Like all sectors B2B marketing is constantly evolving and changing and 2020 looks to offer many exciting trends for B2B marketers. With new technology comes new opportunities to deliver more powerful B2B marketing that not only nurtures prospects and clients through more meaningful engagement, but that ultimately encourages sales and keeps you ahead of the competition. So, let’s take a look at our predictions for the biggest B2B marketing trends for 2020:
Driven by their everyday experiences as consumers, business customers will continue to have increasing demands for how they expect a business to work with them. Today’s customers are sophisticated and 2020 will see them continue to demand an increasingly personalised and seamless user experience. Business buyers increasingly expect their interactions with the businesses they do business with to be effortless and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will continue to help businesses deal with this threat. AI is driving the increasingly personalised user experience that is demanded and there’s potential for it to develop further this year. The ubiquitous chatbots have been used to automate answering basic customer requests, allowing them to solve simple queries for themselves without having to speak to the business. The technology will continue to develop this year driven by the need for businesses to make doing business with them better, faster and more intuitive.
The rise of speech
Powered again by AI and the rise of tools such as Siri and Alexa there will be a growing need in 2020 for websites to utilise voice search SEO. More and more people are turning to voice searches as a simple and convenient way of answering their questions and the launch of Google’s Speakable schema markup was the first sign that voice searches are making a real impact on the SEO world. Voice search SEO allows you to select sections of your content to be eligible to be a response to a voice search. Google then uses its algorithms to choose how useful the eligible content is for a voice search. 2020 will see the importance of speakable devices being able to find your site a growing priority.
As technology gets smarter 2020 will see a rise in the demand for any marketing material to be fully personalised. Personalisation ensures that the content of any marketing material is tailored to an individual user, customised for their unique activity and interactions with your organisation. Personalisation until now has focused on the products and services that customers have been directed towards, however the general marketing material provided by many businesses has remained largely generic, without personalisation. Recent significant transformations in this field has now given us the ability to automate data analysis of consumer data using AI and machine learning. This allows us to find out more about each potential customer, making the resultant marketing experience more detailed, more personal and more effective. 2020 will continue to provide innovative new ways to tailor marketing material more closely to a customer’s individual needs, tastes and preferences.
Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Marketing can still be about casting a wide net in the hope of pulling in as many leads as possible. And why not? Surely if you cast a wide enough net you will attract enough fish into the net and with any luck, you would get a few good ones. Trying to attract anyone and everyone may no longer be the norm in marketing strategy there is still a view that, for example, the more traffic you can send to your site, the better. Account Based Marketing (ABM) is an alternative philosophy that we predict will become more prolific in 2020. It’s not enough to just attract people to your website no matter the volume; in today’s world you need to use highly targeted and personalised marketing campaigns to win over particular customers. To understand Account Based Marketing (ABM) think of getting rid of a net and replacing it with a spear.
Rather than blanket marketing campaigns that are meant to appeal to an entire target audience, ABM treats individual accounts as markets in their own right, focusing on accounts, not markets or industries. But it gets even better, as there are often numerous decision makers involved in a buying decision, ABM acknowledges all of the different people, and their different viewpoints, that are likely to make the buying decision. It means that instead of waiting for a thousand fish to swim into your net, with the hope that you will catch at least one good fish, with ABM you decide at the beginning on the one fish you want to target and you then focus your efforts on hauling that one fish in. It is moving into zero waste marketing where you identify the biggest opportunities at the beginning and then proactively go after them by engaging them with personalised content that allows you to have meaningful conversations with those decision-makers.
By creating content and experiences for individual people from particular target businesses you place a strong emphasis on building relationships. Any content designed is there to help, support and empower them and address any problems and needs they might have and through this you get to build trust and credibility for your business.
ABM marketing can target both prospects and customers, new and old but what is key is that you research accounts and design campaigns specifically for them that are personalised for their individual buyer’s journey. The trends this year are led by the growing demands and expectations of businesses to see B2B marketing have the same timely, personalised and authentic communication as B2C marketing: we must never forget in 2020 that B2B marketing is about people more than anything else.