Marketing & Media trends
Marketing & Media trends
- Tech democratisation will set the tone for 2021Andrew Smit and Johan Walters
Construction & Engineering trends
- 3 major trends in the commercial property space in AfricaPeter Hodgkinson
- A bright horizon for South Africa's energy landscapeBarry Bredenkamp
- Achieving developmental goals through constructionCyril Vuyani Gamede
CSI & Sustainability trends
- Time for NPOs to show their real impactKeri-Leigh Paschal
- 5 sustainability trends that will shape business in 2021Christelle Marais
- 4 trends set to continue or be re-interpreted in the NGO sectorInnocent Masayira
- Strengthening NPO skills and processesNazeema Mohamed, Feryal Domingo and Soraya Joonas
- Sustainability is key for social investment in 2021Keri-Leigh Paschal
- 4 trends in employee skills development and training you need to know for 2021Siphelele Kubheka and Desikan Naidoo
Energy & Mining trends
- 10 predictions around fintechDominique Collett
- The 4 themes for the new yearAndrew Duvenage,
- 3 wealth management trends to watch in 2021Maarten Ackerman
- 4 strategies to rethink investing in SMEsKuhle Mnisi
- Microinsurance ready to reach new heightsMarius Botha
- Finding alpha in the age of Covid-19Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana
- Purpose or profit. It's not a choiceMike Middleton
- Shifting towards a digital - but still human - approachHenry van Deventer
HR & Management trends
- 4 areas in which your business can practice its swivelFrancois Kriel
- 5G is coming. Here's what it could mean for SASamantha Naidoo
- 3 big issues demanding legal attention this yearJonathan Veeran, Nozipho Mngomezulu and Burton Phillips
Logistics & Transport trends
- Auction industry survival depends on going virtualJoff van Reenen
- Covid-19 drives new trends in local property marketMarcél du Toit
- A bold year for beveragesAlex Glenday
- Acceleration of digital paymentsJonathan Smit
- Safety vs sustainability - the packaging industry's key conundrumNthabiseng Motsoeneng
- The evolving e-tail landscapeVilo Trska
#BizTrends2021: B2B CMO's need to be a little bit braver, bolder in 2021
In light of what went on in 2020, it's no surprise that so many B2B marketers have been making safe choices. There's been plenty of consolidation, a fair amount of contraction and a lot of maintaining the status quo. But the trend I'd really like to see for 2021 in the B2B marketing space, is B2B marketers taking more chances.
Warren Moss is the founder & CEO of Demographica
State of Plague
We largely understand the effects that Covid-19 is going to have on our lives and work now – there’s no longer much uncertainty around what’s going to happen. We’re in a recession, and we’re going to have a hybrid work-from-home / work-from-office setup for the foreseeable future, thanks to a combination of large-scale and regional lockdowns.
Companies have largely gone into conservative states and those who have had a mediocre year will be going into cash preservation mode, despite sentiment largely growing more positive, as lockdown has eased.
Nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM
This conservative, preservative mindset has seen many B2B marketing directors making very defensive decisions. Defensive decisions are, by nature, easy to defend in the glare of the spotlight. Unfortunately, easily-defended positions are not those that are best for the company – just the best-justified in the face of a slow market.
It’s the 21st century iteration of ‘Nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM’ – taking the safe route, admitting that you’re not going to shoot the lights out, but knowing that you’re not going to make a mess of things, either. The converse of that is that ‘nobody ever got promoted for hiring IBM’ – because ‘safe and dependable’ isn’t necessarily going to get your company noticed.
It’s easy for CMO’s to make decisions that are safe, which can be backed up by data, because there’s no data to support a bold decision. Bold decisions require a gut instinct, an intuition that something will be successful. If you get it wrong at the wrong time, you can do large-scale damage to the company, and your professional reputation.
A little bit brave, a little bit bold
We’re currently in a sea of sameness. The kind of vanilla communication we’re seeing at the moment isn’t going to move the needle. By showing a little bit of boldness, a little bit of bravery, there’s an opportunity for the right B2B CMO to make moves that can help their company own a category, dominate a market and completely capture an audience in 2021.
If you think of the current state of B2B, there’s not a bank, a telco or an ICT business that absolutely owns a category. There are a plethora of opportunities for B2B CMO’s to start making decisions that their gut tells them is right, but that they can’t back up with data.
The time, then, to take those decisions is when everyone else is behaving conservatively – you just need to be a little bit brave, a little bit bold, to stand out when everyone is huddled up and the wagons are circled.
There’s an argument that there’s no room for bold ideas because there’s no budget. In our experience, that’s wrong - budgets may have been cut, but there’s still more than enough money to do something creative.
‘Creative’ doesn’t equate to ‘expensive’.The world’s greatest, career-defining B2B campaigns – the ones that catapulted a business to market leadership in their territory – were built on the back of intuition.
Look at the Volvo Trucks ‘Epic Split’ campaign with Jean-Claude Van Damme, State Street’s Fearless Girl or General Electric’s ‘Imagination at Work’ – these instinctive campaigns were those which took businesses which were number two, three or four in their market to number one on the back of a bold call.
There was no amount of data to back them at the time – they were done because the business was prepared to do something different, and the rewards are there for all to see.
This is the opportunity to do something significant, with less risk than before. Hindsight will show you in a year or two’s time that the opportunity to be a little brave and a little bold was when everyone else was consolidating under Covid.
Once the pandemic has passed, there’ll be more money in the system and more people feeling bolder – and it’ll be much harder to get noticed by doing amazing things.
So my rallying cry to B2B CMO’s in 2021 is to take the chance to be different – it’s never been easier to do so, in recent history. All it takes is a bit of bravery, a bit of boldness. What an opportunity.