Waves of Change: Plotting the Future for B2B Marketers
Yesterday, at MarketMakers HQ, we had the pleasure of welcoming Joel Harrison, Editor-In-Chief at B2B Marketing, to discuss all things B2B.
B2B Marketing launched 12 years ago, in an era where B2B wasn’t as predominant as it is today. B2B marketing is now seen as an interesting, but challenging topic. Marketing is under-going a continuous, digital revolution where the buyer is in control of the dialogue thanks to content marketing and Google.
Most marketers are struggling to evolve fast enough to stay in touch with the modern consumer. So to stay ahead of the game, marketers need to make the following changes in 2017.
- From reporting, to predicting.
Marketing automation provides a framework to help you stay organised and push you away from bad habits. Predictive automation allows marketing to have a front foot prospective, driving the organisation forward.
- From detailed planning to agile marketing.
It is important to continue to the same destination in your planning, but give your route some diversity. Having a more flexible approach allows new and exciting stops on the journey.
- From generation X to generation mobile.
Behaviours and influences are changing, allowing for a new digital age. The impact of mobile and social media has broadened the way we look at things. A fluid interaction is expected within society, where remote activity is the norm. ‘Work is a state of mind not a location’ meaning we are now able to work from our phones wherever we are.
- From message centric to customer centric.
The customer must always be in the forefront of the marketing mind. This shift in organisations has had a positive impact upon witnessed results. Customer centricity and the change into alumnus. Staying in contact with customers when they have moved jobs can be the key to keeping their custom. Decisions are made easier when someone has purchased from that channel before, cultivating those vital links. Social media and especially LinkedIn are important to pursue this. Individuals are more receptive to you when not in a role as they have more time to make an educated decision.
- From ration to emotional.
Emotion plays a large role in influencing decision makers- we can tap into this emotionby establishing and understanding the message behind the brand. Studies have shown that the Decision Maker often listens to the messenger and their language rather than the brand message itself.
Today’s social media era defines the environment we live in as it amplifies our message to be positive and exciting. “If you can’t make them feel it, don’t do it”- B2B consumers want to feel a connection with your brand and Social Media provides the platforms in which you can make this happen!
Is it time to focus on ABM?
Account Based Marketing provides a real focus on individuals by cross selling and upselling. It becomes a personalised marketing tool, used to attract attention. However, it does come with its challenges- as it has become so popular most marketers see it as an essential part of their success.
With the explosion of technology, you must find channels that are right for you. There is no point doing something if you don’t feel you are going to gain value from it. It can often be better to not implement something if you cannot devote the desired time to understand and initiate it. The standard and expectation of brand material has risen with technology, forcing marketers to move forward with it.
What makes a good campaign?
- Be Personal
- Be Passionate
- Use Technology As A Disruption
- Create An Online Moment
- Make It Remarkable
But what does this all really mean to B2B marketers?
- Marketing is the future, sales in the past. Marketing sets up better opportunities and is stable for the continued production journey.
- Experiment is the key. AR and VR is an example of new technologies that are being trialled to see their impact upon the marketing world. Utilising these will help to move the brand forward in a positive direction. Try new things but keep it balanced with what you know works.
- Time to invest in storytelling, engage with the brand. The more visual you can make your content, the better it will come across to audiences. The message is more important than the channel it is published on. The best stories are those about your customers engaging in your content.
- Really understand your customer. What keeps your customer interested and their feelings contributes to personalised campaigns.
- Build marketing teams with the right stuff. Use the trending tools to explore what works in the market place.
- Look for opportunities. Even in today’s stressful world, understand what it means for your brand and clients.
- Be passionate. Always express a desire to want more and be passionate about your work. Doing something you love brings out your best work.