Three Requirements as Marketers, Agencies and Publishers Converge

In April Crain Communications, the publisher of BtoB Magazine, announced the creation of CrainsSocial, a new marketing services group offering social media solutions to marketers. This is one more introduction in a long line of changes that are blurring traditional roles in the marketing landscape.

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Not only are the trends towards digital, social, mobile and content changing the B2B marketing landscape, the roles of agencies, publishers and marketers in that landscape are blurring as well.

As these lines move, the role marketers need to take is shifting as well. Here are three of the key changes marketers need to make. Please share your additions in the comments below.

1. Own It

More than ever, you need to own and enforce your overall strategy. Without traditional AORs as a natural lead for agency coordination and integration (AOR relationships dropped from 50% of companies to 15% in the last decade), you need to take on this role directly. Every provider will look to push the boundaries of your brand and marketing guidelines. You must ensure these pushes are coordinated and moving in the same direction.

2. Know Your Options

Today, many B2B publishers have significant custom content development practices and are developing lead nurturing capabilities as well, not to mention the search, research and creative offerings many have introduced.

Most full-service and many specialty agencies have similar offerings, and you may have in-house capabilities as well. With the ability to choose the provider for each project, you need to get to know the strengths and restrictions of each of your options.

3. Be the Sheriff and the Therapist

Agencies are accustomed to working with other agencies and publishers historically have worked closely with agencies on business, but that does not mean it will always be smooth sailing. With an increasing number of agencies and marketing partners, tensions will mount. To keep everyone working together, be prepared to step in as both sheriff and therapist whenever necessary.

Your Turn

How else should marketers be responding as the roles of these groups increasingly overlap? Share your thoughts in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

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