It has been predicted that B2B marketers shall have to deal with a lot of pressure while achieving growth as well as marketing ROI during this year. Although the global B2B sector shall offer many opportunities, it shall also subject marketers to substantial challenges and complexities. Keeping in mind the possibilities of such developments, ECpages takes the initiative to list out top ten online B2B marketing trends that can be observed in 2017. These would equip you with ideas for identifying the opportunities better and, at the same time, handle the challenges and market complexities with care. The ten fundamental online B2B marketing trends that have been identified as crucial for 2017 are explained below.
1. Customer Experience
One of the most important and impactful online B2B marketing trends during this year will be an enhanced focus on the improvement of customer experience marketers shall have to keep this in mind while focusing on growth and take necessary steps to design a balanced strategy in order to build customer loyalty. It will also be necessary to shift their focus from customer-centric techniques that take lifetime value of a customer into consideration, to customer-focused marketing methods that provide pertinent experiences to customers across every touch point. By concentrating on the factors that a customer values the most and achieving symmetry among these two approaches, marketers will be able to ensure higher revenues as well as significant customer loyalty.
2. Executive Branding
During the past ten years, it has been observed that, the indispensable trio of the Internet, social media and mobile technology has almost completely changed the paradigms of traditional marketing that focused more on commanding and controlling the customers. As more importance is being given to individuals, both as customers and voices of companies, it is not sufficient for companies to undertake only traditional branding methods and digital marketing. A study of the top online B2B marketing trends of 2017 has revealed that along with these, they have to also give importance to executive branding, whereby senior executives will be necessitated to position themselves in the market as stable brands as well. This, in turn, will build trust among customers.
3. Influence Marketing
Influence marketing is not a new concept for marketers. Noted marketing professionals are aware of the fact that everyone in the market has an influence on businesses, and owing to this they strive to discover the people who have been influencing their markets because these are the people who help in augmenting the position of a brand through their reputation. Effective influence marketing is among the most crucial online B2B marketing trends that will help in generating greater numbers of trusted leads in 2017. It can be achieved by focusing on different social channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter.
4. Visual Content Marketing
Marketers have been counting visual content marketing among the topmost online B2B marketing trends that will be prominent during 2017. Its importance is driven by the need to turn content even more engaging and compelling for target customers. The focus is also on effective sharing of content. Images, videos and infographics are predicted to be the most widely used visual content types during this year.
5. Native Advertising
Native advertising is also present among the most important online B2B marketing trends for this year. Although it looks more like an editorial content, native advertising is actually a paid content which aims at promoting the products and services of different advertisers. It is an alternative to conventional banners as well as interstitial advertising, and at the same time it is less intrusive. It also provides readers with educational benefits. Like visual content, native advertising content too is shareable and it is highly cost effective.
6. Agile Marketing
Agile marketing features among top ten online B2B marketing trends for 2017 because it helps marketers to work in a smarter way, and the contemporary market conditions demands smart instead of hard working. Agile marketing saves lots of valuable time as well. Although it is quite challenging to accommodate the agile marketing model within corporate cultures, its benefits are huge and they extend even beyond sales.
7. Experiential Marketing
This marketing perspective too is included in our list of top ten online B2B marketing trends that can be observed in 2017. Nowadays, it is important for marketers to provide an experience to the customers, both in person as well as in a virtual environment. It is necessary for marketers to update their knowledge about experiential marketing so that they can enhance customer engagement.
8. Mobile and Social Media Marketing
Owing to the advancements in the fields of mobile technology and social media, marketers have already been using these as essential marketing tools. During 2017, both of these will continue to be significant online B2B marketing trends because of their worldwide popularity and marketers can harness their potential for targeting and engaging a larger audience in the B2B markets.
9. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI), coupled with machine learning, will play a significant role as one of the topmost online B2B marketing trends this year, and companies shall continue to integrate them into their B2B marketing strategies. For doing this, marketers shall use cognitive interfaces, advanced analytics, and different technologies of machine learning. AI will be helpful in making the decision making process faster, and this will help marketing, product management and many other business functions to a great extent.
10. Alignment and Collaboration
Among the most vital online B2B marketing trends of 2017, perhaps the most crucial one is the need for alignment and collaboration of marketing initiatives with sales. Although most of the companies are either unwilling to do so, or unaware of the necessary measures that have to be adopted for doing so, it has been observed that marketing and sales together have a concerted effect on customer experience. In order to achieve high levels of customer delight, these two business functions have to meticulously aligned and collaborated so that the resulting outcome is positive.
As we continue to push through 2017, it shall be beneficial to take all these online B2B marketing trends into consideration while analyzing the markets. This will help us make the most of the opportunities and simultaneously assess the challenges in the best possible way.
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