In the modern marketplace B2B marketing trends are evolving rapidly. Technology is having a transformative effect on B2B sales. Here five of the most important trends in B2B marketing for the coming year.
#1- Need for Face-to-Face Interaction Decreases
Businesses are increasingly required less face-to-face interaction with B2B vendors. Customers are becoming more familiar and comfortable with using video and web conferencing. This is significantly reducing travel costs for sales driven organisations
#2 -Mobile Marketing Dominates
According to a recent pew study 50% of the population of the United States now owns a smartphone. Even more interestingly American spend two hours a day on average on their mobile phones. This presents a huge opportunity for companies to market B2B products and services to their customers. It is estimated that by 2015 the mobile market will generate sales of $400 billion. This compares to only $139 billion in 2012. B2B marketers will also need to adapt to mobile marketing by ensuring that email, websites and advertising is optimised for the smaller screen. Websites will need to go beyond being optimised only for the search engines. Responsive design that changes the layout of the website depending on the device that the customer is using is becoming essential. Easy to use features such as tap to call will also be important for increasing conversion rates.
#3-Better Use of Data
Predictive analysis is becoming an important part of B2B selling. This is allowing B2B vendor’s to improve the quality of their sales leads and increase their conversion rates. It is also allowing them to predict with greater accuracy the size and frequency of the customer’s purchases. If these are out of line with predictions sales professionals can follow-up to improve the conversion rates.
#4-Follow-up is More Important Than ever Before
Studies suggests that as much as 51.4% of B2B leads are never followed up on. In the modern marketplace following up too slowly on leads means missing out to your competitors. This year will see companies increase the speed at which they hand off from marketing to sales.
#5 -Content Marketing is on the Rise
According to a report from the Content Marketing Institute 58% of businesses intend to increase the content marketing budget in 2014. This will see increased spending on content that is likely to attract and interest B2B customers. This will include custom case studies, video, reports and corporate blogging. In the past volume driven content strategies and keyword packed blogging was at the forefront of many B2B vendors online strategy.
The recent Google algorithm updates Penguin, Hummingbird and Panda mean that these techniques are no longer effective. This means that companies will need to concentrate on creating lower volume but higher quality content that is relevant to their prospective customers. Content marketing will also need to focus on a more consultative approach to selling online. This will mean creating more educational resources that help guide the prospect towards making an informed purchasing decision. Content marketing will also become increasingly multi channel so as to reach prospects no matter how they like to absorb content. This will mean creating a wider mix of content types.
The B2B space is changing at an ever faster pace. Businesses that want to succeed in the modern business environment must keep pace with B2B marketing trends or risk losing market share to the competitors.