So far this month, my posts have focused on what will happen in B2B marketing during 2015. In my first January post, I discussed a recent webinar by the Aberdeen Group regarding what best-in-class marketers are planning for this year. In my last post, I described some of the findings of a recent survey by StrongView Systems that asked business leaders about their marketing budget and spending plans for 2015.
While performing research for these posts, I discovered an excellent website developed by Backbone Media. Backbone has collected predictions from nearly two dozen B2B marketing thought leaders, and the website presents these predictions in a very accessible format.
The predictions at the Backbone website cover a wide range of topics. I’ll focus on three topics that earned comments from multiple marketing thought leaders.
The Roles of Marketing and Sales
I’ve written before about the need to forge a tighter integration between marketing and sales, so this is a topic that interests me greatly. Here’s a sample of the comments and predictions from the thought leaders.
- David Meerman Scott predicts that there will be a convergence of marketing and sales driven by changes in the way people buy. He argues that most people now begin their buying process by performing research using search engines and social networks. Then he says: “And that means that it’s not about marketing doing one thing and sales doing another because from the buyer’s perspective it’s all the same.”
- Matt Heinz predicts that the sales enable function will become more formalized and robust in 2015, and that it will be managed by the marketing department.
- Perhaps the most provocative prediction comes from Marcus Sheridan, who argues that B2B sales reps will largely become extinct and will be replaced by online content.