But this is all about to change. B2B marketing is coming of age and will be stealing a portion of the limelight for itself.
The economic crisis, while spelling disaster for many sectors, actually appears to have provided the impetus for this emerging B2B revolution. Finally it is being realised that the tired, old model of lead generation through cold calls and hackneyed list rental is broken. This combined with the fact that many B2B marketers are looking to mitigate risk by outsourcing more of the customer acquisition process to improve ROI and reduce fixed costs, means that there is a wealth of opportunity for smart data practitioners.
Purveyors of fine data have won in the past. And fine data is only fine because it isn’t flogged to death. Yet marketers now want more than just raw data, fine or otherwise – they want to pay for measurable results in the form of hard sales.
The penny is dropping and innovation is rife. We predict that over the coming six months we will see an influx of new solutions, some that merely repackage, but others that will truly change the course of B2B marketing – hopefully including our own Pyramid of Acquisition Model that takes lead generation through to sales conversion.
The data industry, and in particular the B2B side, has been thinking too small for too long. In fairness it’s not all its own fault. There has been precious little support, but this too is changing.
The DMA has recently endorsed SME Voice – our platform which enables UK SMEs to air their views. This represents an essential move forward for its B2B member programme, with regular panel discussions, quarterly networking events, webinars and thought-leadership.
This is a mature market, but there is no reason why it can’t be invigorated and rewound to a stage of growth through the injection of innovation. Adding value to the bottom line is the core strength of the data industry.
Building on this, we are confident that by 2011 lead generation – and as a result the wider B2B marketing sphere – will be in a very different place.