B2B marketing is getting more sophisticated to compete for sales. Experts develop, launch and test new solutions, and marketers apply them in their work, discovering new ways to attract and retain wholesale customers.
LetвЂ™s talk about online marketing practices for b2b and b2b marketing trends.
Peculiarities of b2b-marketing
The basis of b2b-marketing methods is the specifics of the b2b market. They are: decisions are made by several professionals with different levels of responsibility, there is a high volume of orders and high risks, and the number of potential customers is limited. Therefore, the decision-making process here is slow and complicated and takes into consideration rational arguments rather than emotions. This explains the differences in the marketing strategy of b2b-companies:
- The brand creates value not through emotional photos, but through the quality of the goods.
- The companyвЂ™s efforts are aimed at building up long-term, strong relationships with partners and customers.
- The major factor is the companyвЂ™s reputation, which is gained by strict compliance with the terms of the contract and by additional guarantees.
- After-sales service and customer support are of great importance.
- Because of the limited number of potential customers, it is necessary to establish new principles of cooperation to ensure convenience for customers.
- Product presentation and promotion are carried out in industry media and at exhibitions, as well as on the corporate website.
The strategy determines the marketing tools for the B2B market:
- Good relationships with clients can be established through personal meetings at exhibitions, newsletters with useful information, and a reputation for being a market expert.
- New principles of cooperation require accurate client profiling and offering personalized conditions.
- Quality service implies 24/7 support and a call center, which is always ready to help and promptly solve all customer problems.
- A limited number of customers means abandoned baskets require meticulous attention. With a few customers, it is necessary to devote more efforts to satisfy each of them, especially the ones who have not made a purchase.
- Promotions and discounts in b2b are more effective in stimulating sales: even a small discount can make a significant difference in the total.
The development and improvement of digital technology determine new priorities in the development of wholesale business. They set b2b marketing trends in the strategy.
B2B marketing: trends
Whatever direction the b2b market chooses for development, marketing reflects it in new tools and methods, which sometimes outpace the current requirements of a business. The current b2b marketing trends prove that. They started out as ideas, but today they have become effective tools for almost every company.
Automation of b2b marketing
If a machine can replace a human, let the machine do it. This idea dates back to the era of the industrial revolution, but the opportunities to optimize business processes have not yet been lessened. Despite over 50% of wholesale companies have already implemented b2b marketing automation, any additional possibility of optimizing work tasks, merging them into several cycles, and providing their automated performance is still a million-dollar question.
B2B marketing automation allows you to free your staff from not only routine tasks. Customizable scheduled templates are available from modern b2b platforms, wholesale e-shops, and marketplaces. For example, you can use such templates on the AGORA platform to launch regular scheduled actions (for example, purchases) or actions after a specific trigger (for example, the abandoned cart).
Automation is the way to create your companyвЂ™s future. Such solutions help to track customers through the sales funnel, give them hints, or suggest related products at each step of the buying process. And you only need to configure these tools, and then they can successfully work without even the involvement of specialists.
For several years now, content marketing has been one of the best tools to gain a leadership position in the b2b market. Through the content, marketers inform customers of:
- company news and implementing new solutions;
- new products, their features, and benefits;
- best ideas and practices to improve the efficiency and performance of the client company.
Despite nearly 90 percent of b2b marketers applying content marketing, only 37 percent of them achieve their goals, according to research by the Content Marketing Institute. One reason is the lack of a documented content marketing strategy. Developing a strategy and implementing the chosen course consistently is the way to improve the efficiency of this tool.
The content effectiveness also should be regularly measured: besides sales and profit of the company, which are the most important indicators for the owners, it is necessary to analyze the traffic, brand awareness, and customer engagement.
Although content personalization has been one of the leading strategies of many marketers in recent years, b2b marketing has adopted this tool recently. According to research, a lack of resources, technologies, and data are the main reasons wholesale businesses donвЂ™t engage in large-scale content personalization. The price for personalized solutions is still high in the wholesale market, but the effectiveness of implementing a content personalization strategy is similar.
B2B platforms offer affordable tools for these purposes. For example, AGORA solutions have features to analyze usersвЂ™ behavior on the site, statistical data on product views and orders, and a customer classification system. Based on these data, AGORA can build a system of discounts, use advertising banners, promote related and recommended products, offer analogs, launch promotions, and bonus schemes, and generate targeted email newsletters.
Personalization is getting deeper: account-based marketing offers dynamic вЂњsmartвЂќ content which is customized to the user demographics, information about activities, and search requests. And that is a rather important b2b marketing trend.
SMM and video
The role of social networks and video content keeps growing also in the b2b wholesale market: informal communication in social networks enhances the efficiency of personalization and creates the basis for personal, trusting relationships with partners and clients. Social networks also provide an opportunity to receive feedback from customers quickly, deal with negativity, and develop a positive image and excellent reputation for the company.
The demand for videos is also growing. The reviews and feedbacks in this format are greatly interesting to users. They introduce the best product features, show its practical benefits, demonstrate the possibilities of use, and tell about the tips.
The B2B market is quite conservative, so there is cautious optimism for video content as a b2b marketing tool. Despite the obvious benefits, video has disadvantages: for example, the inability to quickly view it to understand the most important or determine the benefit. This problem can be solved by limiting the video length (up to 1 minute is recommended), as well as by summarizing the main idea of the video in a text summary.
Whether these b2b marketing trends will remain a priority, and what trend will be in the wholesale b2b market вЂ” we will see in the next year. But even today, you can see stringent requirements of wholesalers for their marketing strategy and its implementation to satisfy the rising expectations of their customers. The only thing remains unchanged for a long time: the market is constantly changing. To find more information on automated tools to implement b2b marketing trends at your company вЂ” follow the link.