It’s not that marketing has become a conversation more than a pitch, or that companies no longer control their brand message, or that customers trust peers more than manufacturers. All of that is true. But there’s something more fundamental.
There are a lot of possible roles a company can fill, but the important point is to distill it down to the value you bring to the community by participating, beyond just the value of the products you sell.
It’s time to draw a dividing line between companies that are doing something productive to move their channel marketing forward, and companies that just talk about it, or dabble in trendy campaigns and call it innovation.
It makes sense for CRM heavy-weights to continue the migration of marketing applications and infrastructure to the cloud, but the real challenge is actual customer engagement. The battlefield is not your CRM system, it's the platforms and networks where customers are already engaging
If you're looking for new ideas this year or want to practice spotting trends, try crashing conference exhibit halls. Swimming in raw data is often better at sparking inspiration than any packaged presentation.