What B2B Marketers Need to Understand in 2018
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, B2B marketers must stay updated on the latest trends and strategies to effectively reach their target audience and drive business growth. To help navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape, we have compiled a list of trends that B2B marketers should understand in 2018.
1. Executive Branding
In the digital age, personal branding is more important than ever. B2B marketers need to focus on building their personal image as executives or professionals on social media platforms. This is because employers are increasingly attracted to high-profile marketing accounts. Invest time and effort into creating a strong executive brand, as it becomes a valuable currency wherever you go.
2. Partner Marketing
Many B2B marketers underestimate the power of leveraging partnerships to drive new business. By forming partnerships with other businesses that target similar customer personas, you can increase brand awareness and generate more leads from your core customer demographic. Partner marketing is a cost-effective way to expand your reach and tap into new markets.
3. Mobile Optimization
Gone are the days when business owners primarily conducted research on desktop devices. Today, business owners constantly use mobile devices to find solutions anytime, anywhere. To ensure a seamless customer experience across all devices, B2B marketers must prioritize mobile optimization. Make sure your website and content are mobile-friendly to cater to the needs of busy business owners.
4. Structured Data
Google is placing increasing emphasis on structured data, featured snippets, the Knowledge Graph, and answering voice searches. B2B marketers should implement structured data wherever possible to prepare for these changes. Stay updated on any new updates from Google and adapt your strategy accordingly. By incorporating structured data into your website, you can gain a competitive edge over your rivals.
5. Education Marketing
In industries such as legal services, where unscrupulous vendors are prevalent, B2B marketers should focus on education marketing. Create educational content that positions your company as a helpful resource rather than aggressively pushing for sales. By providing valuable information to your target audience, you can establish your company as a trusted partner in your industry.
6. Social Network Adoption
While many B2B marketers prioritize channels such as webinars and events, they should shift their focus towards social networks. Social networks can be just as powerful in generating market-qualified leads. By humanizing your brand and increasing your social presence, you can gain more visibility and credibility. Social proof is becoming increasingly important, so make sure your business is well-represented online.
7. Micro to Macro
Micro moments, where customers turn to their devices to find information, are reshaping the B2B marketplace. More and more people are making purchasing decisions after interacting with brands through multiple touchpoints. B2B marketers need to anticipate these points of contact and produce content that caters to the needs of their target audience at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
8. ABM Targeting
B2B marketers need to adopt the same targeting strategies as B2C marketers. Targeting the right prospects is crucial in B2B marketing, and leveraging first- and third-party data can help eliminate waste and ensure your ads and content are hyper-targeted to B2B buyers. By refining your targeting efforts, you can improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and generate higher-quality leads.
9. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly important in marketing. By leveraging AI to understand customer behavior and preferences, marketers can streamline their efforts and bridge the gap between insights and execution. AI can help optimize various aspects of marketing, from personalized content recommendations to automated lead nurturing. Embrace AI to stay ahead of the competition.
10. 24/7 Live Chat
Live chat is no longer a nice-to-have feature for B2B businesses, it is a must-have. In today’s competitive landscape, communicating with customers in the way they prefer can make a significant difference in their purchase decisions. Implementing 24/7 live chat support can give you a competitive edge by providing instant assistance and personalized interactions to potential customers.
11. Intelligent Analytics
Intelligent analytics is an important tool for B2B marketers in 2018. It builds upon traditional analytics by providing deeper insights and actionable recommendations. By leveraging intelligent analytics, you can optimize your marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions to achieve better results. Stay updated on the latest analytics tools and techniques to enhance your marketing efforts.
12. Enhanced B2B Marketing Precision
While targeted marketing is already popular in the B2B industry, it is important to take it a step further. Rather than reaching out to businesses in your industry as a whole, focus on identifying the companies and specific individuals who are the best prospects for your message. By tailoring your marketing efforts to specific verticals, you can improve your targeting precision and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.
13. Focus on a Single Vertical
Instead of casting a wide net and trying to reach everyone in your local area, consider focusing on a single vertical. By demonstrating your expertise and experience within a specific industry, you can better resonate with potential customers in that vertical. This approach allows you to position your company as an industry specialist and generate more targeted leads.
14. Amazon Entering Your Space
Amazon’s expansion into the B2B space should not be ignored. While it may not pose an immediate threat to your business, it is important to keep an eye on Amazon’s progress. In 2018, Amazon is expected to make significant strides in reaching B2B companies. Consider whether partnering with or competing against Amazon aligns with your business goals and make informed decisions accordingly.
In conclusion, staying updated on the latest trends and strategies is crucial for B2B marketers to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. By understanding and implementing these trends in your marketing efforts, you can effectively reach your target audience, drive brand awareness, and generate high-quality leads. Stay agile, embrace innovation, and continuously adapt your marketing strategies to stay ahead of the curve.