B2B buying has changed. And Forrester is taking notice, predicting massive shifts in marketing in the coming year. “Buyers prefer to do research themselves rather than rely on vendors’ sales reps. The result: a dramatic shift in the role and focus of B2B marketing organizations. … Most B2B companies have been slow to recognize, understand, and prepare to deal with this new reality.” The best marketers, they say, will act differently in 2016.

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Forrester’s predictions see massive changes in 2016 in four major realms:

  • go-to-customer strategy,
  • the accelerating shift from art to science,
  • tech investments,
  • and  B2B messaging.

Forrester Analysts Laura Ramos, Lori Wizdo, Tim Harmon, Mary Shea, Steven Wright, and Shanta Samlal-Fadelle believe that B2B marketers will take over the whole organization.

Okay … not quite.

But they do think they’ll start to move closer and closer to the customer and even begin to merge with the customer team. They also foresee marketing moving further and further down the sales funnel:

“At least one-third of marketers will initiate programs with sales leadership that redefine key processes and secure sales force alignment, to reduce friction between teams as they engage deeper into the funnel.”

And they even predict that marketers will adopt some of the most common KPIs normally assigned to sales. But it makes sense: every one of us and our cats know that B2B buyers are completing so much of the purchase process on their own (with – wouldya look at that – marketing content).

To support this shift, Forrester predicts that all that content your marketing team’s producing that neither your buyers nor your sales team are paying attention to will start to become phenomenally more conversational (to get that attention!). Meaning more crowdsourced content, more storytelling, and an increased adoption of crowdsourcing technology platforms.

But hey, I don’t want to give it all away. You need to see it for yourself. This is good stuff – something you’ll want to keep in your metaphorical back pocket for the year! Check out the rest of Forrester’s predictions in their report, here.

forrester b2b marketing predictions 2016

Kimbe MacMaster