A B2B Marketing Wishlist for 2014

I’m never one to make predictions on this blog and I tend to shy away from them in general, especially as so many other leaders in this space make them. As I’ve stated before, I’m more focused on what to accomplish and what to do. If you’re still looking for a good list of B2B predictions for this year here’s a list of five things to watch.

What ideas do you have for 2014?
What ideas do you have for 2014?

Looking into this year there are several positive signs in the economy. One of them is the fact that B2B companies are planning to increase their spending on marketing. With a surge in spending occurring this year where should B2B marketers invest? Here are four areas where I think communications can have the biggest impact to your organization.

  • Blogging. I’m a believer that blogging should be a central component to any B2B digital strategy. In fact, if I could only choose one social media tool to use it would probably be blogging. This not only includes writing your own blog but also contributing to other blogs. And with LinkedIn opening up its Influencer platform you now have another platform to develop written content.
  • Be Interactive and Listen. This opening sentence from the Harvard Business Review sums it up: Smart companies recognize that both their marketing and their broader business strategy need to be informed by carefully gathering customer insight. How are you listening to your customers? Online forum groups that are private can offer great opportunities to hear from your customers. In fact, we’ve talked about this time and time again here at the importance of LinkedIn groups. If you don’t have a system for gathering and sharing stories, trends and comments internally you may be missing out on valuable insights.
  • Focus Your Images. Telling stories with visuals has to be something you are looking at doing more of this year. If you are struggling with this go by the book The Power of Visual Storytelling to help you out. Visually telling your stories through charts, graphics, images and video not only raise awareness but also appeal to people’s senses and emotions.
  • Think Sales Leads, Not Just Sales. B2B sales has changed and cultivating a constant flow of sales leads is vital to the growth of every B2B company. From a social channel, LinkedIn wins in this category from its company pages to just using the platform to network. But there are many ways to build lead, including email as well as white papers, case studies and webinars. The options are overwhelming, so you need to really do our research on your customer segments and find out how to best reach them. Still need help? Here’s a helpful guide (or click on the image below) at the ways B2B marketers can choose what resource to drive awareness or sales.

Where do you plan to focus your communications strategy this year? Let us know what you think in the comments. If you enjoyed this post you may also want to read the following:

Can B2B brands inspire?

Craft work — what’s your B2B expertise?

Who are your content superheroes?

Is Motivation the Key to Success?

Do most online communities fail?

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