As 2024 gets underway, we have been working with clients on their marketing plans and generating demand to get their businesses and products noticed in the ever-changing and competitive landscape. Through these processes we have identified what we think will really shape our plans – and the wider marketing world – over the next year. Do you agree with our take on these B2B marketing trends?
Gen AI (Yes, we really think we should start with this)
Since ChatGPT came into the fore in 2022, so much has changed for businesses and their reliance on Generative AI, including in future marketing plans. Utilising a GenAI strategy is going to be pivotal for moving forward, and if we don’t embrace it as companies working in the tech space, we will fall behind. But it’s about scaling at the right pace and level for you – which processes could benefit? Which are already performing well without? There’s no point in spending and overpromising. Our team can help with this and answer the questions on where to put AI to use in either content or processes. And remember, it’s not going away any time soon – a recent PWC report noted “that 84% of CIOS say they expect to use GenAI to support a new business tool”. Apple recently announced it was working on generative AI software features, and it looks set to be a tool that will remain in the future.
Lead generation is all about giving that personal touch as we move forward. Gone are the days of cold calling – we need to get the right product in front of the right person.
We explore this with clients in many ways, but one of the biggest trends we’ve seen emerging in recent months is the ability to utilise B2B website personalisation.
What does this mean? Website personalisation offers the ability to change the view for your visitor depending on their location, industry, and demographic. If you have a product that works for multiple industries, then it’s a great way to focus on the decision-makers. For example, if you have someone from an accounts payable team for an insurance company looking to automate their systems, you could use the tech to show them the best use cases and products. We believe that personalisation will increase conversion rates to no end.
Keeping things human
Despite all this being said regarding AI, one of the biggest things to take forward this year and beyond is to remain authentic and think of exactly what the end user – this could be your client or their customer – needs. When we are devising client plans and content, the first thing we do is look at the language, breaking it down to ensure it is not overcomplicated, and, most importantly, tell the end user exactly what benefits they are getting from the service or system they are planning to work with.
Long live video
When working to put together our B2B marketing campaigns, we have to know what an effective way will be to get eyes on the product. We have been telling clients to embrace video content for a long time. There’s been an increased shift in the past year or so, as evidence shows video increases dwell time and traffic on the site and
can give a great ROI.
However, video content must be carefully planned and built into the wider brand marketing plan. Whether it’s a Q&A with an accompanying blog or a product showcase, it needs to be clear and concise, and overall beneficial for the end user.
Ensure your brand is seen by those actively seeking solutions in your industry. Increase awareness and visibility of your products and services across all digital platforms.
In today’s highly competitive business landscape, B2B demand generation for software products or services is crucial for sustained growth and success. Crafting a demand-generation strategy can help reach your target audience.
It can also help to convert them into qualified leads. This can ultimately result in increased revenue for your business. In this blog post, you will explore five essential steps to build an effective demand-generation strategy.
Step 1: Define Your Target Audience:
The first step in building a b2b campaign is identifying and understanding who your target audience is. Begin by creating buyer personas that outline your ideal customer’s demographics, interests, pain points, and buying behaviours. This information will help you tailor your marketing messages and tactics to resonate with your audience effectively and generate qualified leads.
Step 2: Develop Compelling Content: Content lies at the heart of any successful B2B campaign.
Create high-quality, valuable content that educates, informs, and entertains your target audience. This could include blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, videos, webinars, and infographics. Addressing your audience’s pain points and providing solutions can position your brand as a trusted authority and capture their attention.
Step 3: Leverage Multiple Channels: Leverage multiple marketing channels to distribute your content and engage with your target audience.
This may include social media platforms, email marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), paid advertising, influencer partnerships, and industry events. A multi-channel approach ensures that your message reaches your audience wherever they are, increasing your chances of generating demand.
