In the last 100 years, B2B marketing trends have significantly evolved – starting from crudely printed pamphlets to online, interactive content. Till the mid-nineties, B2B marketing heavily relied on the skill and expertise of the salesmen. However, around 2005, as the world embraced the internet, B2B marketing predominantly became technology-centric.
Fifteen years later, when we are in 2020, B2B marketing has come a long way. Right now, every B2B marketer out there is aware of the top-notch content marketing techniques. The social media is flooding with content – much more than the buyers can process.
The B2B marketing techniques have become ubiquitous, and every firm is competing for the attention of the buyers, how will you stand out among the crowd? How will you beat the competition? Let’s explore.
B2B Marketing trends of 2020
In 2020, the B2B marketing trends tend towards an increased emphasis on personalized marketing, active customer engagements, and improving customer experience.
B2B Marketing Trend #1 – Targeted, human-centric marketing
Due to the marketing clutter in social media, lead generation through generic advertisements has become difficult. One of the top trends of B2B marketing in 2020 is human-centric marketing.
- Account-based marketing
Most of the successful B2B marketing firms have discovered the power of account- based marketing. Personalized campaigns for high valued prospects are the latest trend in marketing. Companies spend money and resources on certain segments of the buyers. This targeted marketing will increase the chance of buyers positively responding to the campaign.
- Improved customer experience
In 2020, B2B buyers have a lot of options. Hence, it’s crucial to improve the customer experience to battle the competition. Here are some top B2B marketing trends of 2020 that leading companies use.
1. Excellent, interactive websites – Get rid of the cheap, theme-based websites. The internet is cluttered with such websites. Instead, design a website that will reflect your style and engage your customers. Personalize experiences for returning visitors.
2. Use artificial intelligence – Chatbots are an essential part of most of the B2B marketing websites. However, the chatbots need to be designed and customized to give timely and useful information to the customers. Some users feel that the chatbots are way too impersonal. One of the challenges is to design your chatbots to resemble human interaction.
B2B Marketing Trend #2 Focus on online reviews
The days when a skilled salesman could persuade the B2B buyers are over. Now, customers do a lot of online research making purchase decisions. Reviews on the below platforms are crucial.
- Google reviews
- Social media reviews
- Reviews on ecommerce platforms like Amazon.
Before taking a purchase decision, the B2B buyers scan the digital footprint of the seller. Hence, one of the biggest marketing trends of 2020 is focusing on reliable and good online reviews and staying away from bad press.
B2B Marketing Trend #3 Active customer engagements
Static advertisements and eye-catchy slogans no longer excite customers. The customers might come across hundreds of such ads every day. Hence, one of the B2B marketing trends of 2020 is to engage the customer with interactive advertisements. It might be a video, animation, marketing podcast, a survey, or online forums. The B2B buyers are keen observers of such forums.
The use of augmented reality(AR) is another big trend. For example, the Simmons Bedding Company has released an AR mobile app for their customers to learn about their products interactively.
B2B Marketing Trend #4 Avoid clutter in marketing
There is no point in shooting in the dark, assuming the potential B2B buyers would see your marketing campaign. Instead, specializing in different online channels for marketing campaigns. Some of the companies use Facebook or Instagram. However, studies show that most of the B2B buyers are active on Linked In. Hence, most of the B2B marketing firms are channelizing their resources to Linked In. As we saw earlier, more personalized marketing methods like email-marketing, account-based marketing, and personalized websites can also help you reduce the clutter.
B2B Marketing Trend #5 Improve your Google ranking
As we saw, most of the B2B purchases start at the Google search results. With more and more B2B decision-makers are moving to online research, coming on top of the search result page is crucial. You may either do it by improving your SEO or through Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisements. Re-evaluate your resource allocation for PPC advertisements. One easy step to enhance the organic ranking is the re-optimization of already existing marketing content.
B2B Marketing Trend #6 Market the purchase process
Traditionally, B2B marketing concentrates more on the product. However, with the changing B2B buyer behavior in 2020, it’s essential to market the purchase process also. Marketing your super-shot sales cycle and excellent customer support is crucial. B2B buyers are becoming more stringent in their product evaluation. Hassle-free purchase and proactive customer support can turn a lead into a customer. One thing is clear; the year 2020 is going to be very challenging for B2B marketing. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the preference of most of the businesses is going to change. The sales might go down, or the B2B buyers will have a more stringent buying pattern. Hence, tuning to the top B2B marketing trends of 2020 will help you sail through this turbulent time!