Business-to-Business Marketing Patterns Expected to Continue in New Year
According to research, B2B leads often cost more than $100 per lead. Nearly threequarters of all B2B consumers conduct extensive online research before making any offline purchase. It’s critical, then, if you are engaged in any B2B marketing efforts to have a strong understand of the trends in B2B marketing for 2019. Here are some of the trends that industry observers expect.
Marketing Will Expand Beyond the Marketing Department
Because of the rapid changes in the marketplace, including increasing competition, changing buyers, and talent shortage, many B2B companies have found it necessary to integrate marketing efforts with sales, public relations, human resources, and even IT. Marketing departments can expect to be more involved in talent recruitment and retention, in determining company culture, and in creating the company’s image.
Emphasis Will Be on a Holistic View of Customer Experience
Experts say the most effective B2B firms understand that the customer experience is paramount but also realize that the customer experience is based to a significant degree on both the employee experience and the brand experience. The businesses that stand out will work to improve their employee and brand experiences and align them with the customer experience.
Video Will Play a Greater Role
Video has had an increasing presence in B2B marketing over the past few years, and that trend should continue. Some projections have video comprising more than 80% of all internet traffic within two years. Statistics already show that seven of every ten B2B buyers watch a video before making a purchase.
Content Marketing Will Be More Sophisticated
Content has been and remains king, but expect some changes in the face of online marketing content. According to one study, less than half of all B2B marketers thought their online content was mature or sophisticated. In 2019, the trend will likely be away from sheer quantity of content to creative and original content, content that establishes thought leadership. Some trends to expect include:
- Live streaming events instead of videos or webinars
- A blend of podcasts, mobile-friendly content, and interactive applications
- A shift from Twitter to other nontraditional social media platforms, such as Instagram
- An increase in infographics
- Greater use of paid search
More Emphasis on Data Privacy and Security
With a number of high-profile data breaches over the past few years, as well as Google’s practice of labeling unencrypted websites as “not secure,” B2B firms need to pay more attention to data privacy and security. Expect to see improved privacy policies and more emphasis on effective website security.
Experimentation with Emerging Technologies
Industry watchers anticipate that many B2B companies will delve into new technologies to enhance their marketing efforts, including:
- Chatbots to supplement live chat for sales or service needs
- Artificial intelligence to gather and sort data, and to identify trends
- Improvement in voice search technology to take advantage of mobile and personal assistant devices
- Virtual reality offerings to give potential clients the chance to try before they buy
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