While the marketing world has always been highly dynamic, B2B marketing especially is going through a period of intense change. With the rapid rise in new technologies, the adoption of new platforms and constantly changing political and social landscape, it can be hard to keep up.
A lot of these changes, such as the adoption of fully digital marketing strategies, were already fully underway, but were catapulted into reality by the pandemic. It’s still a changing field, so let’s take a look at what the future of B2B marketing holds.
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Perhaps the biggest opportunity to be seized in B2B marketing is data. We have more data at the end of our fingertips than ever before, all we need to do is use it. One important thing that data tells us is that as time goes by, B2B buyer demographics are changing, with almost half of B2B buyers now being millennials.
The millennial age group is used to slick, UX personalisation in the rest of their lives, and they’re now increasingly coming to expect the same in the business world. Staying up to date with an ever evolving buyer demographic is imperative to an ongoing, effective and personalised approach to B2B marketing.
Personalisation is an easy word to throw around, but truly acting on it is something different. It requires constant attention and adaptation, as you can’t just reduce individuals to a demographic and treat them homogeneously.
Like everyone, B2B buyers want to be treated as individual people, not as a potential financial asset. While this has been recognised by marketing teams for a long time, with the use of modern AI and machine learning, it’s now increasingly possible to achieve impressive levels of personalisation for all your prospects and clients.
A Coredna poll from 2021 found that a massive 94% of customers appreciate transparency so much that they’d stay loyal to companies that behaved in a transparent manner. In B2B marketing, the nature of the most effective long term relationships necessitates a high level of trust, a trust that isn’t possible without complete transparency.
An effective way of achieving transparency is via social media. Consider integrating real customer feedback in your content, sharing case studies which include the bad bits (and how you’re planning on acting on them) and providing insights into the heart of your company.
Everyone knows that no company is perfect, but B2B buyers admire when companies are actively honest about those faults and show how they’re working to actively improve their business.
AI and machine learning
One of the most important advances to impact B2B marketing in the coming years will be AI and machine learning. It will allow marketing teams to analyse data in a way that humans simply can’t, providing accuracy and speed that will allow marketers to stay ahead of the curve.
AI and machine learning will facilitate incredible levels of personalisation, be able to predict demand, and seek out the best target audiences for a given service or product.