Top 5 B2B Marketing Trends in the post-COVID world

What is B2B Marketing?

According to Gartner, B2B marketing is a collection of techniques for marketing to business buyers. The primary goal for a B2B marketing strategy to achieve would be improving lead quality and lead conversion. B2B marketing can essentially be boiled down to meeting the needs of other businesses and B2B marketers need to understand the needs of different decision makers, often within the same customers

Business-To-Business work is about building a brand from the inside out. The brand message that we communicate to our clients’ business constituents is often the same message that is carried through to the consumers in the marketplace.” – Maureen Hall

Why is B2B marketing important?

According to a Google study, 71% of users surveyed use the internet on a daily basis for their business purchase decisions. A big difference between a B2B and a B2C buyer is the difference in their knowledge and rationality. Rather than pushy sales tactics, a B2B buyer will prefer being educated on the product or service and how it could benefit them. However, marketing departments in such businesses have conventionally lagged behind in keeping with the latest B2B marketing trends. It has become increasingly clear that if such a business needs to survive, let alone grow, B2B digital marketing needs to play a more significant role in the organisation.

B2B Marketing trends in the post-COVID world:

Since COVID-19 hit, B2B companies have embraced B2B digital marketing trends that can prevail in the new normal – a focus on interactions with social distancing and a reliance on technology. Such companies have performed well in their respective industries. Here are a few of the latest B2B marketing post-pandemic trends that can help a B2B business survive and grow:

  • Brand-building: With so many things changing, marketers are revisiting their branding strategy, addressing each variable in the branding equation and studying it in depth to ensure a favourable brand recall.
  • Influencer Marketing: The influencer marketing industry was worth $8 billion in 2019, and it is estimated to grow to $15 billion over the next two years. Research has revealed that collaborating on content with industry experts helps improved customer engagement and marketing effectiveness in three key areas:
    1. Trust: 77% of B2B marketers say they believe that prospective customers rely on advice from industry experts.
    2. Experience: 77% agree that influencer marketing improves customer and prospect experience with the brand.
    3. Performance: 63% say their marketing would have been better if it included a B2B influencer marketing program.
  • Multi-format approach: B2B businesses are moving past the cold-calling days and developing an integrated approach to B2B digital marketing, imbibing the best of new-age channels such as social media, blogs, etc. with traditional channels such as direct mail campaigns and sales calls.
  • Content Marketing: Progressively, B2B marketers have finessed their B2B digital marketing strategy, adopting a pre-sale strategy of creating strong content to find, nurture and qualify potential leads. For a B2B marketer, a sale is much more likely to happen when the buyer feels empowered enough to feel that he made the decision on his own. In the context of content marketing we must mention LinkedIn as it’s a known fact that 80% of B2B leads are generated from LinkedIn. It’s hard to argue that any other social network is more important than LinkedIn for B2B marketers. LinkedIn provides an incredible opportunity for everything from building brand thought leadership to specific prospect targeting through organic content and networking as well as their evolving advertising and sales solutions like LinkedIn Sales Navigator. 
  • Account-based Marketing (ABM): One of the latest B2B marketing trends, ABM is mostly used in e-mail marketing wherein a hyper-personalised marketing campaign is built on the basis of customer data and user behaviour. A great example of a B2B marketing trend that has been on many lists over the past few years is ABM. There are very vocal advocates for ABM but it still has not as much momentum as other disciplines when it comes to active implementation

Key Takeaways

  1. Building trust in B2B brands goes beyond CEOs of course and marketers would do well to take inventory of what current perceptions are of the brand and ensure marketing strategies and customer engagement are aligned around creating promises and experiences that strengthen credibility.
  2. Digital spends which was negligible in the B2B space a few years back are on the rise exponentially, as in the United States alone B2B digital Ad spending has grown by 22.6% in 2020.
  3. As B2B purchase journeys are complicated, the COVID challenges created even more complexities. Hence customer experience has become a priority, but so is employee experience and any experience created through the content and media published by a brand. It’s no longer enough to simply inform audiences with information.

B2B businesses that did not implement a B2B digital marketing strategy suffered immensely through the pandemic. As we enter a world full of uncertainties, B2B companies need to adopt the latest B2B marketing trends and change the way they promote the business, the way they maintain their customer engagement, and so much more.

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