I have been reading several B2B experts’ predictions for 2012 marketing trends. Based upon the work we have done for our B2B clients at SIGMA in 2011, I have narrowed in on what could be the top 5 B2B marketing mantras for 2012.  Repeat after me:

1. Marketing and sales WILL be getting their act together — or else.

“…my first prediction is that B2B marketers, primarily those with direct contact with sales, will increase their focus on sales support, enablement and opportunity acceleration…”

— Michael Brenner, B2B Marketing Insider

“…as buyers are becoming more empowered, sales professionals are seen by these buyers as less valuable in the decision making process, and as a result are being invited later and later in the buying cycle.”

“…sales professionals must be made relevant and important again to buyers. Sales professionals must be armed with unique knowledge and tools so buyers want and need to engage sales earlier in the buying cycle.”

— Alinean, Predictions for 2012 and Beyond: The End of B2B Sales & Marketing as We Know It?

2. Content is the equity of pull marketing, and it’s everyone’s job to be a thought leader.

  • “9 out of 10 organizations market with content marketing.
  • On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics to achieve their goals.
  • Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.”

“Content marketing spend is increasing:  On average, 60% of respondents indicate that they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. This compares to 51% of marketers who were planning to increase their budgets in the previous study.”

— Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

3. Multichannel is critical to customer engagement and loyalty.

“We’re now entering an era where almost any device or surface can have an internet connection, and as such, video can be displayed almost anywhere. … Already brands are moving toward this kind of engagement, this is only just the beginning for multichannel marketing in 2012. The realization will be that it is not simply about the media and screens that advertising is displayed on. It will be about customers’ lives and the devices they surround themselves with to make life that little bit easier.

Chris Gorell Barnes, Econsultancy

4. Data and analytics are the key to targeting and messaging relevance.

“Better content targeting and personalization is required for 2012 to end ‘carpet bombing’ B2B marketing techniques, evolving to create a dialogue with buyers to guide them through the decision making process and buying lifecycle with personalized one-to-one advice.”

“CMOs start talking about the challenges in creating an audience-first marketing mentality and the need to re-tool and re-train their work force to meet the data and digital requirements of modern marketing.”

— Michael Brenner, B2B Marketing Insider