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April 7th, 2011
Great post Stan.
At a macro level, I believe things will only get worse (as anti-D:Ream once sang) as the market for smart, senior marketers will decrease.
This is driven by 4 things:
1. The ongoing dominance of US technology businesses, and the continuing subsidiary status of European operations.
2. The move of businesses to deliver their products via SaaS forcing a trend towards lower cost infrastructure such as telebusiness (and less $$$ to spend on seasoned marketers)
3. The rise of marketing automation platforms, enabling the ability to do things more centrally (i.e. in the US).
4. The move to online meaning customer understanding can be done digitally, negating the need for field marketing-led customer engagement.
I wrote more about it “5 reasons why Marketing Automation marks the end of the VP Marketing EMEA” http://bit.ly/evFrci
April 8th, 2011
Great analysis and great post.
There will always be companies that think that by solving their workflows they’ve solved their marketing problems. But it does feel as if there’s an emerging band of marketers that recognise that content and creative to push through the tools is the hard bit. You’re right to point out though that marketing automation makes it easy to turn European marketing into a satellite execution business. Hope not though.
April 8th, 2011
It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my frustration. I’d add that to many UK Marketers have done a bad job of stepping up to the new environment. I spent 3 years working in the US with Hi-Tech clients. I was always impressed by how much even the most junior marketer knew about their industry, products and what was also around the corner.
UK Marketing education doesn’t help. The CIM still assumes everyone works for Unilever and B2B Marketing content on their courses is fairly non-existent. So where do young B2B Marketers go to get ‘their chops’? (see I remember the B2B Manifesto)?
The Marketing Automation success stories have been well documented and recognised as the way forward savvy B2B marketers. I believe I’m posting alongside B2B Mags ‘Marketer of Year’ but I don’t think 2010 was a bumper year for UK company investment in Marketing Automation.
Meanwhile, at DemandGen we see lots of MA instances spreading to EMEA from the US. The skill set required to drive through a successful lead scoring and nurture activities is significant. Yes it is complex too. There is a tendency for marketers to noodle around with the technology rather than go toe to toe with the engineers and salesforce and get their buy-in first.
So to b2b marketers I say leave the technology piece to the experts (cough cough DemandGen…other MA consultants are available!). We’ll hold your coat while you take on sales and go for that ’sales and marketing alignment’ thing. A sort of “Mickey” Goldmill to your Rocky
April 11th, 2011
I agree with you completely. Marketing education is unwaveringly focussed on B2C, not B2B, so people are forced to ‘learn by doing’ – another example of the British ‘muddling through’ I talk about in the post.