B2B marketing is ever-changing, and it’s currently undergoing a huge revolution. Today’s schools don’t often teach some of the skillsets that modern marketers need to succeed. Sure, you can learn about the 4 P’s, read great case studies from companies like Coke and GE, and dive into go-to-market strategies — but there is a huge disconnect between the time it takes to learn about these strategies and the time it actually takes to implement them.
The reality is that marketing is one of those careers where you have to learn on the job and be smart on your feet. It is not for the faint-of-heart and it is certainly not for those with the “this is what always works so why try something new?” mentality. It is for people who can adapt and think of marketing as a profit center for the company, just like any other business unit.
The new B2B marketing landscape is giving rise to five new marketing “gladiator” roles, and we better be ready for them! Let’s take a look at them below — and hopefully one or more will resonate with you. The future of marketing rests in the hands of these five gladiators, who can really take the evolution of the marketing industry to the next level.
The Sales Enabler
This is probably the least-appreciated and most-needed role in most organizations for both marketing and sales to be successful. Traditionally, it’s referred to as Product Marketing, and it is becoming one of the most important roles in organizations with a large and spread out sales organization. As I’ve written in the past, marketing no longer has just one customer, but two: the actual customer, and the sales team.
The Operations Crusader
These are our number crunchers. Titles range from Operations Analyst to Demand Generation Specialist, and the role is typically very strategic. This person can tell you (without prejudice) what’s working and what’s not. They can guide marketing’s future investments and answer the age-old question: which 50% of your marketing is working? A lot of nurturing and trust needs to be put into this role to be truly successful.
The Product Evangelist
Social Media is the name of game, but is it just about being on Twitter and Facebook? I think it’s much more than that. It’s about making the company a thought leader in the industry and attracting other thought leaders to influence PR/AR and targeted buyers to take you seriously. This role may be less mainstream than an Operations Analyst or Demand Generation Specialist, but the companies that are investing in a Product Evangelist can gain a lot of mileage out of it from both the brand awareness and demand generation perspectives.
The Content Houdini
New content that rises above the noise is nothing short of magic. There is more content than ever (and probably more than there needs to be), but surprisingly, we all want more of it. However, the irony of the situation is that when we have more content, we don’t read it as much. To make a mark with content and really generate interest, our content needs to have no bounds. It needs to be new, fresh, targeted, fun, and viral. That’s why this role is now becoming the cornerstone of all B2B organizations.
The Technology Geek
After Gartner put out the famous stat that by 2017, CMOs will spend more than CIOs, there has been no shortage of tools and technology solutions coming out. I recently heard that there are more than 500 sales and marketing tools in just the B2B space to help align sales and marketing. Picking a solution is going to take some serious vetting and knowledge of what you really need. The modern CMO needs to understand and have a firm grip on technology solutions that can truly help drive the company forward, and the “Technology Geek” can help provide that guidance.
So there is it: the five new marketing gladiators. I sincerely hope you are one of them!