Seven B2B Marketing Strategies to Get You Ramped Up in 2021
Posted: 03/02/2021 | Author: Jim Lochner for Creatives On Call
To say 2020 disrupted traditional B2B communications is an understatement. Face-to-face sales meetings and in-person events disappeared, and brands (and people) pivoted to technology for connection. In addition, quick and efficient B2C buying journeys have reshaped B2B buyers’ expectations, with the lines between B2C and B2B blurring more and more. In this ever-changing landscape, check out 7 strategies to ramp up your B2B marketing efforts for success in 2021.
Today, consumers use 6 touch-points when making a purchase. And because we’re used to engaging with a variety of channels, relying on one channel to get your B2B audience’s attention won’t work. Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention and a 3.4% increase in customer lifetime value. (Aberdeen) By being consistent and focusing on devices involved within client interactions, you’ll ensure that customers receive the same experience and message across different channels and devices.
To thine own self-serve be true
B2B e-commerce in the U.S. is predicted to reach $1.8 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B sales by 2023. And now more than ever, B2B prospects are embracing self-service to easily get information, launch trials, and place orders without talking to a salesperson. Today, 18% of global B2B sales are self-service e-commerce transactions, compared to 24% rep-assisted. In addition, the total of purchases through digital channels now equals those made through traditional sales reps, which has declined to 42%. (Forrester) Nearly 80% of B2B decision makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service and only 20% said they hope to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated. (McKinsey) Self-serve isn’t just for froyo anymore.
Lights, camera, action
Customers spend 5 times more time with video content and retain 95% of the information presented in video format, compared to 10% retention when reading text. In fact, 80% of people switch between online search and video when researching products to buy. Videos are also responsible for 1200% more shares on social media than text or images combined. With video expected to make up 82% of IP traffic by 2022, it’s time to implement video into your multi-format strategy. Are you ready for your closeup?
Split it down the middle
Nearly 90% of business decision-makers say that middle management provides key inputs into the decision-making process, whether it’s providing recommendations on vendors or testing demo products. 64% of C-suite executives have final signoff on a purchase decision, but 81% of non-C-suiters also have a say in it. The good news? Middle managers are the easiest audience to reach on social media. They trust social media to discover new products, spend more time on these platforms during the workday, and are more likely to attend virtual events and webinars. (Ad Age) By bringing non-C-suiters into your marketing strategy, you’ll be in the middle of something great.
Close the generation gap
Millennials account for more than a quarter of the global workforce, long ago surpassing baby boomers and Gen Xers. (Navex Global) So it should come as no surprise that their comfort with technology and digital media is having a direct impact on B2B buying habits. And since 73% of Millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions, making them a major consideration in your marketing strategy will help you close the gap.
We all need the human touch
It’s easy to forget sometimes that B2B communications are done with humans, not a faceless corporate entity. But in 2020, the most successful brands let lead gen take a backseat and got behind the wheel of social media to connect with their customers on a human-to-human level to build brand awareness and affinity. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to put a face to your brand. H2H is the new B2B.
Get in touch with your feelings
Emotions have obviously run high during the pandemic, driving significant shifts in content and tone for B2B marketing. Nearly 50% of B2B marketers placed more emphasis on their company’s vision, mission, and strategy, while 4 in 10 adopted a more emotional style in creative. LinkedIn research shows that B2B decisions are often split between emotional and rational considerations. While rational campaigns (ones that communicate information) are better at short-term activations, emotional campaigns (ones that make prospects feel more positively about a brand) are more effective in the long-term. A successful B2B marketing strategy will balance both.
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If 2020 offered a silver lining, B2B marketers have been given a unique opportunity to innovate and take risk like never before. By embracing the new norm, you can take your B2B marketing strategy to the next level. And we’re here to help.
This is a time for marketers to step up to the challenge and get creative in meeting current demands and behavior changes. Creatives On Call supports your business through this. Contact us here. We have Marketing professionals ready to start in areas including:
- Strategy & Advisory
- Design & Marketing
- Content Creation & Management
- Customer Engagement & Experience
- Learning & Knowledge Management
- Digital Technology & Transformation
Learn more here.