I'm thankful this Thanksgiving for my family, coffee, Dexter on-demand and the fact I was such a slow baserunner in college, I set the team's single-season record for doubles when theoretically half of the hits should have been triples.
(Wasn't that a clever way to be self-deprecating, yet boastful for an even-now-slower old has-been?)
Anyway, what should marketers be thankful for this holiday? I poked around to find out.
Marketers should be thankful for SlideShare because it gives a good reason to put a vast library of PowerPoint presentations to good use, said Tom Ball, head of B2B & Insight at Immediate Future, a social media consultancy.
Thom Robbins, chief evangelist for Kentico Software, said marketers should be thankful that more consumers are warming up to the idea of personalization. In a survey Kentico conducted earlier this year, a surprising 69 percent expressed an overwhelming eagerness in allowing the collection of personal data in exchange for more customized service.
Michael Idinopulos, chief marketing officer for PeopleLinx, which helps companies develop strategies for collaboration on LinkedIn, told me, "Just when it looked like social marketing was only for B2C, LinkedIn found a way to make it just as big for B2B marketing — maybe even bigger."
4. Industry Conferences
I've been to a bunch of great ones this year — Digital Pulse, FutureM, the Innovation Enterprise's Social Media Web Analytics conference. Each of these has featured dynamic speakers and presentations, and some entertaining keynotes. Who's got some upcoming conferences that simply hit marketing out of the park?
5. Econsultancy's All-Telling Report
A report by Econsultancy on B2B Internet statistics is simply the gift that keeps on giving. If you want an all-encompassing view on what the industry is thinking about in B2B marketing, this is the report you want. It's a massive collection of significant third-party data, and the trends may surprise you.
6. Social Media Marketing Experts
We've caught up with so many experts this year on making social programs work. Paul Gillin, Michelle Linn, Carla Johnson, Cappy Popp. The list goes on, and without this kind of expertise, how could marketers survive in such a challenging, bottom-line environment where everything needs a hard measurement of success?
B2B digital marketers should be thankful for employees, Idinopulos said. "With social networking playing a bigger role in everyone's lives," he said, "employee networks are the single best way to communicate with the market in a trusted voice."
8. Thought Leadership
This is what, Idinopulos said, separates us from the spammers.
9. Marketing Automation Solutions
These are, Robbins said, designed to support marketing professionals as they create, run and evaluate campaigns. "Many marketers express some hesitation and confusion with these systems," Robbins said, "but 2014 will be a big year in adoption as more become educated on its purpose and capabilities."
10. Customer feedback
Boy is there ever feedback today. So much is said through social media channels today, and marketers should not ignore any of it. Customers want to be heard, and it's up to marketers to get the message and be flexible with your programs. Don't forget, though -- social media isn't the only avenue with which to communicate with your customers. Once in a while, a direct conversation with a customer can't hurt.
Title image by Pushkin (Shutterstock).