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15 Predictions for 2015

By Eric Wittlake on Jan. 8, 2015

Strategy Culture

What does 2015 have in store? According to BNJ, new technology, a changing economy and a critical eye on the ways we’ve practiced B2B marketing in 2014.

When I asked my colleagues to share their predictions with me, I was overwhelmed by the responses. So, in honor of 2015, here are 15 predictions from the team at BNJ. While I've attempted to credit the original source for each prediction, the real credit goes to the conversation that continued to shape each one of them.

1. Wearables go mainstream
Led by the intro of the Apple Watch, 2015 will be the year of wearables. Of course, B2B marketers will follow and the marketing discussion will turn to topics like new data and measurement, privacy implications, and how to create glanceable micro-content. (From Imelda Khoo)

2. The return of Made In the USA
The last couple years have seen manufacturing return to the US, driven by the collapse of natural gas prices, lower real estate costs and very low interest rates. In 2015, "We make our products here in the USA" will become a more common differentiator. (From Mike Mayfield)

3. The war for talent changes the B2B buyer journey
As enterprises battle to recruit and retain top talent, contractors and freelance specialists will increasingly fill the business and technical decision making roles, altering the dynamics of the buying team and the buyer journey marketers need to navigate. (From Kim Curry)

4. Automation enables more human interaction
Over the last few years, marketers have embraced automation, particularly in email. Unfortunately, the result is missing the human and personal feeling of the best communication. In 2015, we will see more marketers look at automation through a different lens: a way to deliver appropriate personal (not merely personalized) messages at scale and as a way to spark truly, one-to-one communication. (From Laura Hastings)

5. Nurturing leaves email behind
We are awash in email. 2015 will see nurture expand beyond email and into social, display, even phone and traditional mail. Yes, response rates will rise. More importantly, so will revenue. (From Lauren Goldstein)

6. Marketers adopt the long-term view
Tactical, lead generation and short-term sales programs will take a backseat to strategies that develop relationships and sway preferences with a longer-term horizon. (From Joel Gunz)

7. Publisher lead gen programs start to crumble
We saw one large B2B publisher move away from the cost-per-contact model to start 2015. More will follow, shuttering those programs completely or raising the bar on the content they will accept. (From Ashley Widmer)

8. Nurture moves from push to pull
Who is really looking forward to getting the next "B2B nurture email" you are sending out? (And why is it an email anyway? See #5). In 2015, watch for more companies to adopt the same kind of big idea mindset that drives the best creative programs. Nurture, in email or beyond, won't just be useful, it will become something we look forward to and want to interact with. (From Kim Curry)

9. Experience wins the year
Effective B2B experiences become more focused and entertaining, as marketers look to rise above the glut of today's typical content. (From David Smith)

10. Marketing technology acquisitions heat back up
Each of the big marketing technology companies (Google, IBM, Adobe, Oracle, Microsoft, etc) has their own set of solutions. In the race to differentiate and expand their offerings, small and mid-size marketing technology companies will be acquired at lightning speed in 2015. (From Brandon Lee)

11. Collaborative consumption
Enterprises will embrace today's collaborative consumption platforms (i.e. Airbnb, Lyft), both as new channel for products or services and as a way to access resources to create a more agile organization. (From Paul Behnen)

12. Moving beyond registration and content
Shorter forms, optimized landing pages and the compelling benefits of an ebook or research report increase registration rates, but more registrations don't mean more people are actually interested. In 2015, marketers will look for other signs of interest beyond registration and content. (From Ashley Widmer)

13. B2B advertisers embrace bold
In today's sea of undifferentiated marketing, more B2B advertisers will see the business value of clear, bold, well-exececuted creative, and more business leaders will be willing to take that leap. (From Joel Gunz)

14. Test and fail in order to win
Marketers will increasingly look to testing in place of or along side traditional market research as a primary way to uncover new truths and identify larger opportunities. Along the way, we will embrace the inevitable failure as we learn more quickly and move ever faster. (From Laura Hastings)

15. Predictive marketing goes mainstream
Predictive marketing is already a hot space, but it hasn’t hit its mainstream stride yet as a solution for B2B marketers to segment and prioritize leads for marketing and sales. In 2015, predictive marketing solutions like Lattice Engines, Mintigo or 6sense will move beyond the biggest marketers and earliest adopters and will become nearly as common as marketing automation among mid-sized and large enterprise B2B marketers. (From Eric Wittlake)

Looking for more from the BNJ team? Imelda Khoo recently published 5 SEM Booty Predictions for 2015 and I wrote 5 2015 Predictions Only a B2B Marketer Would Care About.

Now it's your turn. Add your own prediction below, or share which ones you think we will get right (and which will be misses). 

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