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The Future of B2B Media and Marketing


Key B2B Information Trends for 2013


In 2013, the fraternal twins of marketing services and workflow solutions will cement their place at the table as permanent, significant contributors to total media company revenue alongside the legacy mainstays of subscriptions, events, and the sale of ads. They are twins since marketing services is itself a workflow special case: It’s über workflow for CMOs and directors of marketing to prioritize, optimize and administer their multiple objectives, campaigns and operational activities.


Outsell’s 2012 benchmarks show 2% of revenue comes  from marketing services in information companies today and 9% from workflow solutions, but only one out of four companies has any revenue from either of these forms of important, deep-engagement lines of businesses.


Futurology Trend for 2023


By 2023, advertising and marketing will have completed a total 180-degree turn from “push” to “pull.” This about-face began 10 years ago, as Outsell first identified the shift in digital marketing spending from publishers’ sites to advertisers’ own sites in 2003. Push marketing strives to interrupt and achieve maximum exposure. Pull marketing is by-invitation marketing on the terms of the requester/recipient. It will succeed by residing in a system of trust, which winning media companies will have built.


Along the way, the necessary but not sufficient condition for marketing will be to engage customers using analytics for matching targeting and timing – setting tripwires and snare lines. These signals and alerts are the modern version of maximizing exposure — helpful, but too often unwelcome and badly timed. In the trust-based user pull and by-invitation future, B2B companies will not advertise to customers, rather, professionals will advertise themselves, specify themselves, and define themselves and their needs.


This is the ultimate opt-in and shout-out of, “I’m buying. Here are my terms. If you’re vetted, come talk to me.” This is the role for media companies to carve out: to be that trusted conduit and to safeguard the digital version of the gentleman’s handshake that has always been the foundation of self-selecting, self identifying B2B subscription and controlled circulation publishing. It’s e-commerce, but in the sense that the media company, and others, will create the trusted environment for this informed and consensual commerce.