With the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to reflect on the past year as well as plan for the future. And because we can’t really help it, it’s also a time when we think about...what we want. Rather than write a typical blog post about a holiday wish list for marketers, we thought it would be fun to include parts of our Slack chat transcript -- an inside look into our content marketing team.
jordan: Well guys, it's the holiday season and I'm sure you all have started making your wish lists. Since we spend so much time at work, we probably should have a work wish list, too, right? I’m curious to see what would be on your guys’ wish lists, as well as what you think other B2B marketers are wishing for in the near (or distant) future.
lauren: I feel like this needs a theme song.
jordan: Haha like what?
lauren: "All I Want for Christmas is Instagram Links" ...but back to Jordan's question, if you could have anything you could ever imagine that would help a B2B marketer with their job, what would it be? Andrew -- you first :)
Wish #1: Better Marketing Stack Integration
For a long time, marketers lagged pretty far behind when it came to technology, but the pendulum has swung in the other direction. Marketers, today, are using dozens of technologies every day, and are constantly evaluating new ones, with the goal of improving their impact on revenue. Tools that can help marketers understand martech implementation and integration would save them from wasting time evaluating incompatible technology.
andrew: OK, I want to be able to see other companies’ martech stacks for measuring revenue. It would be interesting to see how B2B marketers in large and small companies assemble and align their stacks to measure how they’re driving revenue. Can you imagine how complex these stacks are for companies?
lauren: Cool, so Andrew wants a huge Martech stack and to peep into others.
jordan: Yeah, the tech stacks at even mid-sized organizations must be crazy. Between web analytics, channel analytics, CRMs, attribution solutions, optimization, and more, there's a lot to measure. It's almost like you need a martech genie to get the implementation right. Which technologies integrate well with each other? I'd love it if someone was on-call to answer that question whenever I needed.
alexis: Would it also bring me coffee? ...that’s probably too far-fetched of a wish.
Wish #2: Instagram Links
This is a no-brainer for marketers, but we also understand why Instagram has chosen to limit links. We can still hope, though...
jordan: Figuring out the best stack AND getting coffee? That’s some very wishful thinking :) I'm going to go with something a little more doable and say that I'd love it if Instagram let people add links (as @lauren hinted at earlier). That's not too much to ask. Right, Instagram? ...Right?
alexis: Yeah that’d be really helpful for content marketing. We could post an image and include a link to our post or post event images with links to future events. “Look how fun this is, everyone! Join us next time!”
lauren: It's actually kind of surprising -- I mean, what can't you link these days?
jordan: Exactly. And it seems like every post has a "link in profile" anyways...so it's not even killing the user experience. Instagram is still primarily a B2C marketing channel, but more and more B2B companies are beginning to use it (like us). As @alexis said, I think we’d use it A LOT more if we could link out to our content. Eventually, you’d think that Instagram would at least give a linking option to advertisers to pull in some more money.
Anyways, what other things do you guys want? I know Eva (our paid media manager) really wants LinkedIn to add a bulk upload feature (fingers crossed). That would save her a ton of time.
Wish #3: A More Developed LinkedIn Ad Management Experience
B2B paid media marketers love the potential of LinkedIn, but sometimes it can be a bit of a pain to manage. We’re hoping that LinkedIn is working hard to clean up its user experience and add some features to make it more enjoyable and more effective to use.
andrew: Going a little bit broader, how about if LinkedIn gave a little help to their B2B marketer friends and caught up to Facebook Ads’ capabilities? LinkedIn has the ideal audience for B2B marketers, but Facebook’s ad experience just seems more developed and easier to use.
lauren: I vote yes
lauren: And I will also vote yes for Eva, since she's not here to vote.
jordan: Well, there you go, LinkedIn. It’s unanimous.
