Specialists in the field have also identified other trends that they consider will affect the B2B market (Focus, 2010). Such trends refer to the fact that marketing is likely to be considered responsible for revenue objectives, B2B markets are likely to become more similar with consumer markets, the B2B sector will be characterized by a social media crisis, more attention granted to return on investments, the increased of automation, increased importance of Internet supported buying cycles, information overload, focus on lead quality, focus on branding and awareness, and others.
The following chart reveals B2B companies interest in investments regarding several channels. Most of these companies intend to significantly increase investments in website design, social media, virtual events, search engines, email marketing, and paid search. The attention these companies pay to Public Relations and telemarketing seems to remain constant. B2B companies estimate they will reduce investments in direct mail, trade shows, and print advertising.
Source: MarketingSherpa, 2010.
The B2B market is significantly developed in the U.S., while similar markets in Europe are trying to adapt to changes imposed by the global environment. The complexity of the B2B market, of the products that this market focuses on, and of customers needs requires constant efforts from B2B companies in maintaining their position on the market and in developing their business.
The most important trends affecting this market sector are represented by the use of social media, the increased level of automation, and the measurement of return on marketing investments. B2B companies in the U.S. have acknowledged the impact of social media and have included it into their strategy.
B2B companies in the UK do not focus on using social media yet, although they are also aware of its importance.
Increasing the level of automation is another factor that is intended to help B2B companies expand their activity. This is especially helpful for certain types of B2B companies, like trade show marketers. However, this implies a higher cost associated with the use of advanced technology. In addition to this, B2B companies are expected to better assess the effects of their efforts by measuring the return of marketing investments. This is intended to help companies identify the strategic aspects that provide significant profits.
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