SiriusDecisions Finds New Roles Taking Center Stage in B-to-B Demand Creation

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Research by SiriusDecisions, the world's leading source for business-to-business (b-to-b) sales and marketing best-practice research and data, finds that rapid changes in demand creation have fostered emerging roles that will become a standard component of successful b-to-b marketing organizations.

More than any other new approach, inbound marketing is rapidly becoming a standard part of the marketing mix

Dynamic change continues to impact b-to-b marketing in many ways, including the skills required for success. Along with more sophisticated demand creation technologies and approaches driving the need for highly specialized skill sets, SiriusDecisions has now identified new roles that must also be filled.

“These roles will be best leveraged in shared center-of-excellence structures such as corporate demand centers,” explains Jay Gaines, who leads SiriusDecisions’ Demand Creation Strategies advisory service. “The past five years have seen rapid changes in b-to-b demand creation, with widespread adoption of marketing automation platforms, business intelligence tools, inbound marketing, lead nurturing and Web site conversion optimization (WCO). These shifts have led to new demand creation roles, and explain why they will become a standard part of successful b-to-b marketing organizations in the future.”

Specific new b-to-b marketing roles identified by SiriusDecisions include:

  •     Content Strategist. This role is usually found in marketing groups gaining success with newer approaches (e.g. inbound marketing, lead nurturing, WCO) requiring large quantities of targeted content. As more organizations seek improved results from these strategies, they will quickly realize the need for a role that’s accountable and empowered to make content creation and management more strategic. SiriusDecisions expects this role to become commonplace in the next couple of years.
  •     Inbound Marketer. These specialists are emerging due to deeper understanding of buyer behaviors and the declining effectiveness of standalone outbound marketing tactics (e.g. email, direct mail). These marketers possess a wide range of skills and knowledge including search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media, content marketing and syndication, Web analytics, and a deep understanding of the buyer’s journey and needs at specific stages. More than any other new approach, inbound marketing is rapidly becoming a standard part of the marketing mix; SiriusDecisions expects the inbound marketer to become a fixture in the majority of b-to-b marketing organizations in the next one to two years.
  •     Pipeline Acceleration Specialist. As more deals stall in middle and late sales pipeline stages, b-to-b organizations have begun dedicating staff to the development of pipeline acceleration programs. As the need for improved pipeline dynamics increases and acceleration capabilities become more sophisticated, SiriusDecisions expects to see pipeline acceleration specialists become common over the next two to three years.
  •     Lead Nurturing Specialist. These specialists are responsible for creating original demand and, like inbound marketers, for managing lead waste at a variety of demand waterfall stages. Generally, these experts will build nurture models that are executed in collaboration with program developers. While nurturing specialists may not become commonplace as quickly as inbound marketers, SiriusDecisions expects them to become a fixture in the next two to three years.
  •     Web Developer. Successful WCO mandates a shift in Web site ownership to a partnership between corporate marketing and the demand center, with oversight from the chief marketing officer. IT takes a supporting role managing key systems, with Web development resources moving into marketing. While most b-to-b marketing organizations have long included employees with Web design and basic HTML skills, the new Web developers have much deeper technical skills that minimize marketing’s reliance on IT. True WCO is becoming an area of increased focus; however, most efforts are still in early stages. As organizations realize increased lead conversion rates and other benefits, demand for IT resources will increase and more Web development roles will find their logical home in marketing. SiriusDecisions expects this trend to become more widely adopted in the next three to five years.

“While settling on these roles as the ones to watch over the next five years, there are two that we’ve purposely omitted,” notes Mr. Gaines. “The first is the marketing automation expert; this role is already well established in most b-to-b organizations. The second is the mobile marketer; with the overall newness of mobile marketing in b-to-b, the role is just too rare at this time for inclusion.”

For further information about how to ensure that your b-to-b marketing organization is ready for the future, contact jgaines(at)siriusdecisions(dot)com.

About SiriusDecisions
SiriusDecisions is the world's leading source for business-to-business sales and marketing best-practice research and data. SiriusDecisions Executive Advisory Services, Consulting Services, Benchmark Assessment Services, Learning and Events provide senior-level executives with the sales and marketing operational intelligence required to maximize top-line growth and performance. The unique combination of thought leadership, benchmark data, analytic tools, best practices and access to a peer and analyst network allow SiriusDecisions clients to quickly receive the critical insight they need to make decisions effectively. For more information about SiriusDecisions, visit: http://www.siriusdecisions.com.

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