Wish #4: Virtual Reality for B2B Marketing
We’re big believers in the power of VR and are excited for it to be more mainstream in the near future. The case for using VR for B2B marketing is surprising, but very compelling.
alexis: You know what would be super cool… VR demos for products.
jordan: That’s interesting. I had never thought of VR applications for B2B. You typically see VR being used for gaming or other types of B2C media. But using VR to attend a conference or to demo our product would be pretty compelling. I’m on board.
lauren: Dude... No one could say they didn't want to demo our product. That would be mad.
andrew: Can you imagine going to an event, putting on a headset and then physically walking through a demo? Any B2B marketer who could get this done would have the best booth at the conference, hands down. "Where are you going?" "Didn't you hear? Booth 443 has VR demos of their product!" “What is it?” “Who cares!”
lauren: Haha pretty much! You would have a hard time narrowing in on your target audience, though -- because you would be everyone's new best friend.
alexis: Yeah, the challenge would be that it would attract a ton of uninterested parties. We’d need some way to only let qualified leads take the demo.
jordan: Well i think the obvious solution is to have another VR headset for our sales reps that display everybody’s lead quality.
lauren: Ha! Like Mission Impossible?!
alexis: Each person could have floating bios above their heads like the Sims! Shows job title, company size, interest level, energy level, etc.
lauren: And their mood. And whether you should offer them coffee.
alexis: *caffeine levels running dangerously low*
lauren: And I mean, if it's VR -- would you even need a booth? Sponsoring booths are awfully expensive anyways. There’s tons of benefits with VR. Sales reps wouldn't have to fly across the country to have face-to-face meetings, they could just meet in virtual reality.
alexis: Like a hologram! I’m imagining little sales person avatars...
andrew: B2B marketing has been described as boring (but more education driven) compared to B2C, but these VR and hologram ideas are about to change the flavor of B2B marketing.
lauren: Man, that would be on my wish list -- hologram demos. You could go all Ironman on 'em. And I'd want a voice changer to make me sound like Jarvis.
alexis: Jeff Jarvis? (sorry that’s my journalism roots speaking)
lauren: * blink * ...Ironman's Jarvis.
jordan: So what i'm hearing is that B2B marketers just want to be superheroes.
lauren: Heck yes. We all need capes. And huge egos.
Wish #5: Tinder for B2B Marketers / Predictive Lead Scoring
Similar to dating, our marketing and sales team spends a lot of time reaching out to and engaging with the wrong people. Any tool that can reduce that wasted time would be invaluable.
alexis: Speaking of ego, what if there was a Tinder for B2B marketers?
lauren: O.o ....explain yourself.
alexis: It could list all your “stats” and then salespeople can just swipe through...stats like job title and level, company, company size, industry, maybe some wants/needs...
andrew: If there's a match, boom, demo swap! With the amount of martech out there, there needs to be a fun and efficient way to learn about new companies and new products. Tinder for B2B marketers seems spot on.
lauren: Which touches on another key difficulty that B2B marketers often have: predictive lead scoring. Right now most B2B marketers have some sort of 1-4 or A-D scoring system, but I wish we had something better.
jordan: I think we could probably work some predictive lead scoring into our Mission Impossible-style headsets. As soon as a new lead comes in, we automatically know the likelihood of conversion so we could focus our time and energy a little better.
andrew: It would be awesome if someone would get on that.
lauren: Dude... Bizible’s working on that. Product knowledge, man -- you should know this. ?
alexis: /giphy awkward
andrew: LOL, I've been researching new martech...and writing content ?! I can't also keep a pulse on EVERYTHING that our product team is doing!
lauren: Alright -- I'll cut you some slack.
alexis: Haha slack -- I see what you did there
Wish #6: Inspiring B2B Case Studies
Anybody who has spent time in B2B marketing can tell you that creating great case studies is one of the most important, yet hardest things to do. Most of the time it ends up being dry and uninspiring.
jordan: Oh man, you know what B2B marketers really need? Better case studies. I've read so many recently that are dry and uninspiring. On my christmas wish list: my time back.
andrew: I've been thinking about that too. There have been so many cases where I've read one and didn't learn a thing. You guys have seen those, right?
alexis: Yeahhh I’m pretty sure we have some...
