The world of B2B marketing never sleeps. How will your marketing job be different this time next year? It’s time for some marketing futurology.
In B2B marketing, nothing stays the same for very long. Look at this year, 2018. We’ve had GDPR, algorithmic changes at Facebook and the rise and rise of AI. What will next year hold? Let’s look into the Cognism crystal ball and make some predictions. Here are four B2B marketing trends for 2019.
1 – Content marketing must smarten up
Content marketing has been a buzzword for some years now. For all its popularity, however, content marketing doesn’t always produce success. Content marketing, like all other B2B marketing practices, only works when it’s done well. If your content marketing operation is failing, it’s probably because you’re not doing it well enough.
It’s not enough to throw up some blogs and hope for the best. You need content that engages your audience, that employs techniques to persuade and sell. You need content that works to a pre-ordained goal. Then, you need to measure its effectiveness and make improvements.
So many organisations are not doing this (SOURCE):
- Only 37% of B2B content marketers have a documented content marketing strategy
- 36% of B2B marketers measure the ROI of their content marketing efforts
- 30% cannot demonstrate with metrics that content marketing has increased their audience engagement or quantity of leads
This cannot carry on indefinitely. Eventually, organisations are going to want to see some bang for their buck.
Make sure in 2019 that you are employing a robust content marketing strategy, with narrow, data-driven targeting and effective analytics. Experiment with direct marketing techniques and personalisation in your copy. Use automation software to make sure every interaction with your audience is trackable. Show the value of content marketing to your overall marketing mix.
2 – ABM will keep growing
Account-based marketing (ABM) has been on the rise since coming to prominence around 2014. In 2016, 33% of organisations allotted 30% or more of their marketing budget to ABM. In 2017, that percentage rose to 52% of organisations (SOURCE). In 2018, ABM is at critical mass and there is no reason for it not to keep growing. Why? Because it works.
- 87% of B2B marketers believe ABM delivers a higher ROI than other marketing activities (SOURCE).
- Stakeholders who receive content that they perceive to be tailored to their individual needs are 40% more likely to buy from that supplier, compared to stakeholders who do not (SOURCE)
- 91% of B2B marketers say that ABM delivers a larger deal size (SOURCE).
If you haven’t worked on ABM campaigns before, you’re likely to start in 2019. If you already work on ABM, you’re likely to be doing more of it.
The key to effective account-based marketing is personalised content that appeals to every stakeholder’s specific goals. To identify those individual stakeholders, work out their goals and motivators and craft that content, you need high-quality data. Make sure your data gives you foot in your target organisation’s door.
3 – GDPR will root out bad actors in B2B
You’re probably still recovering from the implementation of GDPR back in May. But now that flurry of activity has passed, has anything really changed? If you were doing B2B correctly in the first place, you may not have noticed much difference.
In 2019, carry on doing what you’re doing and you will have nothing to worry about. Honest, well-targeted marketing does not fall foul of GDPR. It’s marketing that works. Then, if GDPR is as effective is it’s claimed to be, it will root out the spammers. Win-win.
Here are a few tips to make sure you stay GDPR-proof in 2019:
- Make sure your targeting is relevant. Only contact prospects who have a reason to be interested in your product.
- Be clear on why you’re contacting them.
- Make it easy to unsubscribe. When someone has unsubscribed, don’t contact them again.
- Keep your database clean and up-to-date.
- Have a strategy to deal with complaints. Show you’re taking all necessary precautions to safeguard your data.
4 – Video will revolutionise B2B as it has for B2C
Video marketing has mostly been considered a B2C channel. The reason for this that the average view time for a video on Facebook is 18 seconds (SOURCE). That’s not long to get a complex message across.
However, things are changing. In a B2B world where the hardest part is actually getting a response from a prospect, marketers are finding that video is effective (SOURCE).
- Adding video to email can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
- 65% of executives visit a vendor’s website after viewing a video.
- Video has been shown to triple rates of response.
When you add the power of personalisation to video, results improve even further (SOURCE).
- 75% of late-stage prospects decided to buy after seeing a personalised video message.
While you need a little more than 18 seconds (56% of B2B videos are less than 2 minutes long), video allows marketers to make a personal connection quickly and cost-effectively.
Whatever 2019 holds for the world of B2B marketing, you can be sure that Cognism will be there to steer you through it. Whether it’s top-quality 4D data, email automation or everything you need for ABM, you can rely on Cognism.
If you’re looking to bring a data-driven approach your marketing in 2019, it’s time to talk to Cognism. Visit us here or call us on +44 203 858 0822.