The evolution of the digital world has changed the way B2B marketers think, plan and work. Incessant progression in the online ecosystem is significantly influencing the decision-making process of B2B marketing strategies and activities.In fact, B2B marketing has now, almost entirely, molded itself into the frame of digital marketing. The B2B buyers have become proactive and are researching online about the product before making any purchase decision. Moreover, almost 90% of the B2B buyers’ journey is completed online before any sales representative reach out to them, pointed out a Forrester research report.
As we are approaching 2018, B2B marketing strategies are leaning even more on digital means for better results. There are a number of key areas where B2B marketers will have to focus in order to stay strong in their marketing game in the coming year. But most importantly, they would have to keep a tab on the B2B marketing trends to assess their marketing strategies and tweak them for more leads, conversions, and sales in 2018. To help the B2B marketers gain a competitive edge, we have compiled a list of the B2B marketing trends that would change the face of B2B marketing in 2018. Following these trends would help the marketers stay a step ahead and gain an edge over their competitors.
Account-based marketing or ABM became the buzz word in B2B marketing in 2017 and more than 92% of the firms recognized its value. In 2018, account-based marketing would gain higher momentum and become the ruling trend to boost B2B sales. It would orchestrate personalized marketing and help the marketers land at named accounts. This would help the marketers in deepening the relationship with right customers. Instead of the inbound approaches to lead generation, marketers would rather go with account-based marketing for lead generation.
Data-driven marketing has assisted the B2B marketers in finding new channels for driving lead generation. It’s been years since B2B companies have been collecting and storing their big data to take B2B marketing advantages. The growing demand for customer experience would drive the marketers analyzing the sales journey of the B2B buyer and offering discounts and offers to push them down the sales funnel. B2B marketers would shift their focus to being more data-driven in 2018 for a successful lead generation and completion of sales journey.
- Exploration of New Marketing Technologies
Whether we talk about content marketing or social media marketing, all these were a new marketing technology when they were being explored by the B2B marketers around a decade back. In 2018, B2B marketers would be seen exploring new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality etc., for effective marketing. A number of B2B marketers would start exploring these new technologies and start incorporating them into their marketing strategies.
B2B marketers would become increasingly inclined on chatbots for assistance to the B2B buyers during their sales journey. New and improved chatbot assistance would be offered by the AI-based chatbots. According to a study, more than 80% of the brands showed strong interest in adopting chatbots for excellent customer service. Chatbots would offer a more human response for effective assistance to the B2B buyers.
- Increased Focus On Customer Experience
Customer experience would be the center of attention for all the B2B marketers. It would be a year of the dawning of the age of customers. The marketers would make efforts in understanding the target audience and tweaking marketing strategies that to suit the changing audience behavior. Upgrading the UX of the website would help the different brands in bringing their promise of unrivaled customer experience to life.
In a nutshell, the B2B marketers would indulge in taking more advantage of the emerging marketing technologies to up their game in 2018. This list, although not comprehensive, does throws light on some of the marketing trends that would change the face of B2B marketing in 2018.