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Five B2B CMOs share their marketing predictions for 2017

Change Makers

Five B2B CMOs share their marketing predictions for 2017


Emma Roborgh asks the CMOs of Cisco, MYOB, Arup, Salesforce and SAI what they see happening in B2B marketing this year.

Customer, customer, customer. For 2017, the key marketing challenges all revolve around the customer. From shifting expectations of B2B and B2C marketing, to the need for marketing departments to be aligned to customer, rather than business segments, five of Australia’s top marketers identify the key challenges facing them right now.


The year of ROI

hayley clarke“Marketing ROI will continue to be under scrutiny for 2017, with more visible results being demanded by the CEO and CFO,” says Hayley Clarke, global CMO of SAI Global.

“This will lead marketing leaders to continually having to look for opportunities where they can remove the middleman, media agencies being an example, through new types of buying models.

“There will also be an increasing move for brands to bring data in-house, in order to make better decisions and be in control of their own destiny and new technologies are making this possible. Marketing teams will be looking to bring in new technology that enables them to be much more agile than ever before, and we will see further blurring of lines between IT and marketing,” she explains.

The year of the customer

natalie feehan“Leading into 2017, we’re seeing a significant shift from digital strategy into customer strategy. We know that data gives us more insight into customers than ever before. In 2017, we will be personalising marketing and organising our businesses around the customer to maximise value and ensure a more meaningful experience,” says Natalie Feehan, executive general manager (group marketing), MYOB.

“We will also see the rise of humanistic management with fair and respectful relationships at the core. The value of employees will be understood and nurtured as we shift away from standardised practices and move toward a workforce of engagement and productivity.”

The year marketing really must catch up

ray kloss“The expectations people have of B2C and B2B experiences have merged, brands need to understand this to retain and grow customer engagement. Those B2B brands delivering analytics-driven real-time transactions will thrive,” says Ray Kloss, director of marketing Australia and New Zealand, Cisco.

“The customer experience we deliver has to be about speed to completion – be it information needs, product needs or service needs. Don’t over-service, deliver what’s required fast, and stop ‘pushing’. Use the analytics to send the right information, the right next offer.”

The year of the messaging app

wendy johnstone“I am excited to see the growth in messaging apps and how these apps will become even more important to our digital marketing strategies. As messaging companies build out their services and provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with users I expect to see this channel utilised more deeply,” explains Wendy Johnstone, vice president of Marketing Asia Pacific at Salesforce.

“Customer experience is the new battleground for brands. Customers have greater expectations when it comes to personalised customer experience and brands are getting bolder in how they meet those expectations. Those brands that can surprise and delight their customers by anticipating their needs and delivering on these will be the brands that thrive in 2017.”

The year B2B marketing gets personal

john clay“Account-based marketing programs are nothing new, however over the next 12 months I believe we will see an increase in the tailoring and personalisation of marketing programs to support the delivery of value and enhanced customer experience to specific clients. The value proposition your business needs to give to one client may be significantly different to another, so ensuring you’re delivering genuine value is critically important,” believes John Clay, principal, head of marketing and communications, Australasia region, Arup.

“Technology, meanwhile, is a wonderful enabler but a lot of companies have embraced it hesitantly. This year I think we’ll see companies finally using marketing technology to its full potential via appropriate training, skills engagement and, in some cases, business process re-engineering,” says Clay.

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Emma Roborgh is founder and marketing director, B2B Marketing Leaders Forum APAC 2017, at which Ray Kloss, John Clay and Natalie Feehan will join other experts, in Sydney on 16-18 May.


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