B2B Marketing Trends To Get On Top of In 2017
The pressures for B2B marketers to yield growth and ensure ROIs are ramping up this year. In 2017 these marketers will continue to face the expectation of ‘feeding the funnel’ and producing quality leads. For them, a good starting point for achieving these goals will start with an understanding of the latest trends set to make an impact in their field.
Here are give pressing B2B marketing trends that can help any marketer to navigate the choppy waters of the B2B sector this year:
Higher Customer Experience Focus
From search engines to customer engagement, improved customer experiences are already proving to be go-to tactic behind B2B marketing goals. As such organizations are scrambling to find a more balanced approach in their efforts to building customer loyalty. This year particularly, B2B marketers will have to juggle and level with the experiences of users in various aspects of their field. Now, “Customer-centric” techniques have to be balanced with ones that are “customer-focused.” The B2B marketers that leverage a steady handle of both will be the ones that boost revenues and customer loyalty.
Consumer Expectation of Executive Branding
Today’s consumers want to feel a one-on-one connection with the brands they buy into. As more and more CEOs become visible to users, the traditional marketing and branding efforts of yesteryear are no longer making the grade. Individual consumers want to now know that the brands they buy are backed by individuals and industry leaders. More specifically, that they are buying the products produced by top experts. For marketers in the B2B sphere attention to executive branding will be key.
The first step in tackling this rising consumer interested will lie heavily in the shaping of senior executives and their personal brands. Just like consumers, buyers want to know who they’re doing business with. This year, marketers are working to show businesses why they should trust in the decisions and efforts of the leaders of the companies they do business with. For marketers this doesn’t necessarily mean dragging the Sheryl Sandburgs and Steve Jobs of their fields to the mall for heels and a turtleneck. Instead, marketers should rally behind their executives to establish their skills and personal mission. Remember, just like today’s consumers, businesses want to know that they’re investing in a brand that strives for social achievement too.
Artificial Intelligence As An Everyday Analytics Tool
Artificial intelligence is having a huge hand in B2B marketing strategies this year. Already, cognitive interfaces and advanced analytics are being driven by machine learning technology to give businesses access to information about consumers that typically would take some time to collect and analyze. In 2017, vendors are utilizing cognitive computing capabilities to streamline business decisions from all areas of the field. From marketing and finance to e-commerce and product management, AI is close jumpstarting the intermission between insight and action.
B2B marketers can start implementing the work of anticipatory AI tools, to learn and adapt to trends and identify intrinsic changes in their field. Today’s latest AI software help B2B organizations to target companies based on their growth stages, create custom content and predict buyer behavior.
Content Marketing That Aims To Be Visual
While B2Cs have typically been the ones to lead the charge when it comes to visual content as a marketing tools, this year B2Bs are quickly picking up their strategy. B2B marketers should take advantage of the competitors lagging behind in visual strategies while they can. Content that is visually engaging, compelling and stimulating is what typically generates the most shares and ROI for B2Bs. For this year, visual content that dabbles in augmented experiences, 360 degree videos, GIFs and infographics is what’s winning businesses over.
Aligning Marketing and Sales
B2B organizations really dragged their heels on efforts to align marketing and sales last year. This year, the demand for a better customer experience are pushing more and more B2Bs to make the crossover. For B2Bs making customer experience priority, an aligned marketing and sales approach will be key. Marching to the same beat will require both teams to share the same goals, focus as well a unified understanding of campaign tactics. Marketers can start everyone off on the right foot by reminding both teams of their shared investment in the customer and their desired outcome.