There are some advantages in marketing to the business-to-business (B2B) sector versus everyday consumers: it’s a group with more clearly-defined needs, organized by vertical markets, where efforts to raise brand awareness and stimulate demand can be highly focused and tactical.

On the other hand, B2B marketing is arguably more challenging than ever before, given the way customers work in a world dominated by web sites, social media, mobile apps and many other digital communication channels.

Marketers are already starting to realize they need to change the way they work, which is probably why The Canadian Marketing Association is planning a Disruptive B2B Marketing Conference later this year. On a global scale, however, there are a few obvious indicators that time is of the essence to develop your digital marketing expertise. These statistics say it all:

67% Of B2B Marketers Say They Lack What They Need To Succeed

A recent story on eMarketer outlined the results of a study that showed most B2B marketers are still looking for additional tools to master digital channels. Of that group, 34 per cent say they don’t even fully make use of the tools they have today, suggesting more education and training is necessary as they bring more technology into their processes. Consider Salesforce’s free eBook, The Complete Guide To B2B Marketing, your first step in beginning that journey: Understand what you need to do, and then explore the marketing automation products and services that will let you do it. 

59% Say Lead Generation Is A Top Priority

Developing and maintaining a strong pipeline for sales teams is particularly important in B2B, given what are often long purchase cycles and the need to nurture customers and prospects through several stages of the buyer journey. And yet, according to the recently-published 2015 B2B Lead Generation Report from BrightTALK, 42 per cent of marketers don’t feel they have enough high-quality data, and even if they do, 38 per cent say they can’t get any insight on the audience they’re targeting. In B2B, it’s all about converting someone who engages with digital content into a business-ready lead, but 24 per cent said they’re not sure how to do this. Marketing automation features like landing pages, forms, and progressive profiling can help marketers boost the effectiveness of their lead generation programs.

46.7% Of B2B Marketing Jobs Now Cite Social Media As A Required Skill

Whether you’re looking for your next career move or staffing up your team, there’s no question the knowledge and experience companies need is changing quickly. A post on MarketingProfs showed that nearly half of organizations are looking for social media talent, while job titles containing “search optimization” (SEO) have an average listed salary of $102,000, the highest of any of the digital marketing keywords examined across 75,315 job listings posted on in June. No matter how the marketing landscape evolves, search and social will always be a key tactic in making your content and company visible. Always take time to ensure they are part of your strategy.

B2B marketing in Canada is bound to get more complex, but those that prepare themselves for the future now stand the best chance of staying nimble and competitive.

Customers are smarter, more capable, and better-informed than ever before. This new breed of consumer demands a better breed of marketing.

For a detailed look at the future of B2B marketing and tools to be a better marketer in this changing landscape, download Salesforce’s free eBook: