A major transformation is underway in B2B marketing – and not just digital transformation.
The buyer’s journey isn’t linear, and buyers demand a personalized AI-driven experience.
Today’s buyers are young. Millennials make up 59% of all B2B buyers with 30% functioning as the lead buyers at their companies.
You’ll see digital marketing trends reflect changing expectations over the next year or so.
Personalization, interactive buyer journeys, and a focus on quality data are just a few of the routes B2B brands will take to adapt.
Use These Digital Marketing Trends to Stay Ahead of the Competition
B2B buyers are consumers for the 16 hours they spend outside work each day. They interact with AI-driven websites and receive personalized experiences everywhere they go: Amazon, Spotify, Netflix, Etsy, etc.
It’s no surprise that 70% of business buyers say they expect an Amazon-like buying experience from your B2B company. Use these digital marketing trends to keep up and exceed expectations.
Interactive Content and AI-Driven Personalization
73% of B2B buyers say they have less time to research content. However, they still consume several pieces of content before connecting with a sales team.
Despite this, most buyers say companies give them too much information to read – and most of that content is useless.
Interactive content takes the burden of finding necessary information from buyers.
Using behavioral data and intent data, you can create a personalized content experience with AI. 84% of B2B marketers say they used AI in 2020 – up from just 29% in 2018.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning study the behavior of every visitor and make personalized content suggestions.
An AI-driven interactive experience is ideal for ABM strategies because it can detect when someone from a target account visits your website. AI can also pinpoint a buyer’s stage in the journey and recommend relevant content to gently guide them toward a purchase.
You don’t have to wait for a lead to contact your sales team because your website can nurture them before they ever make contact.
Plus, many buyers say they’re willing to spend up to 20 minutes binging interactive content.
Expect AI-driven interactive and personalized experiences as the norm in 2021.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
The buyer’s journey isn’t what it was 10 years ago. Buyers only spend about 17% of their time meeting with suppliers. That 17% includes all prospective suppliers. Your brand may only get 5% of a lead’s time.
Plus, the buyer’s journey isn’t linear. It looks more like a complex spider web. A company might go through CEO turnovers, budget changes, and dozens of touchpoints before they reach the end of the journey.
While the buyer’s journey has changed drastically, B2B marketing and sales approaches haven’t.
Many companies still face massive hurdles to get sales and marketing on the same page. Sales and marketing alignment is vital when leads only spend about 5% of their journey communicating with sales.
Poor data integrity is a massive problem plaguing B2B databases.
Gartner believes 80% of marketers will abandon their personalization strategies by 2025 due to low ROI, data problems, or both.
It makes sense. You need accurate and updated data to personalize effectively.
Without quality data, you’ll never be able to create the most relevant content or nurture leads at the right time.
Expect to see data maintenance and cleansing explode as a digital marketing trend. Companies will seek new routes to break data silos.
Breaking down data silos for first-party intel will grow even more important as Google phases out third-party cookies.
Focus on Lead Quality
Despite the rise of account-based marketing, many businesses still focus their efforts on accumulating as many leads as possible. Instead, they should focus on earning fewer yet higher-quality leads.
The buyer’s journey isn’t the same. Lead generation tactics should change, too.
Buyers make it clear that companies give them way too much material – and 57% say that material is useless.
Instead, we’ll see B2B’s shift away from generic content in favor of niche topics. It’s the only natural progression as companies clean up their data and leverage it to create marketing material.
Optimized Buyer Journeys
Today, we still see companies attempting to control the buyer’s journey: shoving leads into segmented boxes. Moving forward, however, we’ll see more companies adapt to the journey’s fluidity instead.
Marketers will invest in tools to create an omnichannel presence and interact with leads wherever they’re at.
Leads won’t receive generic nurturing emails or social advertisements. Instead, marketers will hyper-personalize the experience.
Top companies will invest more into post-purchase service as well. Successful brands will understand the importance of loyalty, advocacy, and lifetime value over future lead generation.
Jump into the Latest Digital Marketing Trends
Today’s digital marketing trends are all about your digital experience. Use technology and data to make it easy for prospects and leads to find the information they need quickly.
If you don’t prioritize a personalized experience to accommodate this, leads will simply hit the back button and look for the information they need somewhere else.
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