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Marketing Trends for 2018…. And what it should mean for your company!


Author: Carter Matthews

Marketing in 2018 will continue to see a shift in digital (just as it did in 2017).  Marketers are still faced with delivering ROI with their marketing efforts while being visible and reaching more potential customers. At the same time, consumers and companies expect personalization. 65% of businesses are likely to switch brands if the vendor doesn’t personalize communication with their company!1

The difference in strategies and channels between B2B and B2C marketing are continuing to blur and industrial companies need to think past the strategies of years past where trade magazines, trade shows and email blasts were the dominating tactics.  Consider this fact from a recent marketing survey conducted by Salesforce: “34% of overall marketing budget is being spent on channels they didn’t even know existed 5 years ago. Expect that to reach 40%+ by 2019”.  Over the past year, B2B marketing has seen:

  • 204% Growth in Video Advertising
  • 147% Growth in Native/ Sponsored Content
  • 130% Growth in Social Advertising

Empowering Brands Tips:

  • Use more targeted content and ads with a specific purpose!  Mobile is still growing rapidly, so consider how social media or mobile viewing will impact the user experience you want them to take.
  • Use video! Attention spans are minimal and professional video content and ads are becoming the most popular and influential form of digital content for businesses today. Keep it short or at least have a shorter version of longer form video.
  • Personalization! Impersonal email has gone the way of the fax machine! Becoming very targeted and being personalized at every stage of the funnel is becoming increasingly important.  Personalized landing pages should be connected to your campaigns.

Top marketing teams see marketing coordination as key! Marketing leaders are trying to determine how all of their channels and tactics work together rather than how many things they can touch. High performers are much more likely to have all of their marketing efforts heavily coordinated across all the channels (think touch points) they’re using. For example, if your company is focused on generating qualified leads – think how is my website, content, ads, social media and events contributing to that goal?  Is my messaging consistent across these fronts?

Not only are marketing tactics changing but the marketing place in the organization is changing. Top marketing teams are aligning their departments to reflect a customer journey strategy.  This includes changing some of the traditional roles and even introducing new roles such as ‘Customer Experience Analyst’.  64% of marketing leaders believe this organizational shift should redefine how sales, service and marketing work together!2  Leaders are 4x more likely to have marketing collaborating with other departments such as sales or service.

Here’s a real example: If your company uses a CRM system- is the data being shared with sales AND marketing?  Without the ability for marketing to see customer data, it can hinder the ability to drive cohesive strategy.

Use sales/service and customer feedback for potential valuable content for your marketing. What are FAQs that your company receives?  What are common objections or challenges your company faces?  Develop content around these and get input and buy-in from your sales people in the field who are talking to customers daily.

Don’t send every contact collected from marketing immediately to sales. Rather, implement lead nurturing or lead scoring within your marketing so leads are only sent to sales when they’re more likely to respond to your sales team. Consider a marketing automation platform. This increases trust and buy-in from sales to marketing.

So what is holding you back?  If you’re like many organizations there could be key factors for holding back your company including:

  • Unsure how to connect your value to a marketing strategy?
  • Insufficient executive buy-in or resources?
  • Not sure where to start?

Give the team at Empowering Brands a chance to talk to your organization and help you identify how to “be the best you” in 2018.  We specialize with industrial companies, and our team has a collective 30+ years of industry experience. Our mission is to be an extension of your marketing team! Let’s start the conversation.