Three major B2B marketing trends

Christmas trees are no longer lighting up our houses nor the streets. Time to throw some light on the marketing trends for 2017. On which branches should you, as a company, be focusing? What do your clients have on their wish lists? And how can you bag a prospect? We present three interesting ideas.

Customer experience and centricity

We are living in the era of the customer. In 2017, the customer experience (CX) will be the decisive factor in brand choice rather than price or the product itself. Customers want targeted communication that caters to their personal wishes and requirements. That influences the way you, the company, market, sell and deliver services and products. The focus is often on the supply, while the client should actually be the central point of all communication. This is known as customer centricity. What is the added value of your services and products for them? Why promote that, in particular? And where, when and through which channels would they prefer to receive that information? This also applies to the B2B market, where the emphasis is increasingly on account-based marketing: specific campaigns for each account. In 2017, personas and customer journeys should form the basis of your marketing plan.

Content, content, content!

Consumers are thirsty for quantitative content – such as user-generated content (UGC) in which an authentic, plausible and convincing story is told. People are more likely to buy a product after reading a good blog about it and would rather hear something about your company from a customer than from an advertisement. Almost as important as the content itself are the underlying data: what works and what doesn’t and how do you gear your message to that? Base your marketing on these data analyses and work systematically on generating more leads and quality. This trend is also advancing in a B2B environment. Video and visual storytelling – from short corporate films, testimonials and video blogs to mini documentaries, virtual reality and live streaming – replace dull company presentations and constitute an important parameter in the ranking of your website. Short video messages are also increasingly being shared on channels such as LinkedIn.

Silos are disappearing from the scene

This trend is developing slowly but surely: The disappearance of the island within a company in which everyone does his own thing. With growing digitalisation, departments are obliged to work together and share data and platforms. Getting Sales, Marketing, IT, HR, Client Services and other departments to really work together, though, demands strong vision and a concrete plan from top management – which is where the stumbling block often lies. Concrete tips? Let marketing staff attend sales meetings with customers, put Sales and Marketing in the same office space and make sure that they share customer details and insight. The more kindred spirits, the better the results. Focus everything on the customer and the circle is complete.

Just three trends? Yes. Because the problem with trends is that everyone sets and shares them but few do anything with them. So let your New Year’s resolution for 2017 be: start with those three ideas. And, once you are ready, read on:

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