Over the last decade, marketing has evolved from one-and-done strategies to a truly living beast. And within this evolution, Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing has become smarter than ever.
Why? According to Google, it’s partially due to a new, self-educated generation of B2B marketers leading the way. B2B decision makers are younger than ever and are working harder than ever to keep up. But, you knew that already, right?
Read on to discover the three big trends in B2B marketing in 2020 and just how you can jump on the bandwagon.
Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing (ABM) isn’t new, but in the extra inundated 2020s, it is seeing a resurgence. What we as marketers have learned from a decade of casting a broad net is that every lead is unique and could benefit from a more direct, specialized and personal approach. That’s where account-based marketing comes in.
ABM is a marketing directive focusing on select markets, rather than all potential customers. Account based marketing can work in tandem with inbound and outbound marketing, but the difference lies in your targeting. Rather than focusing on a large list of potential customers or even a small sect of segmented leads, ABM is based on the idea of first identifying your desired clients, and then working backwards to acquire them. This can be done in a myriad of creative ways. The true beauty of account-based marketing is that its very success depends on personalizing every facet of your communications to your desired client.
ABM, especially when used in tandem with personalized demand generation and content marketing, can be the perfect B2B marketing tactic to yield big clients.
Everyone wants to feel heard, and that includes B2B marketers. The era of personalization is already upon us, and with chatbots, your business can be ready to interact and engage with customers no matter what time it is.
Chatbots are intelligent AI technology that, through a selection of templates and questions, can learn how to interact with your audience. Something as simple as a, “Hello there! I’m Jaclyn, any questions I can help you with, let me know!” can make a big difference to those visiting your site. The best thing about chatbots is that it allows you to begin to personify your brand’s unique personality while being a true resource. A chatbot can direct people to relevant content on your site rather than requiring them to search for it. And, a chatbot is a lot more affordable than hiring an actual person to wait by day and night for website visitors to ask a question.
Research by Opus suggests that businesses will invest $400 million in chatbots by 2021.
Multichannel Attribution/Lead Scoring
The time has come... to know exactly where, when, and what led to that consumer converting to a customer. As B2B marketers or business owners especially, it is essential that we map out our typical consumer buying paths. Multichannel attribution allows for just that.
As quoted by Bizable, multichannel Attribution is a set of rules that assigns credit for sales and revenue to touchpoints across the customer journey. Multichannel attribution can take on many, many forms, but at its core, it is about creating a holistic picture of your user experience. In doing so, you can understand what touchpoints and marketing initiatives led to these desired actions.
Deciding what form of multichannel attribution makes the most sense for your business is an endeavor in and of itself, but when it comes to marketing, lead scoring often wins.
Lead scoring is using what you know about your audience and your website to assign values to actions, resulting in a score per lead. For example, a click to your website may be worth one point, whereas a form fill on a sales page is worth 15. With lead scoring, the goal is that different scores yield different communications. Those with lower scores may only receive newsletters, and those at the top may receive a gift from sales.
Social Media’s Still Got It
We know, you’re in the B2B space so you’re either hyper-focused with your social channels, or you may have abandoned social all together. 2020 will see big changes in social, like – gasp – no like count on Instagram! While change can be scary, the aggressive push towards highlighting engagement is great for business to business audiences.
Just like in 2019, 2020 will be big for influencers and influencer marketing, with a few notable differences. In the same way that only influencers with real connections have survived on Instagram, B2B marketers are yearning to make real connections and find real solutions to simplify their lives. From B2B podcasts, SaaS tool roundups, and literal paid advertising, reaching the B2B audience through social is officially on the table.
If you are going to implement one motif to carry you through the year, we recommend focusing on the one common thread through every tip: personalization. Whatever your mode of marketing, keeping your desired audience defined, your lists segmented, and your emails sharp will put you on the right path with your fellow B2Bers.