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B2B Digital Marketing Trends

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B2B marketers around the world are searching for ways to leverage digital marketing, to reach decision makers more efficiently. We’ve researched the trends and innovations in the industry, to see where B2B marketing is headed.
Ww believe that B2B marketers should take into consideration upping their efforts in content marketing (building on relevance and personalization using re-targeting and similar tactics), mobile marketing (to support immediate decisions), video content (including live video) and social media (including reviews and personal, segmented channels), all in accordance with their pre-determined KPIs.

Published in: Marketing

B2B Digital Marketing Trends

  1. 1. B2B Digital Marketing Trends Gili Rosenbaum-Tumarkin, June 2016
  2. 2. Introduction: Digital Marketing for B2B • Digital marketing is a top priority for B2B marketers today. • One of the greatest changes in B2B stems from the fact that most current B2B researchers are Millennials – and they are used to using digital platforms for any research needs. Therefore, marketers need to adjust tactics, to reach this decision-making group. • According to a survey of marketing executives by Gartner (2015), from 2015: “B2B companies are showing a growing appetite to reach customers directly with digital commerce initiatives and they are looking to engage customers directly to better understand their needs, preferences and behavior.” Gartner, “Gartner Survey Reveals That Digital Marketing Is Now Mainstream”, Nov 2015; Regalix, "the State of B2B Marketing", 2016 online 77% traditional ("offline") 23% Online vs. Traditional: Which is your first priority? (Regalix, 2016)
  3. 3. Leading Digital B2B Marketing Tactics • The Regalix study found that digital marketing was the most effective method for 37% of B2B marketers, while 11% chose traditional (“offline”) marketing, in 2015. • Website (86%) and email (72%) led the pack of digital channels that marketers found effective in meeting their goals in 2015, followed by SEO (54%) and social (52%). Which of the following digital/online distribution channels proved to be effective in meeting your marketing goals in 2015? Regalix, “State of B2B Marketing 2016”, Jan 2016
  4. 4. Digital B2B Marketing • According to eMarketer, marketers expect content marketing and marketing automation to have the most impact on business in 2016. eMarketer, “B2B Marketing Automation—What's New in 2016”, Apr 2016
  5. 5. Demographic Shifts Affect B2B Marketing • According to a Google/Millward Brown report, 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the B2B research process. • The report shows that in 2014, 18-43 years old accounted for almost half (48%) of all B2B researchers, an increase of 70% from 2012 (27%). Google/Millward Brown, "The Changing Face of B2B Marketing”, Mar 2015 B2B Researcher Demographics: • Realizing that its B2B audience is now younger and digital-oriented, Caterpillar utilized Youtube to launch 4 videos for its "Built For It" brand, in an effort to make its Cat brand look more human, approachable, and relevant. Click to watch
  6. 6. The B2B Digital Path to Purchase • Business decision makers usually don’t have a specific supplier in mind when they start their research. According to Google/ Millward Brown about 71% of online B2B researchers start on a generic query, so they're looking for product first, not a specific company. • Business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57% of the purchase process is complete. • 42% of researchers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process, with 91% growth in use over the past two years throughout the entire path. • Purchase rates on mobile are up 22% in the past two years. Google/Millward Brown, "The Changing Face of B2B Marketing”, March 2015 On average, B2B researchers do 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand's site (up from six searches in 2012)
  7. 7. The B2B Mobile Path to Purchase Accessing content via desktop remains common, but 8 in 10 B2B buyers said they also use smartphones for that same purpose. In 2016 in the U.S, 79% of B2B marketers said they had a mobile-friendly site, an increase compared to the 57% of respondents who had one in 2014. • Atlas Copco launched its mobile “Construction App” to showcase information on the company’s products and services. • Users can use the app to request quotes, contact the company, find the nearest Atlas Copco location based on their current location, engage with Atlas Copco in its social media channels, view a video gallery and get the latest news. eMarketer, “B2B Marketing Automation—What's New in 2016”, Apr 2016; Schieber Research
  8. 8. B2B Content Marketing • A September 2015 study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, found that 76% of B2B marketers in North America said they expect to create more content in 2016 than they did in 2015, and more than half said that they plan to spend more on content marketing over the next 12 months. • Best in class B2B marketers allocated 46% of their marketing budgets to content marketing in 2015, compared to 28% in average. Expected Change in B2B Content Creation (2015 vs. 2016) Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, “2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America”, 2015 eMarketer, “More B2B Marketers View Content Marketing as an Effective Tactic”, Jan 2016 Content Marketing Goals: Lead generation (85%) and sales (84%) are the most important goals for B2B content marketers over the next 12 months.
  9. 9. Video Content • In line with the demographic shifts, 70% of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase. That's a 52% jump in two years. • Top content: product features + How To videos. • When asked what they did after watching, B2B researchers said they talked to colleagues, looked for more information, visited a brand's website/store, or shared the video. Google/Millward Brown, "The Changing Face of B2B Marketing”, Mar 2015 Nearly half of the researchers watching videos are viewing 30 minutes or more of B2B-related videos during their research process, and almost 1 in 5 watch over an hour of content. • Xerox sponsored content on “The Week”, creating 60 pieces of short-form videos for a series called “Business Made Simple”, which was owned by Xerox. They added a navigational link on their header, a rotational unit of content on their homepage, and it was promoted on their social channels as the social channels of the experts. Xerox ended up with 70K views on the hub, with a 180% engaged visitor rate to Xerox (which is 3x the average engagement) (Source: Business2community)
