Too often, B2B tech companies focus on marketing their product, to the detriment of their marketing their brand.
And yet, that’s one of the most important aspects of B2B tech marketing. Customers want to know not only that your product is going to provide the solution they need, but that your brand is going to be around for the long haul. They want to know that your people will be there to support them, whether they’re making one purchase, or many.
So how do you ensure your marketing will actually land with your prospects? Here’s are the B2B marketing trends you need to know in 2020.
B2B prospects are not all looking for the same thing. A message that hits the mark with one prospect may send another prospect to the competition. And a message that’s crafted to appeal to everyone may not truly resonate with anyone. Basically, not all buyers are the same, and your marketing shouldn’t treat them as if they are.
According to Salesforce, 72% of business buyers expect vendors to personalize engagement to their needs. What does that mean? It means that if a client doesn’t feel like their specific preferences and unique identities are being addressed in communications, you can bet that they’ll look elsewhere for someone who understands their needs.
Think of it like online dating. Your prospects aren’t looking for a quick swipe left or right. They want someone willing to fill out all those profile questions. They want that 98% soulmate match.
Few things have a more immediate effect on the success of a client relationship than customer service reps. A good experience can cement a client’s love for you, but a bad one can just as easily turn them away into the waiting arms of the competition.
Good customer service reps are like gold, but many of the issues they deal with are not complex, and they can only deal with one customer at a time. Every softball issue that your customer service reps have to swing at takes them away from the screaming curveballs that most require their expertise.
Using AI, chatbots can easily handle routine inquiries, resolve common problems, answer a wide range of questions about your business, and only refer users to a live rep when the issue warrants a personal response.
Think of them as the gatekeepers of the customer service process. The bouncers at your help desk night club. The secret service agents of… Well, you get the idea.
Video marketing content was already a rising trend leading into 2020. HubSpot research pegged it as the top marketing format for US advertisers, with 78% of buyers watching online videos on a weekly basis, and 55% viewing them daily. It’s also among the most preferred formats for influencer marketing (more on that later), but with the advent of COVID-19 and the constraints of social distancing, video has taken on even more importance.
The thing is, there’s not much that can compare to an in-person service experience, and in this time of quarantines, video is the next best thing. With video you can promote upcoming launches, provide in depth demos, create tutorials, and do it all with a more personal flair. Live streams can make for an even more engaging experience, as customers can take part in real-time Q&A sessions and participate in events as they happen.
In a world where information sources are plentiful to the point of being overwhelming and brand messaging is often taken with a large grain of salt, the use of influencers to provide added weight to your message is becoming increasingly important.
Marketing Charts lists influencer marketing as number four on their list of top marketing trends for 2019. A Demand Gen report points out that 95% of B2B buyers say they prefer credible content from industry influencers. Whether it’s famous names, industry experts, superuser customers, or internal subject matter experts, people these days prefer their information from someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Who are you going to listen to if you’re looking for the best bubble gum? Some stranger in a gum commercial, or your best friend (whom you’ve never seen without a bubble coming out of his mouth)?
The answer is obvious.
Surely email marketing has run its course by now, right? It’s 2020, for crying out loud!
The fact is that email marketing is still chugging along like a well-oiled little steam engine that thinks it can. In fact, Demand Metric and Validity’s the State of Email Marketing 2019 shows that 43% of organizations list email marketing effectiveness as “holding steady” for 2019, while 37% show an actual increase in effectiveness. They also found that firms reporting increasing email marketing effectiveness were also more likely to report annual revenue growth.
And since the pandemic struck, email marketing has been occupying an even more important spot in the B2B marketing world.
The key here is optimizing the effectiveness of email marketing with personalized content, segmented email lists, and continuous A/B testing to get the right message through to the right recipient at the right time.
Yes, it’s a challenge to stand out among the messages that crowd our inboxes, but done right, it can still be a very effective part of your marketing toolbox.
Marketing your B2B tech brand in 2020 looks a little different than we’re used to—although, to be honest, so does everything. By embracing personalization, branching into influencer marketing, and using the right tools to connect with your audience, you’ll be able to convert those prospects into loyal customers.