Is Traditional B2B Marketing Dead?

Earlier this week, I was on a panel at the WIT event "The Intersection of Marketing & Technology" in McLean, VA. One of the discussions was about the dramatic changes happening in B2B marketing today and what the future will hold. The question "Is traditional B2B marketing dead?" ignited a lively discussion.

I think we are experiencing nothing short of a major disruption in marketing today. New technologies and marketing automation are just one expression and a driver of this change, but it goes much deeper, affecting the way we organize marketing, engage with customers, find new business opportunities, and deliver value to the stakeholders inside and outside our organizations.

It is easy to not see the forest for the trees when you are focused on the daily challenges of program execution. So let's take a step back and look at the big picture. I put together an overview of the key dimensions of B2B marketing that I see changing (see below, click image to enlarge). Every dimension (including balance of power, audience focus and presence) has significant implications on the way we plan, organize, and execute B2B marketing going forward. And before you say "wait a minute", of course this isn't a binary, all or nothing switch from one model to the next. Instead we are seeing a classic adoption pattern with early adopters and laggards, false starts, and a mix of "traditional" best practices that are still applicable combined with new methods. What are your observations on the changes in B2B marketing? Please share your thoughts using the comments section below.