Transforming B2B Marketing in 2017

Dec 29, 2016 | Business Communication

Business-to-business marketing or B2B marketing involves the sale of one company's product or service to another company. B2B marketing techniques rely on the same basic principles as consumer marketing, but are executed in a unique way. While consumers choose products based not only on price but on popularity, status, and other emotional triggers, B2B buyers make decisions on price and profit potential alone.

Finding new ways to foster relationships through social media is currently trending in the B2B marketing world. Many B2B brands are selling on price, rather than selling on value. "Value marketing" means that you might not be the cheapest on the market but you're better at meeting different groups of customer needs."

Product Centric to Customer Centric

This heightened focus on value reflects the difficulty of keeping hold of customers within the B2B world. Over 54% of brands say that customer retention is one of their top five challenges.

It is becoming more difficult for B2B firms to meet customer needs given the huge array of potential touch points and customers' changing expectations. Ten years ago, companies primarily looked at customer satisfaction surveys but the scope for understanding the customer has grown much wider now. There's a much more holistic view of the customer experience - it's not just about customer satisfaction and loyalty, it's more about delivering a superior experience than the competitors.

One size fit all to Account Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is, in many ways, the exact opposite of inbound marketing tactics. With ABM, the marketing message is based on the attributes and needs of the account that is being targeted.

Account-based marketing is where B2B marketing is headed.

The future of B2B marketing is not just thinking like salespeople but thinking like a blend of sales and customer service people. This allows marketing to show customers what they need to know so they get value, stay longer and buy more.

Companies spend a lot of time and money to attract new customers, but comparatively less effort goes into figuring out why they lose customers. However, the cost to business of losing customers, as well as the impact on the overall company, is dangerously high, which is why it's more profitable to extend efforts on retaining existing clients.

A lost customer means lost feedback and no opportunity to improve and also lost sales and revenue.

Focusing on Quality of the Content Over Quantity

Content Marketing will soon push out every other form of marketing. Creating original or actionable content is the key to remaining visible in this fast moving domain.

Lead-based marketing sends loosely targeted messages to broad categories of a target audience, drawing in lots of individual leads that may or may not be right for the brand. Account Based Marketing creates a single market at each account, and sends strategic messages to the team members that need to be reached the most.

Getting more leads does not mean they will all be the right leads.

ABM allows to convert highly-prized targets through more purposeful outreach to build sustainable, long-lasting relationships. This is because ABM develops personalized outreach with tailored campaigns.

Quality wins over quantity every time, and ABM-driven accounts are proving to be bigger, better, and faster.

Search has Moved to Youtube

YouTube is still under-valued as an ad platform. Incredible growth in time spent online in the last 4 years has completely changed the landscape, but marketing professionals are still "testing the waters".

Majority of advertisers have still not made complete use of the video sharing platform. Considering the fact that time spent online is mostly on You Tube, it is the right time to leverage the channel for marketing purposes. Also, using ABM to personalize ads that are useful to customers and not redundant is extremely crucial. The more viewers see ads of products and services that they like, the lesser the need for them to install ad-blockers.

Integrating Multi-Touch Marketing

Customers today live in a complex buying world. They now have the option to buy offline as well as online, by phone, via social media and more. Making it easy for the customer to make a purchase has been taken to the next level.

In order to reinforce their company's brand and message, marketers are now required to reach out to consumers in a variety of different ways at the same time. While most marketers these days are aware of the need to communicate across a variety of channels, many forget that for maximum effectiveness they should be doing it all at the same time.

Multi-touch marketing is now considered one of the most effective methods to increase brand awareness and ultimately bring in more sales. Over time and with practice, it's a great way to find out which marketing techniques will ultimately yield the highest response.

Muti-Touch Marketing has become a necessity for successful campaigns.

Re-invent Email Marketing Practises The best email marketing results are achieved through segmenting and targeting, which produce higher open rates, leads, conversion rates and revenues. However, before segmenting and target prospects, you must know the makeup of your audience and be able to identify its members.

Thus, the first step to laying the groundwork for email marketing campaigns is to build customer profiles, which are based on demographic characteristics: age, gender, marital status, location, education level, income level, ethnic background, political affiliation and more. This is better than spamming customer inbox constantly in the hope of receiving a response or a lead.


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