  10. 10. Live Video • Live video may become a significant vehicle in driving B2B sales, as it enables companies to feature products / services (on the marketing side), and offer ongoing support (on the business side) effectively. • Facebook’s News Feed algorithm seams to prioritize live video while the broadcast is ongoing, meaning it appears higher in people’s feeds. Facebook is also sending push notifications when videos are live, and alerts people when they’ve missed a live video.
  11. 11. Personalized Content • Personalized experiences are now a requirement of businesses, not only private consumers. • According to Forrester Research, Customers will reward companies that can anticipate their personal needs and wants, and expect the marketers to know the business’s unique needs; and according to Accenture, 54% of B2B buyers said they would like suppliers to offer personalized recommendations across interactions. • Yet according to Accenture, most B2B enterprises are not set up to deliver a seamless omni-channel experience, citing “difficulty sharing customer data between channels or locations” as the top barrier. Accenture and SAP Hybris, “Mastering Omni-Channel B2B Customer Engagement, 2015 Forrester, “The 2016 Top 10 Critical Success Factors To Determine Who Wins And Who Fails In The Age Of The Customer”, Oct. 2015 • CSC (the Computer Sciences Corporation), for example, used reverse-IP lookup, targeting 245 companies with custom content and ads across multiple channels at optimal times, seeing a dramatic lift in account engagement from 108 of those companies. • Reverse IP is a process that identifies the visitor by company and then provides demographic information, including industry, company revenue size and location, enabling marketers to provide personalized content to the visitors. PropertyCasualty 360, a financial services company, has segmented its Twitter activity by having multiple Twitter accounts, each with a specific and industry focus – and a face behind each account.
  12. 12. Social Media Platforms • Facebook dominates in the B2C space (top choice for 65% of marketers). However, for B2B marketers LinkedIn is more important than Facebook and Twitter. • Worldwide, 41% of B2B marketers choose Linkedin as the must important social media platform for their business (with only 9% B2C marketers), followed by Facebook and Twitter. Social Media Examiner, “2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report”, May 2015 • Facebook is offering a retargeting program that allows companies to show ads to their target market after they express interest in the company and the services or products it provides.
  13. 13. Empowerment through Mobile Apps • many businesses are now offering mobile apps as a leading tactic to offer added value to their customers, using the app as the marketing instrument. • In January 2016 Facebook announced its new Instant Articles feature, allowing publishers to optimize their content so readers can access it instantly on Facebook. • In April Facebook also announced scannable profile codes for its Messenger app. Users can scan other users or businesses code with their camera to start a conversation. • In 2016, WhatsApp Messaging app has announced it will start testing tools that allow its users to communicate with businesses and organizations that they want to hear from, like banks, or airlines.
  14. 14. B2B Community Marketing • Businesses are using group / community platforms to engage their customers, and build loyalty. American Express OPEN manages groups on various social media platforms, to help business and offer a sense of community and support.
  15. 15. Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality • Virtual and augmented reality technology can be used as a B2B marketing tool to showcase products and services at events and trade shows, to create 360-degree conferences and meetings, or as an engagement tool for potential clients. • In April 2016, The New Zealand Government has partnered with Samsung and started using virtual reality technology at trade shows to give an insight to food buyers about the produce from New Zealand. • The visuals of the VR experience presents people with landscapes of agricultural New Zealand and introduces them to the places the products are made. The Drum, Samsung and the New Zealand government test virtual reality as a B2B marketing tool, Apr 2016
  16. 16. Reviews, Referral & Advocacy • Reviews and referral programs provide a way to turn clients into advocates willing to refer people and generate new users. • Referral programs are moving online, with dedicated micro-sites and sharing options. • Platforms such as Influitive / Customer Advocacy use customized portals where companies can invite their top customers to engage and provide feedback in order to earn different rewards. • Google Apps for work offers a referral program for users to recommend Apps to people they know and receive a $15 reward for everyone who signs up (up to $1,500 per domain) with additional coupon codes for additional referrals. • In 2016, SAP launched its SAP Anywhere Referral Program for small and medium-sized enterprises, offering a £750 finder's fee for every referral that convert to a paid deal. • SAP is offering participants access to SAP-branded marketing materials and a personalized dashboard to monitor the status of their referrals and track payments from SAP
  17. 17. Gamification • Alibaba offers a Gold Supplier service, a premium membership for approved suppliers on the platform. Members are provided with comprehensive ways to promote their products, maximizing product exposure and increasing ROI. • Gold Supplier members are authorized to display the Gold Supplier icon to demonstrate that their business has been verified by a third agency as a legally registered business. Gamification is a tactic that enables top users to benefit from their loyalty, displaying a badge that demonstrates their status.
  18. 18. In conclusion… • Generally, B2B marketers should utilize the same tactics used by B2C marketers. Yet specifically for B2Bs, there is an added value in content and mobile apps, as these seem to drive loyalty and empower customers. • B2B marketers should use metrics to choose the best tactic: sales lead quantity and quality; sales; higher conversion rates; brand lift; customer renewal rates; etc.
  19. 19. Thank you

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