Five Challenges for Marketing in 2014

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After reading “Segal reflects changes” in the last printed edition of BtoBonline, I think it’s easy to take for granted the significant changes that have occurred in just the last decade (Rick Segal takes the perspective of 32 years in the business).

I don’t agree with the first, entirely, but here are some of the challenges he identified:

  • B2B is dead — “What it comes down to is the way that work is just part of life. Individual people are so extraordinarily empowered by technology and by newly democratized models of management that people make little distinction between their personal and professional exertions and diversions.”
  •  The new model of marketing is humanity — In the new model. “Individual men and women are actors in the task of business decision-making, which is one part of people’s work lives. B2b, as I have lived it and known it, has always been arithmetic and rational, but humanity is geometric and emotional. I don’t think we’ve begun to scrape the surface of the strategic, creative and tactical transformations required for the new model. I don’t think an entirely new model has emerged yet, responsive to the dramatic changes that we’re seeing.”
  • Big challenge is smaller targets — “The degree to which everything has become smaller and more dispersed. The easy, almost instantaneous replication of value is a principal challenge all marketers face, whether they are in what we’d call b2b or b-to-c. It is very, very difficult to command positions of longstanding market or segment domination as was once the case.”
  • No more patience for patience —  “Marketing used to be about seeding and planting innovations that would grow into mighty oaks of market domination. Today’s world has no such patience for that kind of processed growth.”
  • Technology has made marketing better and more difficult —  “We have all of these technologies and all of these tools that allow us to be more precise and measured and to reach more people. The fact of the matter is, all these things have made the task of marketing more difficult than ever. The good news is, there is more work to be done in more places, both in time and in geography.”

According to Segal, “The opportunity for smart marketers to figure these things out” meaning how technology can be harnessed. That’s the real challenge for marketers in 2014.

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