Humans love answers. If certainty is heaven for most people, then randomness is hell. However, as complexity increases, so do uncertainty and randomness. One of the best ways to deal with complexity is with humility. In our complex world, we’re bound to be more wrong than right.Continue reading...
Spring is arriving, and 2019 is in full gear. It’s time to focus how you will address this year’s B2B marketing trends as part of your own strategy. While some trends may be a holdover from the previous year or are taking on a bigger role, there are also new B2B marketing trends that need your attention in order to attract and maintain your customer base.
Here’s what I’ve observed based on my own interaction with our B2B customers in the last six months and through my ongoing research on the overall marketing environment:B2B Marketing Trends That Continue
It’s important to know the trends that continue to impact B2B marketing despite being part of the environment for so long:
- SEM/SEO: Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization will always be a critical B2B marketing trend because businesses conduct ongoing research to understand their own environment as well as look for other companies to help them achieve strategic objectives. Although you may have focused your effort on title tags and headers -- and these will continue to be important -- you will also need to look at other tactics to build search traffic on other channels and through additional content strategies. This is because search algorithms will change yet again this year so you will need to stay up-to-date on how those changes impact your SEM/SEO tactics.
- Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC): This is a traditional marketing concept that has been around for decades, but it is gaining new ground in 2019 and beyond as companies realize that they can apply the benefits of IMC to the digital environment as they reach out to companies across channels. The overall purpose of IMC is to help create a unified and consistent brand image and message no matter where you engage with your audience.
Here’s what’s been around in the world of B2B marketing but will grow further as a key area for results:
- Content Marketing: Business customers seek information for decisions just as much as consumers and sometimes more, especially if they are looking to invest in equipment or a software platform. Or, they might be desperate to address a key business challenge that is impacting their profitability. That’s when you can offer them niche-specific content that addresses those needs rather than focusing on selling to your prospects. And, as always, remember that your content marketing needs to be as relevant and useful as possible
- Retargeting: The ability to locate where your visitors go in terms of other sites will become more critical as you fight to keep your audience prospects engaged with what you have to offer. More effort will be put into understanding their behavior as they move to other sites so you can create advertisements that speak directly to their interests and browsing history.
- Social Media and Video Marketing: Certain social media channels are growing within the B2B arena, particularly Instagram where businesses are seeking out other businesses on this channel to see their brand in action, including videos and visual content. Although LinkedIn continues to lead the way in terms of B2B social media interaction, other channels like YouTube are starting to gain more traction in the B2B environment for the ability to share information they want in a much more digestible and engaging way. This is leading channels like LinkedIn to consider how it can offer similar features.
- Data-Driven Marketing: Data will become increasingly important in the B2B world like it has done with consumers because companies will also want personalized experiences with brands. And, with the ongoing use of social media and content marketing, more metrics will need to be analyzed in order to core to understand what resonates with these businesses, when they are engaging with the content, and what the competition is doing to win your customers.
- Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Although already in use, ABM will continue to grow because of the number of stakeholders and the complexity of transactions and investments in the business environment. Rather than taking an inbound approach to lead generation, ABM provides a way to hone in on specific types of clients and build out those relationships through value-added delivery and achieve return business over time.
Although you may have heard about these trends, this is the year that they are set to become part of the B2B environment even if they’ve been part of the B2C marketing landscape for the past few years:
- AI and Machine Learning: Now that companies see how this technology can work with a consumer audience, there is growing acceptance that these tools could help with B2B marketing in a similar way. For example, more analytics is incorporating artificial intelligence to understand the audience and results from B2B marketing efforts. Also, more B2B bot applications are appearing, such as chatbots for websites and social media channels as well as meta bots for customer interaction and analysis to address the aforementioned trend toward data-driven marketing.
- Internet of Things (IoT): Now that businesses are starting to adopt more IoT devices and see the benefits of such connectivity for their own operations, they are more amenable to receiving marketing messages via such devices. This means more content marketing and engagement through devices like virtual assistants, including ads, promotions, relevant information, and access to further content that helps them deploy and use IoT devices in their businesses.
- Data Protection: Businesses are showing an increasing focus on their desire to have their personal information protected, which means brands will have to find more ways to protect the data they are gathering on their clients. This means paying more attention to technology that secures this sensitive data and to how privacy policies are written and shared with clients.
While it doesn’t feel as volatile as the consumer landscape, the B2B marketing environment continues to change as companies experience more demands on their own operations to satisfy their audiences.
Find out more about how data, personalizing your communications, and email programs can come together in “Discover the Right Marketing Solution.”
Domo, a cloud-based operating system for business, announced the Domo Marketing Suite, it includes two newly released apps — Digital 360 and Campaigns. Domo Marketing Suite users can set alerts, join data from other departments, share information and collaborate. Domo also announced Domo Stories, a new featureContinue reading...
The fact that we live in a digital age should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been alive for the last 50 years.Continue reading...
To paraphrase advertising legend David Ogilvy, the customer is not an idiot; he or she is your spouse. This means you should listen to — and understand — what your customers have to say. And more importantly, you have to act on it.Continue reading...
