How can B2B CMOs ensure success in 2014?

1. Beware of tech inertia
Too few organisations are even making the best out of their existing infrastructure, let alone building something that reflects their current requirements. B2B brands need a rational, integrated technology infrastructure that is fit-for-purpose and cost effective. There remains an opportunity for competitive advantage from technology, but it will diminish as the laggards catch up. Don’t get left behind.

2. Re-energise your brand
The credit crunch diverted attention from branding in many organisations. In the age of social media and mobile devices, even business buyers are demanding more engaging, useful and relevant brand experiences. The brand is back on the ascendency: organisations must move with the times, and B2B Leaders must drive the transition.

3. Get agile
The CEO is the ultimate internal stakeholder, yet marketers have been relatively unsuccessful at getting them on side. So what are CEOs looking for? The number one attribute, according to research from Stein IAS, is the ability to respond to trends quickly. CEOs want CMOs to move fast and decisively, rather than get bogged down in process or protocol.

4. Interrogate the sales team
Business buyers are increasingly savvy and that means marketing, not sales, now owns the customer. Today, marketing’s primary role is to enable the sales team, to provide the right leads, the right content and the right insight at the right time. This requires a slick and sophisticated process to enable marketers to interrogate, understand and sometimes second-guess content needs. The dynamic in the relationship has changed, but although there may be less animosity but there may still be tension.

5. Catalyse change
Technology, Generation Y, BRICS… these are just three causes of the fundamental changes sweeping through B2B marketing. As well as reacting to change, CMOs need to be at the forefront of it, challenging the business and enabling new opportunities. Marketing must get on the front foot and create the momentum and consensus that will drive the organisation forward.  

These and other related issues will be discussed at the B2B Leaders Forum 2014.

This is an heavily edited version of an article which was previously published on the B2B Leaders website.