What I’ve been reading: 2015 Marketing Trends, B2B Content Marketing Report, Cloud and Free Holiday Shipping

free shippingI’ve shared a few articles and news I find interesting in the past, and with the 2014 closing, and holidays around the corner, marketing chatter is in full force. Here are few stories that made me think about our state of marketing in the coming year.

11 Marketing Trends To Watch For In 2015

One trend in particular stuck out at me: CMOs will become Chief Simplifier Officers.I’ve seen similar trends a number of times lately, and while I understand the intent, I’m hesitant to agree wholeheartedly. Of course messaging and value propositions should be integrated across regions and departments, but there still exists the need to hone in on the specific needs of markets, geographic regions and business functions. Taking too streamlined of an approach seems like a step backward to me. Your thoughts?

14 Key Takeaways From The B2B Content Marketing Report

The annual B2B Content Marketing Report offers no shortage of findings to be dissected, but I wanted to call out one I found particularly interesting and important: the issues of customer loyalty and retention. Leads are important, but they aren’t enough – if companies want long-lasting success, marketing strategies can’t continue to neglect existing customers. The full report can be found here.

Gartner’s top 10 technology trends for 2015: All about the cloud

It’s not always an obvious connection – the cloud and marketing, but it should be. The cloud is becoming a part of nearly every IT system and transaction, and perhaps more than is realized, marketers are already indebted to their nebulous friend. Get it? Smarter, more agile marketing functions that continually inform customer behavior are shaping the industry for good. If you haven’t already started integrating the cloud into everyday marketing functions – act now!

Content in crisis: Content marketing vs. sales enablement

You can’t talk about marketing today without discussing content. Different schools of thought offer varying advice and opinions on whether content marketing is the right approach, and VentureBeat’s B2B Mobile Marketing Report explores whether mobile strategies really work for B2B. In my opinion, while increased competition is making it harder to manage, content marketing is essential to the overall strategy. The key to making it successful is automating as much as possible, and implementing a flexible system to manage your efforts and repurpose content. Find the report here.

Free shipping, membership perks and smart shopping snags holiday deals

Holidays are upon us and the age-old debate over in-store or online is back. The big trend this year seems to be around free shipping. My question is over how this marketing strategy affects brands in the long term, and whether these programs are doing more harm or good for their market perception.

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