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In 2013, content marketing will be King (and Queen)

Several members of the national board of the BMA were recognized at BtoB’s Best Awards, which took place last month in New York. Eduardo Conrado, senior VP and CMO of Motorola Solutions and BMA Chairman 2012-2013, and Kathy Button Bell, CMO of Emerson and incoming chairman of the BMA, got the nod as having the right stuff when it comes to B2B marketing. During the reception we asked a few senior marketing executives, from Dupont, IBM Corp, and Cincom, about their budgeting priorities for 2013.

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Scott Coleman
Chief Marketing and Sales Officer,
Dupont

From a big picture standpoint, our [marketing] budget is pretty flat [compared] with 2012, but 2012 was up substantially from what we were doing three and four years ago. As we look forward, our priorities center around three key pillars: growing our global brand platform "Welcome to the Global Collaboratory," thought leadership, and digital.

The essence of "Welcome to the Global Collaboratory" is a key differentiator in how DuPont works to solve the world’s greatest challenges. We believe that no one company, no one government, no one agency can solve these issues on its own. It takes collaboration on a global and local level. With our thought leadership, we are working to gain mindshare and delivering profound content directly to the attention of the most influential thought leaders in the world — those who are in the best position to make true collaboration and progress happen.

Our final major investment is around digital. We continue to double-down on what we call our "social collaboratory" in the digital space. It includes everything from Web properties to social media activities. Content is king, so we’ve dramatically increased our resources to develop content and dialogue that engages our audiences in a powerful way.

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Marilyn Cox
Director of marketing communications,
Cincom Systems

Content development will be huge. I think most marketing organizations agree that their budgets need to focus on content marketing. [We’ll] probably be better utilizing our marketing automation systems that we already have in place and then, on top of that, some more of our direct mail communications.

[Sales and marketing alignment] is a huge push for us. We started last year and will continue to focus on that this year.  We’ve developed a strong alliance with our sales organizations by providing them sales tools that they can use so they have more independence from marketing; using our marketing automation system that we have in place, we give sales execs the tools that enable them to push out content, and we’re still tracking it and capturing that information.

They’re using templates of content that we’ve developed that we can customize the message around [the content]. We can also go in and take a look at that forensic, digital body language that’s occurring to better understand the communications better.

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Christine Jacobs
Director of demand programs marketing and communications,
IBM North American sales and distribution

One of the biggest [priorities] is content marketing—content 2.0—and really thinking about creating the kind of content at the right stage of the buying cycle. The ‘Empowered Customer’ is a new term we’re using. The ‘Empowered Customer’ is out there, setting new standards and raising the bar, in terms of information.

With all the information that’s out there in the digital channels [customers] want content on their terms. It’s no longer about us pushing out what we think they want to hear; it’s about them being able to access information anytime, anywhere. We need to think more about how we deliver content and breaking down the creation of content, the packaging of the content and the distribution of content, and how you measure the impact of that across platforms.

That ties into a second initiative, which is the continued evolution of the science of nurture: How do you go from driving a response to nurturing that response into a lead that sales recognizes as worthy and that sales recognizes as something that is meaningful to them and is a real contributor to the pipeline.

Here are the complete lists of BtoB's Best Marketers, and BtoB's Best Creative winners, runners-up and honorable mentions for 2012.

 
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