As the number of days in 2016 winds down, my own days at Forrester are adding up. I recently joined Forrester as a new B2B marketing research director, working alongside Peter O’Neill. I appreciate how your appreciation of the insights and guidance from our team led to the need for more leadership, and I am thrilled to be here. So as I’ve been immersing myself in the team’s work, I thought that it would be as interesting to you as it was to me to see what our top 10 B2B marketing blogs of the year were. There were more than a quarter of a million reads of the team’s blogs in 2016, and I wanted to share the top 10 with you by readership.

10. Your B2B Prospects Don’t Want You To Call Them

Steve Casey, principal analyst, shared a fundamental truth of the post-digital world in this blog post. B2B buyers now strongly prefer to conduct their own research, without ever speaking with a sales rep. He recommends that marketers embrace this uncomfortable truth and spend more time considering how to make information readily available to these self-service buyers.

9. Marketo Goes Private: A New Epoch In Marketing Software May Have Just Begun

This blog by Peter O’Neill provided perspective on Marketo’s acquisition by Vista Equity Partners, which it announced inMay 2016. Lori Wizdo, principal analyst, also predicted this kind of move in April 2016 during an interview with CMSWire.

8. Marketing Automation Can Be Made In Europe

Peter O’Neill explored the complexities contributing to European marketers’ frequent hesitancy to invest in technology and provided perspective on the unfair categorization of European countries as “laggards.” The accompanying report also provided a vendor landscape of European-headquartered technology vendors in marketing automation.

7. Confronting The Stigma Surrounding Sales

Summarizing his takeaways from the Association of Professional Sales conference this past summer in London, Peter O’Neill wryly observed that even the notion of sales as a profession is still emerging.

6. How Self-Service Research Will Change B2B Marketing

In his first Forrester blog, Steve Casey explained that organizations are creating different types of content, which speak more directly to their customers’ needs. However, this approach has actually minimized the dependency that many customers have on direct company contacts.

5. Change Is Afoot For The Modern B2B Seller

In a blog including her animated interview and podcast with Chad Quinn, president and founder of Ecosystems, Mary Shea discusses how digitization and self-education at the beginning of the buying journey is raising the bar for sellers. The expected sales conversation has moved away from product features.

4. B2B Marketers: Mind The Content Credibility Gap

Dan Klein, vice president of consulting, writes about the three most common questions that his team gets about B2B marketing.

3. Advocate Marketing Turns Goodwill Into Valuable Customer Engagement

Laura Ramos, vice president and principal analyst, shared her opinions about B2B marketing in the age of the customer. She wrote, “What matters in the age of the customer is not how many companies or organizations you serve but how much they appreciate working with you — and whether or not they are willing to tell others that they do.”

2. Do Millennials Lack Grit?

In this blog, Mary Shea highlights some of the key challenges that she discussed with Gabe Larsen( and Jamie Shanks (Sales for Life) during a webinar that focused on findings from Forrester’s report “May The Force Of The Millennials Be With You!”

1. What’s The Impact Of Content Marketing In The B2B Marketing Mix?

And in the most-read blog of the year, Laura Ramos observes that the best marketing mix varies by company at any given time. But there is one simple truth: what you have to say is more important than the channel or tactic that you use to say it.

Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our upcoming webinar “Q&A: Inside Forrester’s B2B Marketing Predictions For 2017” on Thursday, January 26, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern time (13:00 to 14:00 Eastern Standard Time)

I hope that each one of you has a great finish to 2016!


Caroline Robertson