charge is a company called Webalo, which avoids programming altogether and, instead of creating new mobile versions of enterprise applications, it lets companies connect to the resources they already have. Configuration is a step-by-step process that lets administrators select the exact data and functions that an individual or group needs to access, it adapts automatically to any mobile UI, and it allows content to be consolidated from multiple applications (and multiple vendors).

    As an example, a property management firm connected its entire mobile workforce to the data warehouse in under 12 hours. A national health service in Europe tied together alerts with database access (to research, reference, and patient records sources) and input from specialists. That input was then sent to the requesting physician and automatically posted to the patient’s file. That was configured in less than four hours. And a shopper marketing firm put together a connection in less than a day that cut turnaround time of the distribution of survey results from ten working days to two hours.

    All of these could work as easily on a BlackBerry as they do on an iPad or Android smartphone. So, if your prediction about smartphone applications is about the enterprise and not about widgets designed for consumers, your prediction’s already come true.

  • @Brock – Wow great POV Brock thanks for sharing – a good dose of reality onto the situation.

    But I do think that smart marketers can turn some (not all) of these tactic into revenue generator for their company

    ex – Why not get a list from the sales team of the companies that you have proposals out to and target those companies and the functions within those companies with a FB ad

    ex – if you sell products on your website – why not extend those products onto Facebook by opening a store front that can link into your shopping cart

    taking a queue from you – the good CMOs can move the needle by expanding their toolkit with some of these tactics!

    thanks for the comment!

  • @Peter – thanks for the comment – You are right and we will be watching how this story plays out over the next few months!

  • Great point about focus shifting from the fan pages themselves to the news feeds. Nice article.

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