In B2B marketing, the free ride is over. That’s the unnerving upshot of a report issued earlier this year by Unica. Metrics demonstrating a connection between social network advertising and sales are the rule of the day. And hence, the need to align social network metrics against sales data means that free tools tied to particular programs are falling out of favor. Pressure to measure up internally isn’t the only thing driving B2B marketers. Consumers increasingly have the upper hand, and are making contact, with sellers. Capitalizing on in-bound marketing has become critical. There’s much more in the report, of course, along with links to good information that marketers will want to follow up on. But to start, breeze through the Top 10 trends in B2B marketing as determined by Unica. 1. Inbound Marketing Matters Even More Consumers have access to more information now than ever before. This has given them considerable power in the marketplace. Marketing professionals are beginning to realize that inviting customers to initiate contact is absolutely necessary. 2. Big Data is Being Reigned In Marketers are aware that turning data into action is a primary concern. Measurement, analysis, and learning can impede the process, but the gap between analysis and action is being bridged. 3. Email Marketing Mergers Have Increased Email marketing campaigns are frequently being merged with other channels. This is a vital step designed to keep email marketing relevant as communication modes are rapidly evolving and changing. 4. Web Interactions Lead to Invaluable Insights Online behavioral data continues to drive more marketing decisions than demographics or transaction data. Consumer surfing habits can allow marketers more insight into the marketing process. 5. Social Media Channels are Changing Social media networks are popping up everywhere, and the pace of communications throughout these networks is increasing just as rapidly. Sites like Pinterest have been successfully exploited by marketers who’ve taken to evaluating new channels like fish to water. 6. Social Media Marketing Has Become More Strategic Social media isn’t new anymore. Marketers have a better understanding of the medium and how to effectively exploit it. Marketers are being more strategic with social media marketing efforts. 7. Interactive Marketing Will Reign Supreme Content may be king, but interactive marketing is set to be the supreme ruler of online sales activities. At least half of all online marketers already use interactive marketing. Those who don’t will adapt or die. 8. Demand for Marketing Accountability is Growing Marketers will have to attribute the effectiveness of marketing campaigns to specific, measurable activities. There are no more free rides for online marketing. 9. Mobile Marketing is Big Business A large amount of marketing professionals have jumped on the mobile bandwagon. Since consumers are constantly connected to their mobile devices, this makes sense. Mobile marketing is a multi-channel medium, and exploiting it is necessary for successful marketing. 10. Free Web Analytic Tools are Losing Favor Marketers realize that free analytic tools are limited in applicability. These tools are relevant only for the search engine that provides them, and getting these stats to measure up can be extremely difficult in comparison with other analytic tools. So where to go next? Despite the ever-increasing flow of information through our fingers marketers can be forgiven for feeling less in control of their outcomes. Connecting social media campaigns to sales, responding to ever-more inbound requests, and keeping track of the reams of data pouring in is enough to overwhelm anyone. At the end of the day, remember it’s a simple matter of deciding upon what to measure, measuring it, and acting upon the lessons. Start small—scientists didn’t begin by mapping the entire human genome, after all. Perhaps you simply need to measure response time to inbound requests. It’s easy to understand, and is information that can be applied effectively without great amounts of explanation. Wherever you begin, begin. For a copy of the Unica report, click here. To learn how Synaxis can help your marketing team measure your marketing performance and act more effectively, visit our Macrscope page.