Future Gazing: What Will B2B Marketing Look Like In A Decade?

July 29, 2014

If you think about how much marketing has changed and developed in the last ten years, you can only imagine what the next decade has in store. Here at Proctor + Stevenson, we like to think ahead, so when I came across an article on the B2B Marketing website which showed other experts' predictions on the future of the industry, I was intrigued. I thought I'd share some of the best with you today - and read to the end if you want to know mine!

Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said that mobile has become such an integral part of people's everyday lives; so much more so than anyone could have predicted when mobile first came on the scene. Similarly, future B2B delivery methods will be driven by technology that is yet to materialise. We'll have a huge "menu" of integrated software/hardware options to choose from when communicating with our target audience.

John Watton, director of digital marketing EMEA at Adobe, hopes that B2B marketers will base an increasing amount of their decisions on fact rather than "gut-feel". This will be due to greater insights and automation tools. By 2024, he says, we'll be "fully in the land of real-time", and 80% of marketing budgets will be spent on digital.

Similarly, Katie Canton, social media manager at Birddog, thinks that a decade from now B2B marketing will be "hyper-targeted". Online privacy will be a thing of the past, and this will mean an abundance of information about all customers and prospects. Direct marketing, she believes, could make a comeback as marketers will know exactly who to send to and what will engage them.

And what do I think? I certainly agree with everyone's viewpoints, and I believe that the accuracy of data (and therefore targeting and reaching a truly personalised experience) is a given for the future of B2B marketing. However, I also think we will start to see more marketing entering our homes and our day-to-day lives, outside of working hours. This is a result of not only being glued to our mobiles, but also our ability to be picky about the marketing and advertising we are served - on TV and over the internet on our mobiles. Looking forward, I think that we could end up with settings on our phones which mean that even in outdoor advertising we will see certain messages at certain times. The message will become more tailored to the prosumer, and - when it gets to this point - it could have a huge impact in shortening some (often lengthy) sales cycles.

Jessica Ellis