Unlike B2C marketing, B2B marketing often tends to be misconstrued as a little boring and way too formal. While it might be true that B2B marketing demands that marketers follow a more rigid formula where paperwork and marketing techniques are concerned, the truth is that there are new trends that are shaking up this niche and bringing flair back into B2B marketing.
Gone are the days when B2B marketing was all about endless reams of white paper and technical specification sheets. Today, these necessary professional documents can and are presented in a more colorful and engaging manner.
Thanks to new and innovative marketing trends, it is much easier for B2B marketers to cope with tangible ROI pressures and even surpass their targets.
What’s more, the most adaptive of the lot are even having fun with it.
That being said, here are some of the most effective and invigorating B2B marketing trends to watch out for as the year flies by:
Even in the B2B niche content is still king. Although content marketing is a long-term strategy that seldom has immediate results, the most forward-thinking businesses have realized that most of the world is now online and people would rather receive their information via their phones, tablets, and computers as opposed to boxes of papers through snail mail.
For B2B marketers, the most important aspects that determine whether or not their content marketing efforts pay off, in the long run, include things such as doing proper:
- Integrated marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Long tail keyword research and strategy
- AB Testing
It also calls for the creation of more personalized content as opposed to spewing out pages upon pages of generalized ideas and rhetoric.
B2C marketers have mastered this art to perfection. Think about it, when was the last time you got a marketing email that didn’t address you by your first name and speak to your specific pain points?
Almost every marketing email you get now is personalized to your specific needs in the hopes that you will be prompted to buy the solution that the marketer is selling.
These emails are often more persuasive and effective because you feel as though the marketer understands your very needs.
Despite how effective content personalization can be, B2B marketers, however, have surprisingly not adapted to using this tactic as much as they should. They are, however, catching on slowly. A study carried out Seismic, and Demand Metric found that the reason for this lack of speedy adaptation could be attributed to:
- Lack of resources
- Lack of data
- Lack of technology
With content personalization, you can get more from your account-based marketing initiatives that depend on the segmentation of various customer demographics including things like industry, company name, contact’s title, and other pertinent forms of data.
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Marketing Automation
Although marketing automation isn’t new, advanced technologies are taking it to a whole new level. Futuristic inventions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are now being incorporated into various marketing platforms such as online advertising, email campaigns, social media marketing and so much more.
While AI and machine learning might sound like things from the future, it is for that very fact that they are a big deal when it comes to B2B marketing. To stay ahead of the competition and increase their own market share, businesses now have to anticipate the needs of their target market.
R&D departments depend on this anticipation and big data to conceptualize products that will be deemed the next best thing. Companies that invest in AI and machine learning early enough will be better placed to anticipate and meet the needs of their clientele as the years go by.
Predictive Lead Scoring
For years, B2B marketers have relied on time-consuming and painstaking manual methods to score their leads. While the data gathered such as the size of the company and annual revenue are important industry factors to consider, predictive lead scoring takes this process to a whole new level. Using big data and AI, companies can now integrate complex algorithms into their customer research phase to come up with a list of the most likely prospects based on a multitude of factors. This is now done at a blistering pace and at on a larger spectrum.
Predictive lead scoring not only saves your sales team time, but it gives them a much better chance of closing the sale as only qualified leads are pursued.
Visual Forms of Communication
In the B2C niche, marketers take great advantage of the fact that human beings are a visual species. That is why you will see articles and documents augmented by a flurry of images, videos, and charts to pass the message along.
While visual forms of communication have been used widely in this market, B2B marketers have often erroneously assumed that flashy images and videos have no place in documents that are going to end up in front of a Fortune 500 C.E.O.
The truth of the matter is simple; visual forms of communication do not discriminate. It doesn’t matter whether you are a regular Joe or a high powered entrepreneur. The human brain works in the same way across the board (at least when it comes to images).
Using information dense visuals like infographics is not only a great way to use less text to pass across a lot more information, it is a great way to cut through the noise and get to the point in one quick look. A busy C.E.O loves that; it saves them time while still giving them the information they need to make a decision.
While the truth is that B2B marketing will probably never be as flashy as B2C marketing, with just a little creativity, highly motivated marketers can make it a lot less “text heavy” while increasing their chances of closing a sale.
With things like AI and machine learning, you can even discover new ways to personalize messages for each one of your leads to increase your chances of landing them. It definitely does wonders for your ROI.