Step 4: Implement Lead Nurturing Strategies:
Lead nurturing is essential for converting interested prospects into qualified leads. Once you have a customer’s attention and you understand their need, help the customer with information that is relevant to them. If they want to validate your services, provide them proof of your work in the shape of case studies or recommendations.
Providing the right information at the right time helps build trust in your brand and your services. This takes your prospect a step further in their buying decision.
Step 5: Measure and Optimise:
No B2B demand generation campaign is perfect from the start. It’s crucial to measure your key performance indicators (KPIs) and optimise campaigns accordingly. This could mean changing the messaging, graphics, or even the marketing channel.
Track metrics such as website traffic, lead conversion rates, email open rates, click-through rates, qualified leads generated and revenue achieved. Use this data to identify areas of improvement and refine your strategy accordingly. Experiment with different tactics, analyse the results and make data-driven decisions to enhance your demand generation efforts.
Demand generation campaigns are most effective when optimised over some time.
Conclusion: Building a successful B2B demand gen strategy requires careful planning, audience understanding, and consistent execution of marketing campaigns.
To effectively reach your desired audience, it’s important to first define who they are. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can create engaging and persuasive content that resonates with them. Don’t just rely on one channel to distribute your message, use multiple platforms to ensure maximum exposure.
Finally, implement lead nurturing strategies to maintain engagement and build a lasting relationship with your audience. Measure and optimise your marketing campaigns. By following these five essential steps, you can create a robust framework for generating demand and driving business growth.
Remember, demand generation marketing is an ongoing process. It needs to be adapted and refined to follow market trends and customer preferences. This keeps the process up to date. Stay agile, be responsive, and seek ways to enhance your demand gen strategy for optimal results.
To ensure success, tracking and measuring your demand generation efforts is essential.
Utilise analytics and reporting tools to assess the performance of each tactic and adjust your strategy accordingly. Doing so will help you identify what’s working and what’s not and make adjustments to optimise your efforts. Additionally, keep up with industry trends and customer feedback to ensure your steps are always relevant and practical.
Stay up-to-date with the newest advancements. Make decisions based on data.
This will maximise the effect of your demand-generation strategies. Sustainable business growth will be the result. Examine the data to spot areas where your plan could be improved and adjust accordingly.
Ready to launch your next B2B marketing campaign?
Book a free audit of your landing pages or even the complete plan and set yourself up for success.
Here at Demand Gen, we have been working with various technology companies – both big and small – over the years to successfully market their products and services.
Given that most of these companies were selling software of some form, you would expect they would be tracking their customer experience, collecting data points and redefining their marketing strategies based on plentiful data. However, and rather surprisingly, on many occasions we have seen quite the opposite.
Why is this? Here are some of the common apprehensions we hear about marketing from technology companies:
“Our solutions are too complex and too expensive to be sold online”
“Our customers don’t look for us online”
“Data -driven marketing is for e-commerce clients”
However, we have found some statistics to contradict these comments:
- 80% of the B2B buyers have a made a decision through online research before they decide to contact a sales person
- 50% of B2B sales start with a Google search
- More than 50% of the B2B research about suppliers happens on mobile phones
Are you convinced about rethinking your marketing strategy for 2023? We would encourage you to put aside some of your 2023 marketing budget to understand how your customers behave online and create a market strategy to complement their buying behaviour.
If you don’t where to begin with building data-driven strategy, here are some tools that could help.
- Google Analytics
Google Analytics is by far the most common tool used to analyse website data, taking the market share (31.55% in 2021) when it comes to web analytics.
Using Google Analytics you can see how many visitors you get on your website, where this traffic coming from, the age range and other demographics of your website visitors, how much time are they spending on your website and which pages on the website are most visited on the website.
These basic data points will help you understand your customers better and help you draw insights on which content is popular and what is the high-level profile of your customers. For example, if your website is being read by males between 40-55 based in the UK between 2-5pm, you might want to write your next blog keeping that persona in mind.
