From the core of business studies and the corporate world, every business stands on some fundamentals. Product, Sales, HR, Admin, Operations, Finance, and Marketing are the pillars without which it is difficult for a business to thrive. Like every component, marketing has its significance. Regardless of the value, your offering holds for a customer, if it is not marketed, you will struggle to make sales. Sales are one of the critical success factors of a company, and marketing is the driving force for sales. Therefore, every business gives closer attention to marketing strategies specifically.
The 21st century has changed the course of the world significantly in its unique way. Today, businesses are operating quite differently from the previous times, as the environment has evolved, and customers are more educated and aware. Almost every domain of human life has changed due to digitalization. The Digital revolution has changed the world just as the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s. Due to technology, the doors of possibilities and opportunities are endless. Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, and the rise of E-Commerce have provided a great ability to both customers and businesses.
Similarly, when it comes to marketing in modern times, B2C has evolved more than B2B. Since retail customers have developed, B2C platforms transformed in line with them, whereas B2B consumers expected the same, hence the platforms remained the same. However, modern developments have pushed B2B marketers now to improve as B2B customers also demand advancements. Replicating B2C methodologies cannot work out in B2B as their demands and traits are different. B2B customers require more control over delivery, they want to buy on terms, and they have to deal with multiple stakeholders in their organization.
Thus, in the world of internet and relevant technological advancements, B2B marketing has evolved too. Let’s look at how marketing activities for B2B are progressing:
Video Focused Content Marketing:
According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report White Paper, the video will comprise 82% of internet traffic by 2022. Social Media has helped video methodology to strengthen its place as the most effective format. It provides better engagement, better content delivery, and overall better results. And it can also be utilized in multiple forms like the video to text transcripted blog or eBook, short snippets, etc. Therefore, live seminars, webinars, educational videos, etc. are regularly used by B2B marketers to promote their products and build an online relationship with their potential customers.
According to many surveys, marketing strategies that involve more video content generate more leads than those who don’t. Similarly, according to a study by Tubular Insights, 41% of the marketers state that they will increase their video marketing budget specifically in the coming years. These stats also reflect the benefits of videos as marketing content because they build brand awareness, enhance brand visibility, and develop authority with the target audience. Similarly, buyers also prefer to consume information about businesses through videos more than text or video format.
AI-Enabled Marketing Automation and Advertising:
Almost every technological driven entity has benefited from the wonders of Artificial Intelligence. It has enabled humans to achieve the results that are humanly not possible. In terms of marketing, B2C has already adopted AI in targeting relevant audiences for their marketing campaigns and right touchpoints. However, the B2B industry is looking to utilize it in 2020-2021, possibly. According to Salesforce Research, AI tops the lists of emerging technologies adopted by B2B marketers in 2020. AI can empower marketers to automate the process with programmatic advertising, which means that only campaigns will be highly targeted, relevant, and have improved potential to generate leads.
Programmatic advertising will reduce errors during bidding and overall advertisement costs. It will help identify prospective customers, identify macro trends and opportunities, and provide a more detailed analysis of campaigns.
High on Personalization:
People, in general, don’t want generic things and expect personalization. Modern-day customers have already experienced customization in many day-to-day services; therefore, modern B2B customers also expect the same. Around 83% of B2B buyers believe that treating them as real people rather than a customer ID or user number is essential to win their business. Therefore, B2B marketers need to put more effort in providing personalized services.
Personalization also benefits in shortening the sales cycle, which can last for months or years otherwise. Similarly, it can also provide better results when equipped with AI, as relevant and personalized marketing campaigns will be designed accordingly. Email marketing is an active and readily available marketing channel for B2B marketers. Personalization on email is comparatively easy, and it provides better results in the form of conversion rates, ROI, and revenue overall.
Chatbots can provide aid in Lead Generation:
Chatbots provide automation and utility in responding to routine or apparent queries. B2B marketers experiment with Chatbots, and some have seen success in the generation or conversion of leads. A lot of companies have started using chatbots on their websites too. By including chatbots, you can make sure that you don’t miss out on any query in non-office hours. They can also help to interact with website users and try to convert them into leads by scheduling calls and engaging them. Chatbots’ effectiveness is highly dependent on its programming and response training as detailed required answers can convince the customer then and there to purchase or book.
Chatbots can help website users make a reservation, buy an essential item, add them on mailing lists, pay the bills, get a quick answer in an emergency, etc.
In the new era, AI is the real driving force for the marketing domain for B2B companies. It will help marketers include personalization and chatbots systems in the customer journey and deal with leads management. However, despite the inclusion of such technologies, contextualization is the name of the game. No technology knows your potential audience more than you. It is essential to consider these tools as accelerators, not the drivers. The initial ideas can originate from the knowledge and years of experience gained by the marketing professionals. Lastly, the professionals need to be open and driven by a growth mindset to learn the emerging trends of the game and maneuver their objectives accordingly.