Welcome to my first post. I hope this blog inspires, engages, and creates a journey of personal discovery and Kaizen – a Japanese philosophy of “continuous improvement.”
I believe that marketing is part art and science, reflecting creativity and the need to deliver desired results. This blog will focus on a wide variety of topics, indicative of the wide domain and skill sets of my fellow marketers. Areas of interest include marketing automation, branding, inbound marketing, social media, search, blogs, sales alignment, content marketing, and digital marketing. I know it’s a long list!
So why another blog on B2B marketing? Irving Frydman is a marketing communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in corporate marketing. At times, called the “branding guy,” “the PR guy,” or simply “marketing.” I’ve watched marketing evolve into a science, with more sophisticated analysis and the tools to drive accountability across the marketing organization. As a former marketing operations manager, I can add the “Marketing ROI” perspective for my readers.
The computer industry has been good to me, filled with excitement, challenges, and ever changing business models or transformations. Every so often there is a monumental shift in our industry that changes everything.
Andy Grove of Intel fame, coined the phrase: “strategic inflection point,” in his book titled Only the Paranoid Survive: occurrences such as mega-competition, a change in regulations, or a seemingly modest change in technology could present opportunity or destruction. Your company either adapts or ceases to exist. Notice that corporate giants DEC and Wang are no longer with us today.
A new “strategic inflection point” is occurring today in the form of cloud computing. Companies can reduce costs in infrastructure, hardware, and maintenance, and are better able to scale their computing needs more quickly and efficiently. Many smaller companies can now compete with the larger incumbents, and new business models have formed that didn’t even exist just a few years ago. One example is the location-based social networking website Foursquare. Witness the explosive growth in the number of digital and social media startups found in Silicon Valley hoping to cash in on the next IPO.
The Internet data pipes are bulging with content. The smart phone and its tablet cousin, are revolutionizing accessibility as conduits of information and sharing among affinity groups. The world has never been more socially connected (Facebook users are approaching the billion mark) , and savvy marketers are tapping into this phenomenon.
End users have access to corporate websites, blogs, review sites and analyst reports. They may even know more about a company than the people trying to sell them things. The implications for B2B marketers are immense, who must now expand their roles into resource managers and educators: knowledge-rich content is required for prospective customers as they are “nurtured” along the buyer journey.
B2B marketers are responding and placing more emphasis (and dollars) on content, and in other areas called “inbound marketing:” search, blogging, and social media. If you have attended a Hubspot webinar you know what I’m taking about.
So what has really changed for marketers in recent years? After the 2008 recession, marketers faced a new reality: shrinking budgets and the need to be more accountable. The good news is this has led to greater financial and budgeting acumen by marketers. The new mantra for marketers is “Marketing ROI.”
Marketing automation software tools are now becoming standard in the marketer’s toolkit, and are essential for budgeting and financial management, content management, and providing visibility into the marketing-to-sales lead funnel. With automation, marketers can prove ROI and make data-driven decisions, and illustrate the contributions they make. Marketing does matter.
I welcome hearing your thoughts on the skills B2B marketers need today and why marketing matters?