06 January 2014
The latest trends not only give you a better perspective of your customers’ expectations, they also give insight into the competition ahead.
The ball has dropped, the confetti is cleared, and business-to-business companies are gearing up for a productive 2014. It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to assess the B2B marketing trends that you should know about.
Fortunately, AdAge recently released their Annual BtoB Marketing Outlook Survey for 2014. (FYI, BtoB is now a part of AdAge.) In the Marketing Outlook Survey, AdAge asked questions to marketers from a variety of industries to find the most popular B2B marketing trends.
The Continued Rise of B2B Online Marketing
The AdAge survey reveals that 52.5% of marketers plan increasing their total marketing budgets. This shows that, once again there is a fierce competition for the attention of customers. The largest arena of this competition is in the digital space with a whopping 79.9% of marketers planning to increase their digital marketing efforts. This is up 13% from the 67% increase in 2013.
TheB2B marketing trends of 2014 reveal that more and more companies see the opportunity provided by online marketing to capture the attention of new customers and provide engaging experiences for existing ones. Customer acquisition and customer retention are objectives for B2B companies on the web.
More than a third of B2B marketers say they will spend 30%+ of their total budgets in the digital space. And 10% of B2B marketers say they will spend 75-100% of their total budgets on digital. People say it’s possible to “live online”, and quite a few companies are moving their marketing online almost exclusively!
When it comes to specific tactics for 2014, content marketing and mobile strategy see the biggest gains. 75% of marketers say they will increase their content marketing efforts. And with one of the most significant B2B marketing trends being an increase in digital competition, it stands to reason that marketers look to content marketing as a way to differentiate themselves and their brand.
Compelling, relevant content is how you stand out from (and above) your competitors. If all your competitors are online, a simple bare-bones website isn’t enough to attract attention. You want content that engages your potential customers. Content that draws their attention and keeps them coming back.
The survey of B2B marketing trends also shows that marketers plan to grow their use of video as an important content marketing tool. With a wider spread of Wi-Fi and faster wireless speeds on mobile devices, marketers say that they plan to increase their spending for webcasts and webinars by 9.4%.
All that content marketing naturally works better for you when your customers actually have access to it, which is why mobile tops the recent B2B marketing trends as well. More and more customers use their smartphones and tablets to browse, research, and even make purchases on the web. A mobile-ready website, accessible by your customer’s preferred device, ensures that you don’t lose the opportunity to reach an expanding mobile consumer market.
A responsive design (specifically cited by the AdAge survey) is important to a good mobile user experience, but you also want to appeal to cross-channel hoppers and shoppers. Customers often begin their search on a smartphone, jump to a PC, and then hop to their tablet to complete the purchase. These actions take a number of different permutations with a variety of devices.
One B2B marketing trend that we identify as a potential key competitive advantage is the ability to improve the customer experience across devices, such as with logins stored in the cloud. If your website engages the customer throughout the buying process, regardless of device, you improve your chances of building up a connection and eventual conversion.
While most marketers in the survey are keen to increase their budgets and go digital, they’re not simply throwing money at their problems. Less than 40% of marketers say they will increase their budgets by more than 10%. These numbers point to an increased effort in efficiency.
Efficiency is an important B2B marketing trend for 2014, perfectly emblematic of the two tactics that see the greatest gains going into the new year.
High-quality content and a mobile responsive design are not complete overhauls to your company or marketing strategy. What content marketing and mobile represent are chances to improve your online marketing and finely-tune your website to a well-oiled marketing machine. Content marketing makes you stand out, and mobile readiness ensures an improved experience for your customers.
With efficient marketing and competitive tactics, Dynamicweb wishes you a happy new year!