Want to beat the competition in the business to business (B2B) marketing game? Check out these TOP trends for 2020 and the decade ahead.
1. Deliver personalized experiences.
Of course, businesses don’t market to businesses. They market to people. That’s why marketers must shift their thinking from “How do I market to other businesses?” to “How can I connect with the people working at the businesses I’m targeting?”
The answer: Engage them by moving from cookie-cutter mass messages to personalized content developed to connect with individuals. Address their unique needs, worries, and concerns and provide them with specific ways to do their jobs better.
If you’re concerned about the time it takes to develop and distribute personalized sales content, leverage marketing automation technology to speed the process. A sales enablement system like the one offered by Mobile Locker makes it easy for salespeople to access and customize sales content any place, any time. It ensures they deliver personalized experiences in all interactions with buyers. It also supplies the data needed to prove the value of your investment in personalized marketing.
2. Partner with influencers.
Influencers like Kylie Jenner are a BIG thing in the consumer marketing universe. Buyers are more willing to purchase things like make-up, accessories and diet aids from people they have a relationship with (even if it’s just on Instagram) and trust.
The same is true for B2B purchasers. At a time when people are becoming more cynical and less likely to trust claims made by companies, many businesses are turning to trusted experts for endorsements. This includes recognized writers, educators and scientists. Business buyers prefer purchasing things recommended by people they respect. It’s also helpful when they need to explain their rationale for purchases when seeking approval from their managers and procurement teams.
Partnering with influencers might seem costly for many organizations. However, experts can be used across many types of marketing, including social media, blog posts, white papers, videos, podcasts, trade show appearances, and speaking engagements. Thoughtful planning will help you maximize your investment in influencer marketing.
Tip: Hiring influencers doesn’t have to be expensive. Depending on your industry, you may be able to find people that your target audience respect for less than you think.
3. Take advantage of augmented and virtual reality.
This is an area where B2B marketing can really benefit from cutting-edge technology. Many B2B products and services are hard to explain. Augmented reality (AI) and virtual reality (VI) are being used by savvy marketers to do things like:
- Place purchasers in virtual spaces and environments
- Demonstrate complex solutions in real-world scenarios
- Move prospects through complex processes.
If you market a product or service that’s hard for buyers to understand, you owe it to yourself to jump ahead of the curve and consult with an AI or VI expert. If you don’t, your competitors will.
4. Share valuable content to generate leads.
The world is awash in content. People are served-up thousands of images, videos, and articles every day.
In this sea of mediocrity, people are more willing than ever to seek-out top-tier content and pay for it — or give up personal information — to gain access.
Instead of producing a ton of useless content, focus instead on a few things that your target prospects will find valuable. Some ideas:
- An online webinar that helps them do their jobs better.
- A video series that offers a unique perspective on the future of their industry.
- An automated quiz or checklist that identifies opportunities for improving how they do business.
Think about the people in your target audience. Put yourself in their shoes and figure out what they will value. Also consider the time they have available to engage with content (people are busy!) and how they prefer to receive it (video, text, virtual experience or in-person interaction). Once you’ve developed a plan, run it past people in your target audience to see how they respond. They may provide insights on how to make it better — and more valuable — to them.
5. Bring marketing and sales into alignment.
Marketing can leverage all the latest trends and technology to develop and deliver cutting-edge content and campaigns. But if sales reps don’t use it, or sell in ways that don’t align with it, it’s useless.
That’s why it’s critical for the two teams to set goals together and work in a unified way to achieve them. They should also use the same system, like the one offered by Mobile Locker, to develop and deliver content, communicate about it, train reps on its use and measure its effectiveness. It’s the best way to ensure both teams are working in tandem to achieve success in 2020 and beyond.