Well the time of year has arrived in which it’s time to peer into the industrial marketing crystal ball and make some fearless predictions about how industrial marketing will evolve in 2014. Based on what I’m seeing in the world of industrial marketing I believe the following are pretty safe bets.
First, the new Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will be coming into force on July 1, 2014. My prediction here is simple. While it extends to text messages and cellphone spam (and some social media practices) it will have a most profound effect on how manufacturers, industrial (B2B) companies, and salespeople utilize email to communicate.
To put it simply, you will need implied or express consent before you can send a commercial email to anyone. So if you have an existing business relationship, you are referred to a prospect by a third party, you have a personal relationship, or it is a family member, you have implied consent.
If you do not have implied consent then prior to sending out a commercial email to anyone you must get their express consent. Here’s the kicker, you may only ask for their express consent orally or in writing. Simply put, if a salesperson calls a prospect (a person with which they have no prior relationship who was not a referral), leave a voicemail, and then send an email they will be breaking the law.
Please note: There is a lot more to CASL than just the preceding, so read up on how CASL will affect your business. You better get the (current) details here, fast.
Second, as it becomes more difficult (and risky) to utilize email for outreach purposes you will see industrial marketing professionals in Canada shift towards utilizing online and offline advertising, direct mail, and outbound teleprospecting. Outbound teleprospecting by specialized inside sales reps (business development reps) will become more important.
Third, you will continue to see the rise of inbound marketing through content marketing. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn will continue to morph. Companies will realize that being found online as a valuable unbiased resource is of critical importance. They will also realize that content production, although a mainstay of industrial marketing, is a time-consuming job.
Fourth, anyone involved in prospecting by phone is going to need an even more massive dose of patience. While connect rates with prospects vary there is one thing that will not vary. CASL will mean your prospects will be getting bombarded with more phone calls and voicemails than they have for quite some time.
My prediction is that salespeople will be reaching a lot more voicemail. Dialing technology will become more important. Once again, I highly recommend the cloud-based dialing software from Inside Sales (my affiliate link). It works stand-alone or with your Salesforce software.
Will your prospects long for the old days of being sent a simple email to follow-up a voicemail from a salesperson? Maybe they will welcome even more prospecting calls? I don’t know. Perhaps they will feel happy that, once again, they are being protected by the government. After all a follow-up email for genuine business reasons is really no different than a pitch for Viagra or someone offering you 10 million dollars, right? Oh wait, it is.