Predictions for B2B Marketing in 2016

What will B2B marketers have to do differently in 2016 to keep up with an increasingly sophisticated and well-informed clientele?

Well, for starters, they can stop the mad content creation rush. The end goal of branded content is to engage, convince and convert. But how many businesses are actually able to demonstrate the value of content and quantify results from it?

Not many, according to an end-of-year report from the Content Marketing Institute: while the volume of content and costs of content creation have swelled in the last three years, only 30 per cent of businesses are actually able to show the value of their content.

“As the New Year rolls in, businesses will get more serious about developing strategies and programs that enhance interaction with clients/buyers and prove the value of content.”

Sales development technologies are expected to up their ante next year. 2015 marked a watershed year for predictive analytics in marketing, attracting almost $250 million in funding for start-ups experimenting with this technology. The momentum will continue strongly in 2016, bolstered by a widely expected flurry of acquisitions of specialized start-ups by major sales and marketing vendors. A broader variety of technology offerings will be available to businesses, which is all good if they can actually be utilized effectively

What do we mean? In recent years, businesses have been steadily pumping cash into content marketing, predictive and social media tools. To the outsider, they would appear to have an impressive sales and marketing technology stack. But very few businesses can answer how the tech solutions are working together to support the marketing function.

“Technology, by itself, can never be a strategy; rather, it enables the implementation of a strategy.”

In 2016, businesses will move to a strategy-first, technology-next approach, even if it means going back to square one and exploring entirely new ways of engaging and nurturing buyers.

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