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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  December 22, 2015

Opportunities in Marketing

A lot of us B2B folks want to work with larger companies. So that begs the question: what do these lucrative buyers want? Who are they hiring? A recent report from the CMO Council, The Path Forward: Marketing’s Outlook Into The Digital Future Report, has great insight into challenges and opportunities in the marketing space.

One word: experts. Specialized knowledge is taking the place of general agency partnerships. Check out these stats:

• Top two challenges: managing the data explosion and analyzing data to create “personalized experiences.” Almost one-half (46% and 40%, respectively) of respondents rank their ability to address these issues as fair. Which is why 64% and 72% (respectively) are hiring outsiders to help.

• While content marketing is still popular, the focus has shifted from creation to distribution.

“We all know content is king. The bigger challenge is figuring out how to distribute the content once it has been created and how to gain traction with the audience once that content has been turned over to the Internet,” says one senior marketing leader in the financial field.

A whopping 72% of respondents report that they are hiring outsiders in this area.


Related: Get Your Ideas Out There


• Buyers believe current media agencies can’t handle these challenges. As one marketing leader said, “Our advertising agencies are still there and still deliver great work, but the focus is on marketing’s business performance, and that just takes a different beast to take into battle with you.”

So, who gets hired now? Those who bring specific skill sets and fact-based performance. The best quote from the report:

“I look for a couple of key things,” explained one CMO when asked how marketing performance partners are assessed. “One is their intellectual capital and the people they bring to the conversation. I have a great deal of respect for people who think about the business and come with unique perspectives and points of view. …I look at the talent they are adding to my business and the thinking they bring to drive my business.”

What’s less important: proprietary software solutions and competitive exclusivity.

What they want instead: fact-based evidence of past performance and unique perspectives based on expertise.

Click here to get the report (registration required).


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.