We all get it B2B marketing is not as easy as B2C marketing, losing a potential lead will cost you way more than it ever would with B2C.
Stakes are high, decision making is not a straight forward process and there’s little room for mistakes.
I won’t go over again the marketing basics; how social media needs to be leverages, or how content should be long for or how video is the next big thing [I don’t know why it’s called the next big thing anymore while it’s happening right now] or your catchy email marketing headlines.
Or having a chat-support; which you should be having anyway, un-responded customers are not good for business.
So, let’s discuss some marketing trends; are they really what they are and letting you figure out the answer to the more important question “Do I incorporate in my marketing strategy?”
No matter how much other marketers say personalization is the next big thing in the B2B marketing landscape or helps you bond with customers, but it isn’t for certain reasons.
The very first issue with personalization is ethics, it’s a different thing to have an email address your potential customer by their name but it’s entirely different to know the things you shouldn’t just to understand your customer better and give them a personal experience.
And in cases like B2B, that information is sensitive!
Even when you’re not going that personal; Imagine sharing a piece of content for A. The problem with the content is it will never get shared or passed on to B who might have done business with you, because it was personal to A.
The more broadly relevant marketing is, the more effective it is. Not to be confused with segmentation, it is mandatory to have customer segmentation to target the right efforts in the right direction, but the more granule you get the less effective it gets.
And not to mention no marketer has the resources and bandwidth for the same, unless your potential client is Google or Facebook, there you might want to go somewhat personal.
Another issue with personalization is setting the customer expectations higher every time for the next interaction, and not being able to meet them in the future will do more harm than not setting any.
Test and Learn
As I said, unlike B2C, stakes of losing a potential client in B2B are high. Even though test and learn sounds like an innocuous approach, it in-fact is flawed than you think.
One reason being the period used to predict the effectiveness of a tried strategy is way too short to give any significant or real outcomes.
Moreover, as per Blockbuster by Anita Elberse; it’s go big or go home!
Test and learn strategy doesn’t achieve much in the long run than the Big Bet Strategy [Which are based on best practices and pure hope] where you bet on a single strategy and stick to it rather than optimizing your strategy every once in a while.
Though the Big Bet Strategy may sound risky, still it’s far less risky than Test and Learn strategy.
Hence, it is better if you just learn and implement the best marketing practices and hope for the best, instead of optimizing your marketing over and over.
It may sound like an omnipresent word in marketing these days, but it sure has reasons to be that popular after all.
When it comes to B2B marketing one thing that customers look into a business is trust and thought leadership bridges that gap. It singlehandedly helps drive sales, build your brand, penetrate cost barriers in the market.
Thought leadership is most effective in the consideration stage, according to Edelman and LinkedIn survey of decisions markers and c-suite executives; 45% said that they were led to do business with an organization because of thought leadership, and 82% said to have built more trust over an organization because of it.
So now you know what’s a must-have for your marketing strategy.
Telling the Brand Purpose
A lot of organizations show how altruistic they’re in their marketing campaigns, which is something good for your employees to know about, but your customers couldn’t care less.
Though if given a choice to buy from a good and a bad brand, people will pick the brand which is doing good.
But that’s not your brand is all about! Is it?
Every organization is trying to make the world a better place and that in fact is a good thing to do, but it’s more of an underlying value that must be there at all costs; it’s like saying “our organization is not racist” it shouldn’t be at all costs, but that’s not something you’d go out and say it’s like basic ethics it just has to be, not something to put on advertisements. Just be there like air.
Drooling over Data
You must have heard it by now – “data is the new oil” while it holds for the organizations with a team of 100+ dedicated data geeks for the extraction of useful data.
That still isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!
With more data comes more noise, the more data you capture the more confusing things will get.
If you’re a marketer I bet you open those analytics tools every day or every other day if not 10 times a day, something we’re all guilty of.
But the less frequently you check it the more sense it will make.
View data in bigger churns rather than those weekly reports, though for some those reports might be the way to align with their targets, despite have they ever did anything good apart from freaking you out?
Complex Marketing Metrics
We all run a campaign with different metric goals, some are trying to achieve more signups, more engagement, more money! [Well we all are] But in the bigger picture the only metric you should be freaking out over is the simple metric like Reach!
Your reach should always be greater than your market share, though definitely, it should be relevant, and even more importantly unique.
Yes, it’s important to touch a potential customer 6-8 times to convert them or get them to the consideration stage, but they’re not the only people you want to keep targeting; that’s reach is all about getting to more and more potential customers. And it is one of the most beneficial factors in the long run.
Trying the next new
While nowadays marketers are so obsessed with going all creative, changing things, doing the next new, next contrarian, that they forget what customers want.
Though it’s an example of a B2C brand, it might deliver the message; why iPhones are still a thing? Because Apple didn’t go all new and big on their phones but made small incremental changes.
Because customers more than anything want familiarity. That’s a strategy called MAYA; most advanced yet acceptable.
If given the facts from marketing; as per LinkedIn’s internal data, only one in 5 new campaigns outperform an old one! Or let’s rephrase it; 4 out of every 5 new campaigns are unsuccessful.
These were a few most popular B2B marketing trends, through the trends don’t change so rapidly as B2C, yet they continue to change with the demand landscape of organizations.
What B2B marketing trends has been working for you? Let me know in the comments below.