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Marketing Trends for B2B…. And what it should mean for your company!

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Author: Carter Matthews

Growth in digital for B2B Marketing continues with new trends and capabilities around every corner.  Marketers are certainly still faced with delivering ROI with their marketing efforts while being visible and reaching more potential customers.  Newer trends such as programmatic buying, account based marketing, automation and other elements are now fully available within B2B companies reach. Consumers and companies expect personalization… 65% of businesses are likely to switch brands if the vendor doesn’t personalize communication with their company! Good data is extremely important for marketing success throughout the process from campaign targeting to lead nurturing.

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 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.  You’ve got to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time.
  • Use video! Good 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 for that initial engagement.
  • 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.
  • Analyze your team and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Let’s face it, most companies in B2B have marketing departments with talented people but not all the skills needed in today’s marketing environment.  Take a look at what skills your team is good at and what’s missing.  Consider using partners or outside vendors to bridge the gap.

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 you can grow and be successful.  We specialize with industrial companies, and our team has a collective 30+ years of industry experience specializing in strategic planning, content development, social media management, design/branding and much more. Our mission is to be an extension of your marketing team! Let’s start the conversation.

CONTACT US

 

Carter Matthews, Empowering Brands

President, Digital Marketing Strategist

Carter Matthews, the President, is an alumnus of the University of Alabama with a Bachelors in Communications. With over 17 years experience in media and management, Carter brings knowledge of how to use data and content with digital and social advertising for effective campaigns.  When not working, you can often find Carter learning valuable life lessons on a golf course.