Business-to-business marketing is not a new industry. However, over time, trends evolve as more is learned about how businesses interact with each other. It seems odd that just a generation or two ago most interaction was on a face-to-face basis, but now digital marketing has given new life to the industry. Here are a few key B2B digital marketing trends that will prove to be highly successful in 2017.
Introductory Email Marketing
In the past, companies that wanted a list of contacts would pay dearly for a leads list. Lead generation simply meant that companies could pay for a long list of potential leads. The company could then send out emails to those ‘leads’ with the hope of hearing back from them. However, the unfortunate aspect was that those leads weren’t prequalified. They were in the same or similar industries, but some had no interest in what your company had to offer. Now there are new platforms where you can type in an assortment of search terms so that your email list is narrowed. It’s an online search process that can offer some free searches and then packages with a pre-set number of searches being paid for. To see how this works, click here.
Back in the day this would probably have been called ‘Word of Mouth’ advertising. Companies that have dealt with you and can vouch for your products and services are cultivated so that they can ‘spread the word.’ There are a number of ways in which to utilise advocate marketing within the B2B industry and often some form of reward is offered for each viable lead. Just remember that the key takeaway here is that advocate marketing is successful because it is built on trust. Once a company trusts what others are saying, especially other companies they have dealt with, you get ranked highly and they are likely to give you a shot.
There was a time when sales reps would bring their wares to the buyers of large corporations and demonstrate their products in a conference room. Whilst there is still a great number of B2B sales people and marketers that go ‘door to door,’ it is trendier to set up a podcast or YouTube video demonstration to market a company, new or old. Video marketing is a low-pressure way to build relationships.
In 2017 we are becoming increasingly reliant on digital technology in everything from our social lives to healthcare to education to business relationships. Going forward, you will continue to see a growing emphasis on digital communications in terms of marketing to business peers. Partly this is because they are just as busy as you are with little time to spare and partly because it gives them the privacy to analyse what a new contact has to offer. With digital marketing other businesses can make a decision based on the merits of what you have to offer instead of feeling pressured to sign on the dotted line. The trend for 2017 is hi-tech digital marketing and it looks as though this will be the trend for many more years to come.