TOP 5 B2B Marketing trends for 2015
Like many of you, I’ve been reading all the marketing trends for B2B professionals this year and I summarized the list to provide you with the ones I think are the most relevant and which will without a doubt be a part of my 2015 B2B marketing plan.
1. Deep segmentation and buyer persona development
In B2B, the formula “one size fits all” simply does not apply. It’s time we all dig deeper into customizing and personalizing strategies for the maybe small, yet potentially profitable niches of our offerings. Getting some valuable marketing touch points with these individuals will undoubtedly help push them through the buying process and sales funnel.
2. Data cleanliness, accuracy and mining
People around my office constantly hear me say that without good, clean data, no marketer can actually be truly strategic. We need to hire CRM Managers,
data miners and experts to manage the data could prove to be a highly beneficial investment. These experts typically have the skills as well to build valuable Business Intelligence (BI) reports and track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If you work for a small organization with a limited budget, you might need to handle this yourself and create processes to help the sales teams keep the data clean!
3. Marketing automation
In 2014 (and prior to 2014), many of us B2B marketers have begun implementing or at least talking about marketing automation. It’s time for all of us to put our money where our mouths are (wink!)! It hasn’t been easy to integrate a full lead nurturing strategy into a single system and really take advantage of what automation systems offer (not to mention getting the sales teams on board!). According to the Annuitas Group, “businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.” We have no choice but to capitalize on these tools if we want to stay ahead of the competition!
4. Content marketing
I go back and forth on this one as I read more and more reports on “content is king” and “content is NOT king”. Whether it is king or not really doesn’t matter in my opinion. You simply can’t have a proper B2B strategic marketing plan without any content marketing in 2015. Content marketing supports all other marketing initiatives and sales goals cross-functionally by creating demand, nurturing leads, following up with customers, driving traffic and proving that your organization has trusted advisors to help your (current and potential) customers.
What I think will differ in 2015 is that B2B marketers will put more emphasis on quality rather than quantity and really focus on providing content that is unique and relevant. They won’t focus solely on grammar but rather prepare compelling content for extremely targeted segments (going back to point 1).
5. Internal communications
Some people might laugh at this or might sneer claiming that internal communications isn’t their job. Well, in 2015, it is. Your company’s employees are your first point of contact to the outside world and are empowered through social media. As B2B marketers, you are going to be responsible for making sure all content is shared throughout the company to support traffic and market awareness. Simple. This year, try to fit in some lunch and learn sessions for your teams, teach them how to use social media to benefit them and the company. I started this last year and it has greatly impacted my KPIs. I know it will impact yours as well.
BONUS: LinkedIn Sales Navigator
I don’t think that most B2B marketers will be spending their time focusing on social media in 2015 as many of us have a strategy planned out and are currently in “maintenance mode”. However, I do think many of you will be diving deep into LinkedIn and finding out there is a lot more available there than you though there was. After all these years in B2B marketing and technology marketing, I have only recently become acquainted with LinkedIn Sales Navigator tools. What a shame! I recently went through a presentation from LinkedIn and was completely blown away by the possibilities. LinkedIn Sales Navigator puts a certain percentage of demand generation right into the hands of the sales team. (So you can tell them to quit whining about the lack of leads! They can make a difference, too!). I recommend you all take the time to look into this tool.
I hope that you all have a wonderful start to the year and that you have found this information useful as you prepare your 2014 marketing plans!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
B2B Marketing | Communications | Content Marketing | Digital Strategy | Demand Generation