Trends are coming and going, so it is important to adopt them at the right moment and to abandon them when they are no longer effective. However, it seems that B2B marketing is stubborn in sticking to the “working formula” taken right out of the corporate handbook.
However, there is one thing marketers need to take into account: their direct customers are not corporate functions, but real people. True, they are professionals, they use business logic and acumen in making choices, but they are still human. And they are tired of being addressed as if they were robots.
B2B marketing with a human touch is, therefore, the biggest trend for 2017. But what does it actually mean? Let us take a look at the most effective ways in which B2B companies and marketers can approach and attract corporate clients.
- Add Video to Your Content Marketing Mix – Generously
If you look at B2C marketing strategies, video is featured high among the most effective types of content. And it really brings in the clients and the revenues. Now then, why would corporate clients be different from individual consumers?
Actually, video is an extremely efficient medium for transmitting information and marketing messages to busy professionals. It is a visual medium which facilitates quick understanding, and it is proven to help people memorise information for a longer time compared to written text. Video allows you to demonstrate your professionalism and expertise through tutorials and a well-structured presentation of the contents. Therefore, if you want to make it big in B2B marketing this year, focus more on video.
- Use Web Personalisation to Make Each Visitor Feel Welcome
Personalisation is already reaping benefits on ecommerce websites. So it is time to use this feature for B2B websites, as well. What does personalisation do? It analyses a visitor’s IP address and the cache of their browser to identify the person’s interests and serve them content tailored to their likes and needs.
And right now the latest SaaS products made this technology affordable even for smaller businesses. This means that your website can offer each visitor a meaningful browsing experience on a budget which is well within your means.
- Channel Integration = Rich Customer Experience
There is not one single way of approaching your B2B customers and you should not discard one channel in favour of another. In fact, you should do the contrary: you should create a seamless and unified experience for your customers by integrating email marketing with blogging, social media marketing and digital ads, into a coherent lead generation strategy.
- Artificial Intelligence Joins the B2B Marketing Game
AI is becoming less an element of sci-fi films and more an actual presence in our lives. Chatbots and predictive technologies make the marketers’ work easier. It can also make it easier for your customers to make strategic decisions and to spend less time identifying the right solution for their company’s needs.
By implementing automated technologies to assist your customers in their search for content or for products, your company will have a competitive edge and demonstrate the customer care you are proclaiming in your marketing materials.
- Account-Based Marketing for Long-Cycle Purchases
B2B buying has the specific that in certain fields and industries the purchase cycle is long, complex and involves many stakeholders and decision makers. By approaching the marketing and sales process as a complex account negotiation and identifying the precise person holding the negotiation position, your company will save time going up the corporate ladder until you are really talking to the one who can make the purchasing decision.
It is highly likely that many of these trends will survive 2017 and will continue to be effective for some years to come. This is why you should always be prepared to embrace emerging trends and become a pro at using them so that you are able to implement them efficiently to the mutual benefit of your company and your customers.