What does your B2B marketing strategy look like for the next year? Has your marketing team begun to integrate the latest emerging technologies and trends into your plan? What worked last year is yesterday’s victory, and will not guarantee your company today’s customers. You need a B2B program set up for the long-term, one that is sustainable.
B2B marketing is trending more and more digital and will continue to do so over the next year. Your retail customers want quality service in new and innovative ways, through the use of visual content and cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence. Is your business prepared for these new trends?
Is your business aware of these new trends?
Below we will discuss everything your business needs to know to survive, and thrive in the world of B2B marketing over the next year and beyond. So, put away those direct mailers because here are the top B2B marketing trends for 2018:
In 2018, customer experience, or CX, is no longer just the purview of B2C enterprises like Amazon and Google. Increased global competition means your company needs to build a sustainable CX to stay competitive. More importantly, your CX needs the right digital platform to engage your audience.
Companies today are transforming from simple supply-chain managers to productivity providers. They offer up digital platforms that furnish advice and support, forging partnerships that take a holistic view of the old B2B model.
Content Is King
Here is something for you to consider, content marketing is a significant cost saving over traditional marketing, and it brings in three times as many leads, according to statistics over at DemandMetric. And the market for it will only grow more prominent in 2018. B2B marketers need a quality pipeline of content combined with a well-planned SEO strategy.
And in today’s fast-paced world simple text will not cut it. While a smart team of writers is a necessity, clients want interactive formats that are media-based, like video. Remember, you are working for a mobile generation. The Content Marketing Institute notes that 93 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing, which means if you are not in that group, you are not competing.
In the digital landscape, content alone is not enough - your B2B strategy needs to serve up the right content to the right market, and you need to do it in a timely fashion. In 2018 it is imperative that you use marketing automation to segment your customer base; the more data, the better.
For your B2B marketing strategy to work, you need to send targeted messages to the correct customer segment. Gone also are the days of reams and reams of useless data. Today’s smart B2B marketers need to use real-time data analytics to be one step ahead of the competition. The data has to mean something; it has to be useful.
A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)
One of 2018’s sizeable innovations will be A.I. or artificial intelligence. It is one of the top ways you can sift through all of that data that you are going to collect this year. Using chatbots for your sales and services will help your business grow one step ahead of your competition. IoT devices can help provide user insights, and virtual reality devices are changing the user experience.
A.I. will help your business create new efficiencies, although how they work may not be evident at first glance. It is imperative for your team to embrace this new technology to stay ahead of the competition while also closing any productivity gaps.
Facebook And LinkedIn
In many ways, social media in 2018 is a case of “what goes around comes around,” or “the old becoming new again.” Facebook Ads have upped their targeting capabilities at a very affordable cost for your business. Meanwhile, LinkedIn, now owned by Microsoft, is about so much more than inmail ads that no one reads. New algorithms that target the right customers have turned this stale networking site into a customer engagement paradise.
Innovation Is Key
Successful B2B marketing in 2018 means taking risks. Your marketing team will need to step out of its comfort zone too and begin to embrace new technologies as well as new strategies. Resist the urge to say, “but that’s how we’ve always done things.” Doing so could be the death of your business.
The possibilities for B2B to reshape your world in 2018 are plenty. Other things your team will want to explore include:
- Live streaming - forget about webinars and online open house events
- Visual Content - infographics and other content made for mobile
- Podcasts - they have been around forever, but are emerging in the marketing field
- Account Based Marketing - target high profile accounts and cut through the noise
- SEO - the rules are changing, make sure you keep up
B2B marketing in 2018 means throwing out everything you learned last year. Your business needs to embrace change and be ready to disrupt your industry - or else face being disrupted.