• Five key trends will have an impact on portfolio marketing functions in 2017
  • Focus areas span the organizational structure, interlock, measurement, competencies and technology
  • Leaders across portfolio, product, solution, industry and services marketing can leverage these trends in 2017 planning cycles

The signs of fall are in the air: cooler weather, leaves beginning to change color and heads down in planning mode. The start of a new year is getting closer every day, so now is a good time to take a look at what we predict for the year ahead. At SiriusDecisions, we talk with hundreds of B2B portfolio marketing leaders – which gives us deep insights into the current state of the market and what we expect to change. Around this time every year, we release our Portfolio Marketing Planning Assumptions, and this year we cover the five key areas that will affect this go-to-market functional competency in B2B organizations. Whether you’re responsible for portfolio marketing, product marketing, solution marketing, industry marketing or services marketing, we recommend evaluating the following areas as part of your 2017 planning:

  • Organization – appoint a portfolio marketing leader. The more B2B organizations grow, the more they feel the pain of product-centricity. The portfolio marketing leader is a key position that helps shift the organization and its culture away from a go-to-market plan based on internal constructs to one that’s truly audience-centric.
  • Interlock – leverage buyer expertise. Campaign strategy, sales strategy and innovation strategy functions in B2B organizations are hungry for buyer insights. Portfolio marketing leaders who have claimed ownership of buyer expertise should leverage that knowledge to drive go-to-market strategy and move the function from reactive to proactive.
  • Measurement – focus on impact and readiness. Portfolio marketing leaders need to show the critical role their teams play. They should break away from focusing measurement on how busy their teams are, and start demonstrating how the function’s activities and outputs affect the business overall, as well as drive organizational readiness around business priorities.
  • Competency – master understanding of buyer needs. Buyer needs are the core driver of messaging, which gets activated into content and campaigns to improve marketing and sales performance. Portfolio marketing leaders must become proficient at identifying, understanding and pinpointing the primary buyer need.
  • Technology – operationalize buyer’s journey maps. A buyer’s journey map is the best way to ensure those buyer personas are fully implemented into campaigns. These maps represent a critical hand-off point from the portfolio marketing function to the demand creation function, so it’s important to use the right framework and technologies for mapping the buyer’s journey.

If you don’t have these trends in mind for your 2017 planning, you still have time to incorporate them. Join us for our webcast on October 4, in which I’ll discuss the trends in depth. Clients of SiriusDecisions’ Portfolio Marketing service can download the brief “Portfolio Marketing: Planning Assumptions 2017,” and non-clients can access summary details about the full report by downloading the Portfolio Marketing Planning Assumptions Guide.