What makes a loyal customer nowadays? You can no longer say that it is just a satisfied customer or even a repeat customer. Someone might fly the same airline all the time or use the same driveshare service but never recommend it to somebody else. Often times, repeat service comes down to convenience and familiarity, which is good, but not the same as truly instilling loyalty. After all, if another option becomes more convenient, a customer will just as soon drop you and go with them.Signs of True Customer Loyalty
Really, you are looking for a lifetime of customer value. You want customers loyal to you and always coming back, but not only that. You want to push them up the loyalty ladder from just being repeat customers. What are the signs that your services and products and the experience a customer has had with you has moved up that ladder?
- Referrals: Someone spreading good of word about you is a strong indicator. This person is basically putting their own reputation on the line to recommend you.
- Evangelizing: This is when someone not only gives you a referral, but they go out of their way to talk you up and try to find you new business.
- Ownership. You know you have a loyal customer when they act like that they are basically a part of your business, going out of their way to support it and evangelize for you.
In today’s modern marketing world, CMOs find themselves pressed to show that their marketing efforts are generating revenue. Part of their efforts naturally involve trying to acquire new customers. While this is an area they should definitely focus on, it is not the only one.
CMOs should also see what they can do to instill more loyalty in the customers they already have. By doing so, they might be able to turn those customers into advocates for their business. They will be getting you referrals, doing what they can to preach the good word about you, and supporting you.
These customer advocates can might other people interested in you, and then you have a chance to turn them into customer advocates. It can be a self-perpetuating cycle that is to your advantage.
So, think about what you can to make someone into more than a repeat customer. Seek to delight them enough that they become your advocate, spokesperson, and all-around cheerleader. Never forget that there’s always value in loyalty.
Find out about “Streamlining the Customer Experience” to create an end-to-end experience that can blaze a path to purchase.
You've hosted your initial customer advisory board (CAB) meeting, followed up by sending the important materials to members, and kept your program going in-between meetings by hosting interim strategy calls — what's next? You’re now ready for the final step in your CAB program — measuring your success.Continue reading...
Mark Zuckerberg outlined his vision for Facebook earlier this month as a "privacy-focused messaging and social networking platform." The Facebook CEO noted the growing online communication trends of private messaging, ephemeral stories and small groups, hallmarks of a social-sharing era in which people “prefer the intimacy of communicatingContinue reading...
In today’s digital world, experiences can make or break a business in a matter of days, hours, minutes or seconds.Continue reading...
On March 20, 2019, the 13th Annual Markie Awards took place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For more than a decade, Markie Awards have celebrated the art and science of digital marketing for more than a decade. However, this year, the Markies evolved and broadened their scope to applaud brilliance beyond just marketing. Therefore, the 2019 Markies honored the creators of standout customer experiences across marketing, sales, service, and commerce.
The 2019 Markies included:
The Apex Award for Best Overall Customer Experience
Honoring companies that created a standout customer experience that turns customers into brand advocates.
The winner – Panasonic (Computer Products Europe)
The Borderless Award for Best International Marketing Campaign
Recognizing those who put together a national marketing campaign that eventually went international.
The winner – Movember Foundaton
The Cultivator Award for Best Lead Management Program
For marketers who crafted a lead management program with smart lead and account scoring that nurtures prospects, delivers dynamic results, and better aligns marketing and sales.
The winner – Samsung Business
The Heartstrings People’s Choice Award
Featuring project submission videos enhanced by unusual creativity, humor, or human-interest touches.
The winner – Health Resources in Action
The Nexus Award for Best CX Ecosystem
Recognizing those who masterfully built a connected CX ecosystem with CRM, third-party cloud apps, or API integration.
The winner- Indian Hotels Company Limited
The Insight Award for Best Use of Data
For those who use data as their superpower to target, personalize, or pivot, and have seen impressive ROI as a result.
The winner – Cisco
The Omni Award for Best Omnichannel Experience (Marketing, Service, & Sales)
Recognizing organizations that deliver the hyper-relevant, omni-channel experiences buyers demand.
The winner – Things Remembered
The Pinpoint Award for Best Account-Based Marketing Strategy
Honoring those who use account-based marketing and marketing automation for precision and hyper-personalization.
The winner – Hewlett Packard Enterprise
The Thinker Awards for Best Innovation in CX
Recognizing those organizations that leverage technology and tools in a way that they have never done before.
The Thinker Award for Best Innovation in Sales
The winner – Aon
The Thinker Award for Best Innovation in Marketing
The winner – Snap Tech
The Thinker Award for Best in Innovation in Service
The winner – City of Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Upshot Awards
Recognizing the professionals who find opportunities where others see obstacles and capitalize on them without hesitation.
The Upshot Award for Best Demonstrated ROI in Marketing
The winner – Bonnier News
The Upshot Award for Best Demonstrated ROI in Service and Sales
The winner – Kenya Revenue Authority
The Convert Award for Best Commerce Experience
Recognizing the enlightened commerce team that uses inspirational experiences to convert transactional customers into brand-loyal enthusiasts.
The winner – Livelo
Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to everyone who participated.
For information about digital marketing and marketing automation, visit Oracle Marketing Cloud (OMC).