B2B marketers around the world are searching for ways to leverage digital marketing, to reach decision makers more efficiently. We’ve researched the trends and innovations in the industry, to see where B2B marketing is headed.
- The first thing to remember about Digital B2B marketing, is that – there is no substantial difference between marketing to businesses, and marketing to consumers. Therefore, all of the common practices of marketing, whether digital or not, should be utilized in B2B.
- Yet, when pointing out specific trends in B2B marketing, compared to B2C marketing, the most prominent trend is content marketing: businesses invest more in producing helpful, relevant content, with growing emphasis on personalization, using data, unique URLs and retargeting, to deliver customized offers. They should also identify, and target, the various segments that the company wishes to approach.
- Today, Millennials constitute the most prominent demographic group among B2B buyers, and online video has been a popular way to approach this group. As a result, we see a rise in the utilization of online video as a B2B marketing tactic. On the other hand, live video is an untapped growth area in our opinion, as it enables companies to feature products / services (on the marketing side), and offer ongoing support (on the business side) effectively.
- Unlike B2C marketing, in B2B it seems that social and mobile marketing are only beginning to catch on, and we expect these trend to gain importance, as B2B buyers are using mobile to receive instant information and proposals, and are already accustomed to use social media for locating suppliers and reviews.
- Yet, probably the most important trend in B2B marketing, as opposed to B2C marketing, is the rise of empowering apps. The macro-trends of sharing economies and mobile penetration, created a new kind of B2B enterprise, where a business (such as Uber or Airbnb) actually approaches consumers, turning them into businesses through apps that allow them to offer products / services and manage them. Beyond the “sharing economy”, apps provide a way for businesses to help empower their customers, thus creating loyalty and sustainable relationships.
- For example, in 2014, Airbnb launched AirbnbBusiness, offering to help business travelers search and book accommodations, and easily manage their expenses. In this case, the phrase “the medium is the message” is more relevant than ever, as the app is the main tactic for approaching businesses, offering easier management of the business travel.
- Businesses should begin their marketing initiatives by determining metrics and KPIs. On the instrumental level these include SEO ranking, lead quantity / quality, and website visitors; on the consequential side they include sales / conversion rates, loyalty / customer renewal rates, brand lift, etc.
To sum up, we believe that B2B marketers should take into consideration upping their efforts in content marketing (building on relevance and personalization using re-targeting and similar tactics), mobile marketing (to support immediate decisions), video content (including live video) and social media (including reviews and personal, segmented channels), all in accordance with their pre-determined KPIs.