holiday package
Happy holidays ... however you celebrate. PHOTO: Ben White

Ah, the joys of Christmas mornings. Waking up, seeing the  presents under the tree. 

It got us thinking. Do B2B marketers have Christmas wish lists? What do they fantasize finding under the metaphorical tree? 

So we asked.

Jim Rudden, CMO, Spredfast

Jim Rudden
Jim Rudden

If you want to connect with customers and get them engaging with your brand, B2B marketers should wish for a dedicated video specialist (or perhaps two) to join their marketing team. 

While it certainly drives ROI in the B2C world, video is also a proven engagement tool for customers and prospects with 74 percent of B2B marketers reporting higher conversion rates from video than any other form of content. 

But many marketers still struggle with creating video campaigns because it requires skills not commonly found in the average content marketer to conceptualize, create and edit to something that is deliver compelling, interesting and creative.

Scott Anderson, CMO, Sitecore

Scott Anderson
Scott Anderson

My Christmas wish is for actionable data that can power the immediate and personalized experience customers now expect. 

No doubt, data is falling from the sky in the form of machine data, unstructured and structured data, and everything else that adds up to what we call "big data." But isolated page views, email opens, click-through rates and other traditional marketing metrics don’t matter on their own in today’s ever-changing market. 

What matters is the ability to track and manage the wholesale connection from marketing activities to measurable business outcomes in support of stellar customer experiences.

Morgan Norman, VP of Marketing, Dialpad

Morgan Norman
Morgan Norman

I’m sure every B2B marketer wishes for Apple’s budget and 13 months in the year. 

But a realistic wish is for tools that help marketers work smarter with the resources and time they have. That’s why technology that enables me to work from anywhere, away from the shackles of the desk, and take the data I need with me would be my Christmas wish. 

Imagine going from your desk out to a meeting and then traveling home, and that whole time you can stay connected to colleagues, partners and prospects and get the information you need, such as LinkedIn data in your favorite CRM, to have meaningful conversations.

Rebecca Martin, VP of Marketing, Calabrio

Rebecca Martin
Rebecca Martin

Engaging customers on a personal level is critical to building an exceptional experience that drives customer loyalty. 

However, keeping track of customer interactions in today's multichannel world is a challenge. While every B2B marketer’s wish list includes a bigger budget, just as important is a way for marketers to unwrap the customer journey. 

With a single, unified view of all customer interactions — which many times starts in the contact center — marketers can engage customers and elevate the overall experience.

Amede Hungerford, CMO, Dell Boomi

Amede Hungerford
Amede Hungerford

B2B marketers should wish for a data-centric approach to delivering a differentiated customer experience. Delivering a data-centric and differentiated experience requires a thoughtful blend of people, process and MarTech to drive the desired results. 

Today, customers are empowered and want information faster to make better decisions more quickly. As marketers, we need to help them achieve these goals, whether it is through tailored content or better resources and interactions. 

B2B marketers must strive to understand their customer and ensure they are supplying value throughout their journey. It is not sufficient to only meet a customer’s needs, but rather these customers must be delighted by the experience delivered by your company.

Heidi Bullock, VP, Global Marketing, Marketo

Heidi Bullock
Heidi Bullock

We need to think about how all our systems connect and work together. In marketing, we rely so much on technology and data for our jobs and when they are not optimized, it can be expensive and highly inefficient. 

I don’t think it will suffice to have one person think about the website and one person think about CRM. 

B2B marketers will look to shift resources to see more roles in the revenue organization where it’s an individual’s job to own a strategy and plan for how all the marketing and sales systems work together and how they will evolve with company growth. 

This will also include process around data appending, data hygiene/governance.

Mark Smith, President, Kitewheel

Mark Smith

Kristen Alexander, VP Marketing, Certain

Kristen Alexander
Kristen Alexander

Forrester says 30 percent of CMOs will get fired by their CEOs next year for not having the right digital skills to design exceptional personalized experiences and propel growth. 

To be in the driver’s seat fueling growth, B2B marketers should put automation technologies at the top of their wish list. 

Ramon Chen, CMO, Reltio

Ramon Chen
Ramon Chen

This holiday season, B2B marketers should wish for an accurate list and complete view of their customers, without having to check it twice. 

As consumers, we’ve come to expect the targeted, personalized advertising and content provided to us as we browse websites like Amazon, rank and rate stores and services on Yelp and interact with our social networks. 

Yet when it comes to being marketed to in a B2B context, we find ourselves continuously bombarded by one-size-fits-all content, old techniques and methods in an attempt to engage us. 

In 2017, B2B marketing should wish for a way to leverage rich account data with accurate contact preferences to successfully provide relevant and timely information and offers. After all, if your data is naughty, how can you expect your campaigns to be nice?

Lidia Lüttin, CMO, Bynder

Lidia Luttin
Lidia Luttin

B2B marketers should wish for the gift of artificial intelligence. 

As brands continue to incorporate more and more technology, marketers must also be pulling the industry forward with their own smart technology capabilities in order to deliver the most cutting edge results to prospective customers. 

AI technology entering the digital marketing space will allow an endless barrage of possibilities, including everything from facial recognition to the auto-tagging of marketing assets. These technologies will not only bring a new edge to the marketing space, they will also save time, allowing marketers to move away from admin-driven jobs to return to their heartland of strategic creativity.

Corinne Sklar, Global CMO, Bluewolf

Corinne Sklar
Corinne Sklar

B2B marketers should wish for continued investment in data management to drive their cognitive and analytics vision. Bluewolf’s recent report showed that only 26 percent of marketers believe their data quality is a competitive advantage or strategic asset. 

But the most innovative marketers see the next big wave in predictive and customer insight and are taking steps to get closer to the data in their CRM and other dark sources — not just data that marketing can see. To really drive innovation next year, these programs start with investment and closer ties to IT and data architecture.

Matt Schmeltz, CMO, CloudCraze

Matt Schmeltz
Matt Schmeltz

This Christmas I wish for the gift of happy employees, partners and customers. Although it isn’t a quick or inexpensive gift to receive, it’s powerful to know what we're doing is working and our stakeholders want to follow us to the next stage of our journey. 

We've got big plans in store in 2017 and knowing our employees, partners and customers are with us is everything.

Katy Keim, CMO, GM, Lithium

Katy Keim
Katy Keim

Top of a B2B marketer's Christmas list, that’s easy: Simplified access to and sharing of social media data across departments. There is now a critical need to incorporate and align BI analytics with social media data. 

Right now, many companies currently fall into one of two camps of siloed data practices: they either have a BI team in place that parses out requested data to different departments or they have separate systems set up with each department serving as their own BI team, e.g. one tool for sales, another for marketing. 

The need to align data with social media insights across departments will be key to success in 2017, and this will make all B2B marketers heroes in their company!