Marketers should put this button next to all of their questionable case studies -- and when it's clicked, your laptop's time clock is rolled back 3 minutes.
alexis: Yesss that would be perfect! Which is exactly why we’re working to redesign our case studies pages.
lauren: To be really helpful, a case study should be comprehensive, detailed, and impacts should be quantifiable... Wish list: more of those.
Wish #7: Tinder For B2B Marketing Events
Researching and identifying the right events is a big task for B2B marketing events managers. Anything that can streamline the process and surface the critical information would be a huge help.
alexis: I just thought of something about events! As a start up, it seems like we spend a ton of time researching events and which ones we should or shouldn’t attend or sponsor. It’d be nice to somehow streamline that process.
jordan: That's true. And sometimes it's so hard to get the information we need from the event sales reps. A centralized event database would be awesome.
...Or a Tinder for events.
andrew: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and.... now TaaS (Tinder as a service).
alexis: Yes! It could include different filters like B2B or B2C, location, companies that have attended in the past, attendance, cost, etc. “I’m looking for a conference with a B2B martech focus in Los Angeles”… bam! List of all the relevant events you should attend.
lauren: And it could also include a list of attendees / sponsors from the previous year, in order to help gauge whether it's a good fit.
alexis: Ahh what a dream that would be.
Wish #8: Automated Organizational Tools / Twitter Newsletter Subscription
With so much going on and a constant stream of new data and new technology to keep up-to-date on, it’s easy for B2B marketers to get caught up in the weeds. Services that reduce information overload -- without letting you miss the important stuff -- are greatly desired.
andrew: There is so much to keep track of nowadays: metrics, technology, team processes, etc. Of all the technology we and our clients spend on, I think there is one whose cost doesn’t reflect its usage: Trello. I'm imagining Trello for Google glass. I've often wished I could have my immediate to do list in front of me so I don't forget. Can we get this in the marketing budget for 2016? I think Dave (our boss) would love this.
lauren: * A moment of silence for Trello's awesomeness * And yes, Dave would love that.
andrew: Right? I always forget about some of the little things until they are right in front of me.
alexis: Like emails? Pretty sure I sent you one that you never responded to! ?
Did it get lost in the clutter of emails you receive every day?
lauren: Oohhhh, Andrew gets the smackdown… But yes, so many emails, and I'm obsessively protective of my inbox.
jordan: I subscribe to a ton of email newsletters, too. Most are great, but it would be awesome if they came in the form of something like a tweet rather than an email every time. Not sure how it'd work though. Any thoughts?
alexis: Oooh what if it was automated and instead of sending an instant email, it sent an instant tweet. If people could choose whether they prefer to receive it as an email or tweet, I’d definitely choose that option to free up space in my email! You could also make Twitter lists so you can sort your newsletters across certain topics.
jordan: Man, if other B2B marketers are anything like us, we're a needy crew. From VR to martech genies to predictive analytics to Twitter blog subscriptions (?), there's a lot of stuff on our wish list.
andrew: And that's not including the sales team. Sounds like there is a lot more martech to be discovered, seen, and used next year.
lauren: I'm on board. While a lot of these crazy ideas are admittedly pipe dreams, the B2B marketing space is an exciting place to work in because it's developing so much.
jordan: Alright guys, final question to close this out...if you could pick just one thing from our wish list, what would it be?
lauren: Holographic demos, hands down.
alexis: That’s tough, but I think I have to go with VR. It just seems like so much fun.
lauren: ...(Andrew is no longer at his desk...) * jeopardy music plays *
jordan: Well I'm going to go with VR, too. Just seems like the future.
andrew: Genie. For both identifying martech compatibility and for managing my email.
lauren: Dude... How are you doing that. Your phone and your laptop are on your desk. And you're not at your desk.
alexis: Are you the genie we all wished for?!
Do you agree with anything on our wish list or have anything to add? Use #b2bmarketingwishlist to let us know!
(We will update this post with your best tweets!)