As we approach 2017, now is a time when marketers reflect on strategies applied this year and evaluate trends and tactics to implement in the coming year. As the B2B sector looks to innovation and the development of quality leads to drive sales, marketers must stay on the cusp of new trends that directly affect the bottom line.
So what trends will have the largest impact? Below is a list of five B2B marketing trends to watch for in 2017.
1. Customer-centered approach to well, everything
Nothing new to the B2C industry, B2B organizations are realizing we are in the age of the customer. B2B organizations are in the process – or have been for some time – of focusing their efforts on the customer experience and developing a customer-centered approach to well, everything. Studies suggest that by 2020, the customer experience will overtake price and product as a key differentiator in the sea of competition.
2. Account-based marketing, more than a movement
Account-based marketing (ABM) – a strategy that has been around for nearly a decade – is now starting to gain widespread adoption with recent advancements in technology. A collaborative marketing strategy that engages sales, marketing, subject matter experts and delivery professionals as well as key executives, ABM determines how best to meet a client’s unique business challenges. Through deep insight into the client’s goals, a collaborative team creates a marketing and sales campaign for a single account. As marketing automation becomes the norm, ABM can more uniquely nurture groups automatically through campaigns, such as email and more, to target accounts and move those leads more effectively through the sales pipeline.
3. Content is still king
Modern marketing strategists realize content marketing programs are indeed here to stay. As the popularity of inbound marketing remains on the rise, content marketing will prove to be even more important in years to come. More specifically, content marketing discussions will be centered around the right balance of frequency, quantity, quality and how to measure ROI. And as more B2B organizations spend more on content marketing than in advertising in 2017, content marketing will continue to prove its cost-effectiveness in comparison to other forms of marketing such as ads.
4. Marketing automation leads the way in lead generation
The perfect technology for B2B marketing, marketing automation leads the way in lead generation and prospect nurturing. According to B2BMarketing.net, 88 percent of B2B companies will implement marketing automation in their organizations by the start of the 2017-2018 financial year. 2017 will be a year of exploration for some B2B organizations who have recently adopted marketing automation, as most businesses are not fully utilizing marketing automation since they are in the early levels of maturity.
5. Video, video and more video
Video has been hot for more than a while and as 2017 rolls around, companies will double down on their video efforts. That is because, video has proven to be engaging and generates some serious ROI. And it is no secret that video is more digestible and the preferred, most thoroughly consumed form of content today. 2017 will bring an array of new trends and fads. However, it will be up to savvy B2B marketers to zone in on which next practices will move the needle and effectively fill the sales funnel in the new year.