Marketing trends move quickly, so it can be hard to create a marketing plan that has longevity and will give sustainable and consistent results. This article will outline 7 B2B Marketing trends that will drive results today, and in the future.
1. Outbound Marketing is giving way to Inbound Marketing
Throughout 2017 we've been asked about GDPR, it's risks, implications and downsides. However, very few people have looked at its opportunities. The Gripped team see it as a massive opportunity for B2B marketers to change their marketing game by focusing on Opt-in, permission-based, marketing rather than old-school outbound tactics. Inbound answers the majority of the challenges presented by GDPR and gives you the opportunity to reduce cost per lead, increase lead flow to your sales team and build a sales and marketing approach that is customer centric rather you-centric.
2. Content is still king - but you're probably not doing it right.
Neil Patel's piece on 2018 content marketing demonstrates how content is more and more critical, but also how many organisations are using tried and tested models that are in decline. Gripped's tip is to focus your content towards the customer, stop writing about yourself and write about them, their market, their challenges, their opportunities. It hopefully goes without saying, to make your content initiative enticing, you need to deliver dynamic content right across your site.
3. Social Media is not going away
We're predicting the continued decline of Twitter. While we love Twitter, its become a bit of a noisy cesspit, while new features are few and far between. We see Facebook growing increasingly viable and valuable for B2B marketers in the future. LinkedIn will continue to be a useful tool, however, generally less useful for sales teams and more useful for marketers.
4. Sales and marketing alignment is still vital to success
Marketing should be taking control of more of the buying cycle to provide better-qualified opportunities to sales teams. The first step is to build a shared view of the customer buying journey. The B2B buyer is now empowered more than ever before. B2B buyers have access and visibility to unprecedented amounts of information. 57% of the buyer’s journey is complete before sales get the chance to form a relationship. Often more substantial investment decisions are now team decisions with a wide range of roles weighing in, from a champion, to subject matter expert, to finance and so on. So - marketers - educate sales on the changes to the buying cycle and seek buy-in around how your approach the market in a joined-up fashion.
5. Marketing should be more data-driven
We're still amazed by the number of marketers we speak to who don't measure the impact or their activity or make data-driven decisions. Many marketers are flying a plane without any windows. Make sure you've got an aligned set of metrics to measure success and ensure you've got visibility of a real-time dashboard so you can make quicker more effective decisions.
Marketers need to see that they are data-driven and data focused. They should be routing data around the organisation, so the whole business is informed and aligned.
6. Marketers become technologists
While B2B marketers widely adopt automation software there are now more, and more sophisticated, platforms on the market. Here at Gripped, we're huge fans of Hubspot, but there are plenty of other tools out on the marketing. From content development and optimisation through distribution and analytics that can be the key to delivering success and turning you into an entirely optimised Marktech driven demand engine.
7. Personalisation wins
Personalisation can increase conversion rates rapidly for B2B businesses and while adoption has been low many businesses can get in early. Web personalisation has been established for some years on B2C sites, B2B companies have been slow to adopt. Research from Seismic and Demand Metric suggests that the lack of implementation by B2B marketers was due to lack of resources, technology and data, but they also found that those who had implemented a personalisation strategy we see tremendous results. Again Hubspot, but the like of Evergage, real-time 1-to-1 personalisation becomes valid for even the smallest of businesses. Aligned to account-based marketing initiatives personalisation can be a game changer.