5 B2B Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2019
By Callie Sierra
As we embark on a new year, it’s time to take a look at some of the key B2B marketing trends that will define 2019. Some of the trends that will shape the year ahead are already underway, while some may not emerge towards later in the year. However, a common theme seems to unite them: the customer experience. In the year ahead, we’ll see B2B companies shift their mindsets from executing marketing efforts to taking strategic steps to deliver better, more relevant and personal experiences to their customers.
Let’s dive in…
B2B Marketing Trends for 2019
1) Enhanced Personalisation
The idea of personalisation is nothing new, however, this year, things will get even more personal. Technology has made it easier than ever to capture valuable intel and data on your audience, and it’s time to put it to use. We now live in an age where almost every consumer marketing message we see is personalised and engaging, and B2B marketing should be no exception to the rule.
From deeper customer relationships to improved conversion rates, personalisation offers a wide range of benefits to B2B businesses. A recent study by Evergage reports that 88 percent of marketers realised a measurable lift in business as a result of personalisation programmes. From email campaigns and landing pages to content recommendations and even services, personalisation has the power to make a real and lasting connection with your audience.
2) Maturation of Content Marketing
Content marketing has been a crucial element of B2B marketing for more than a decade, and most companies have a content marketing programme in place. However, recent research from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs reveals that only 42% of B2B marketers consider their firm’s content marketing as mature or sophisticated.
In 2019, B2B businesses will refine their content marketing approach to focus on quality, rather than quantity. We’ll also see a strategic shift towards more closely aligning content marketing efforts with the buyer journey to deliver personalised, relevant content that will make a difference to the bottom line.
3) Emphasis on the Customer Experience
For B2B businesses, having a customer-centric approach is key. Today’s B2B buyers have more choice than ever before, which means that businesses need to prove their worth. And one of the most impactful ways to do that is by providing an unrivaled customer experience. A recent survey from PWC suggests that today’s consumers are even willing to pay up to 16 percent more for a better customer experience.
However, creating a great customer experience requires breaking down internal silos to enhance the customer’s end-to-end journey. From sales and marketing to product and support, today’s B2B buyers need to feel valued throughout their entire customer journey. In the year ahead, we expect to see more B2B companies start to consider customer experience in every facet of the business and adopt a more comprehensive view of customer experience.
4) Account-Based Marketing Approach
Account-based marketing (ABM) has been a popular topic in B2B marketing for the past several years. However, as competition in the digital marketing space heats up, forward-thinking B2B companies will shift their focus – and budgets – to ABM.
It’s become increasingly difficult, and expensive, for firms to reach the right customers on digital marketing platforms. For the past several years, “digital” has been a hot topic for UK marketers, with digital ad spend accounting for more than 60% of total media spend in 2018. Yet, for small and medium-sized firms, digital marketing spend oftentimes becomes a major cost centre, rather a revenue generator.
Moving into 2019, small and mid-size B2B companies will realise the best way to compete is by implementing an account-centric model across marketing, sales and client success. Recurring business represents a significant portion of revenue stream for B2B companies, so look for ABM to make a resurgence in 2019.
5) Focus on Relationships
Marketing automation and technology have undoubtedly helped businesses become more efficient, make better decisions and scale more effectively. However, oftentimes, these technological advances can come at the expense of developing close-knit relationships with clients.
Though technology might prove effective in covering administrative tasks, it’s important to remember that the relationship a client has with the company is a key component to creating a stellar customer experience. While many companies have focused on “doing” in the past years, we’ll see a shift in 2019 towards “building.” There will be greater emphasis on teams to visit their clients in person, get to know their clients better, and spend more time investing in the long-term relationship.
These are just five trends to consider as you plan out your marketing efforts for 2019 and beyond. Remember, every business is different, so it’s important to figure out what works best for you and your customers. However, with these five strategies, you’ll be off to a great start in the new year.
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