Although it often feels like marketing trends are constantly changing, there are several B2B marketing techniques that appear to be here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. If you’re looking to see significant growth in 2017, you’ll need to pay attention to the latest marketing trends that successful businesses are implementing. Some of these trends have been around for a while, and others are relatively new.
We’ve chosen to highlight the best of the best B2B marketing trends to get the momentum going, here’s a list of the best performing methods to consider.
1) Drive Loyalty through Improved Customer Experience
One of the most important trends to consider in 2017 is driving customer loyalty by improving the overall customer experience. Provide as much valuable information as possible to your customers, while giving them a remarkable experience both online and in-person. Go above and beyond when it comes to offering both general customer service and technical support.
And remember, you can’t just put in the effort in some areas; you’ve got to put the time, effort, and money into creating a seamless and consistent experience for each of your customers, all the time. By giving your customers what they need and want, and then some, you’ll have a better chance of acquiring their loyalty for the long-term.
Why? According to an article on superoffice.com which quotes Esteban Kolsky, “if the customers are not satisfied, 13% of them will tell to 15 or even more people that they are unhappy. On the other hand, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.”
2) Find the Balance Between Automation and Personalization
While automating certain marketing processes is great way to market smarter, it’s also important to know when automation is appropriate, vs. when a more personalized approach is called for. Marketing automation works well for lead generation and nurturing (to some degree), collecting customer data, and marketing across multiple channels, and the trend is growing at a significant rate due to its success.
Without a solid strategy, however, marketing automation can only get you so far. The key to successful marketing automation is to develop strategic messaging and well-thought-out campaigns, and then to utilize automation to amplify your efforts. It’s also important to understand that, even though you may reach more people with your automated messaging, it may not always be as powerful as personalized messaging can be.
Hence, it is critical to find the balance between the two, and to understand where to draw the line in certain situations.
3) Break Down the Walls Between Marketing and Sales with Account Based Marketing
Sales and marketing have long operated separately in achieving the same common goal – to educate buyers on products and services, to generate and nurture leads, and ultimately, to close sales and drive revenue. More recently, however, many businesses have experimented and succeeded with encouraging collaboration between the two departments under the philosophy that two heads are better than one.
This is especially true when one department is seeing exactly what the customer wants and needs (sales), while the other has access to valuable data, in addition to having established the beginnings of a relationship with the customer (marketing). Together, sales and marketing can create a more valuable customer experience, by providing customers with what they want and need, when they want and need it.
4) Don’t Ignore Executive Branding
While company branding is, and always will be extremely important, the individuals who make up a business are becoming more relevant to the overall brand. Therefore, executives can no longer get away with simply plopping their bio on the company website, with a brief overview of who they are and how they got there. People want to know who executive are and what drives them, not just where they went to college and what associations they belong to.
Executives are slowly starting to brand themselves, and in turn, they are amplifying the company brand reach and interest. By distinguishing themselves as thought leaders, experts and visionaries, executives can influence a wider audience, and inspire potential customers to want to become involved in what the company is doing.
And when it comes to B2B customers, they are becoming especially interested in knowing more about who they are trusting the livelihood of their business with. We can expect to see a lot more of this in 2017, so if you haven’t developed a plan for executive branding for your organization, you may want to add it to the list.
5)Embrace Experiential Marketing
Experiential marketing is about creating a brand experience for customers that allows them to see, smell, hear, and touch your brand in a way that connects them to your company’s values and mission in a physical way. A great example of experiential marketing is one created by Lean Cuisine, where they built scales for women to measure themselves by metrics other than pounds. And, instead of using a static poster or other marketing medium to spread the message that women should be measured by more than the number on a scale, they created a powerful in-person experience.
Why should you give it a try? The Event Marketing Institute’s EventTrack study found that, “74% of consumers have a better opinion about a brand after an experiential marketing event. In addition, 98% of users feel more inclined to purchase after attending an activation.”
Why not give these trends a try and contact Elevation Marketing for your next project!