B2B marketing trends among friends
By Randy Mitchell
What are your go-to resources for the latest B2B marketing trends?
Popular options include HubSpot, Digiday, Forbes, the ANA and LinkedIn. But those industry experts only represent the top level of available insights. If you truly want to dive deeply into emerging B2B marketing trends, there is a data deluge just waiting to wash away a few hours of your day.
For the sake of brevity and your busy schedule, I’m proposing an entirely different approach to trendspotting. Let’s call it: “B2B marketing trends among friends.”
That title is appropriate because the driving forces behind these particular trends are our clients and contacts, and all of the topics we’ll cover are in practice at our agency right now. Most importantly, these B2B marketing trends had a significant impact over the past year because they helped shape some highly successful programs.
Trend #1: Social takes the lead
Email still performs well in B2B campaigns, but it is no longer the top dog. In 2021, social media and social ads became the front-runner for many Boomm clients across different industries.
Social has emerged as a primary engagement driver for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it can serve up relevant content to a select audience and allow them act on it. And, by their very nature, social efforts are generally perceived as less intrusive than outbound marketing.
Gary Mattes, the CEO of Boomm, often talks to clients about using their social platforms as ownable media channels that can help grow exposure and business. 2021 was the year this thinking truly came to fruition. Social posts provided a direct conduit to the clients’ existing communities, while social ads expanded the reach to targeted prospects. Together, they helped build and engage a desirable audience, often without the support of more traditional channels.
Social is also gaining traction in B2B because it is extremely cost-effective and important messages can get into market almost immediately. That’s critical now that most markets are so volatile and timing is everything.
To learn more about the potential of social media, download our Elephant in the Room case study and see how one leading foodservice company leveraged a turnkey approach to strengthen its social presence.
Trend #2: B2B2C gains momentum
Some B2B marketing models don’t end when one business connects with another. Instead, they continue on and eventually market directly to the end-users, the consumers that the business client wants to reach.
This approach is frequently called B2B2C, and it can require a very nuanced strategy. However, B2B2C is becoming an inevitable part of the mix for many B2B firms. That’s because customers hold the ultimate power. So, if you want to sell a B2B client on the potential of your products or services, the most meaningful way to prove your worth is by demonstrating that you can strengthen that business’s connection to its customers.
For Boomm, B2B2C is not a new idea, but it is gaining momentum. In 2021 more clients were adopting this approach and thinking about their programs in terms of the eventual end users.
What does B2B2C mean for your marketing? Securing the sale in this scenario is more complex than ever. It demands a more comprehensive strategy and messaging that addresses each distinct audience based on their pain points.
Trend #3: Redefining qualified leads
Any lead is a good lead, right? Not anymore, according to Sales. They want prospects that are truly informed, engaged and who might actually say “yes.” That’s especially true right now, with many organizations stretched thin.
The trend for overburdened sales teams is to redefine what actually constitutes a qualified lead. This puts the onus on marketing to deliver prospects that are ready to act. And it means lead generation campaigns have to work harder to move the prospect down the funnel.
At Boomm, we have a process that migrates prospects from the initial contact all the way through to becoming sales qualified leads. The secret behind its success isn’t actually a secret at all. We simply “feed the hungry.” In other words, we base our content on the prospect’s pain points and industry needs, then they do the rest. By serving up relevant insights, our solution-hungry prospects soon become the types of interested leads that the sales team genuinely wants.
Want to learn more about this highly successful approach to lead generation? Download our Gorilla in the Room case study and see how one leading technology company generated the most leads in its history.
Those are just three B2B marketing trends that took center stage in 2021. Here’s hoping that your 2022 will be happy, healthy and trendworthy.