Google Analytics now provides limited search term data but search terms data is very useful to identify the relevance of the content on your website.
- Hot Jar
Hot Jar is a very useful tool that provides visual data and heat maps of how people navigate your website.
You can survey your existing users on their experience of the website and hence make changes to the webpage layout or content based on the feedback received from the users. For example, one of our customers was seeing zero conversions on their “book a demo” page. It was their main call to action on the website. After a Hot Jar analysis we noticed that 99% of the visitors to the demo booking page were leaving the page to check the pricing.
Based on the behaviour we added the pricing on the demo booking page and saw a significant increase in the time spent on the page and the requests for demos started to trickle through. Optimisations to content and UX based on data collected from Hotjar can often be a game changer
- Social Media Analytics
B2B business mostly use LinkedIn and Twitter as their main social platforms although that might be changing soon with more and more creative content available on TikTok.
TikTok is proving to be hit with businesses as a marketing channel, and according to a recent Capterra TikTok marketing survey “well over half of small retailers and restaurants that market themselves on TikTok say their organic and advertising content on TikTok is extremely valuable to their overall marketing performance, and 78% say they’ve realized a positive ROI with TikTok ads.”
Social media behavioural data can provide great insights into people’s behaviour. It’s difficult to integrate all social media platform data into one report that provides a 360 degree view of customer behaviour.
Yes, we are now talking about multi-channel tracking to be able to track exactly how customers interact with your brand across various platforms – social, website, physical paper-based marketing, affiliate marketing, webinars, events and mobile phones. Gathering all data into one reporting and drawing insights is a huge challenge for businesses and often a grey area. We have worked on various projects helping clients reconcile data from various sources and provide a true picture of what’s happening with online presence and overall marketing.
We would love to hear from you if this is something you are struggling with – not because we want to sell you a solution for it – but we are keen to understand how big this issue of data gaps is and even with the availability of so many reporting tools, there is a gap in the market to enable accurate data driven marketing.
For many businesses, the common goal is to achieve sales, but there’s also an age-old issue of just how those leads reach the sales team.
For example, B2B marketing teams will run campaigns to support the sales pipeline and as such, feed more leads into their pipeline. However, it’s very common that the marketing and sales teams will operate in silos and their objectives are not aligned.
From sustainability to voice search – changing buying behaviours that will evolve our B2B marketing strategies for good…
B2B marketing has undergone a significant shift change over the last couple of years, partially because of the pressures of the global Covid lockdown and buyer behaviours changing thereof.
Reliance on the traditional telemarketing agencies and sales networking at events and exhibitions have naturally decreased, with more returns being seen from digital marketing campaigns.
As we move into 2022, there are a few buyer behaviours we would like you to consider before you devise a campaign plan for the New Year….
Buyers are now searching for solutions to their problems online and often ask Alexa or voice search devices to do the searches for us. This trend is seen less in B2B searches and more relevant for retail clients, however, it’s only a matter of time before the trend catches up.
What does this mean for you?
We suggest you prepare and optimise your website for voice search, Google snippets and answers to commonly asked questions via website content becomes important. When it is becoming more important to consumers, the trend will follow in the B2B world as we become more accustomed to these behaviours in our day-to-day life.
- ‘Think With Google’ estimates that some 89% of B2B researchers use the internet in their research process, and 55% search for business information on social media. So, what does this mean for you?
- Search visibility – Your web presence and visibility for relevant search terms is hugely important. Also, the lines between social media and website content are blurring, so social media planning should really be a critical component of your SEO strategy going into 2022.
- Make your pages informative – The user is looking for unbiased information to be able to make an informed decision and you can only win by adopting a content strategy that fulfils a prospect’s need for information. If for example, a prospect is looking for a software solution, the decision to buy from you will be based on; features of the product, how they can buy from you, will they be supported after they buy from you, transparency of your pricing model and most importantly, has anyone else used your product/service and have they achieved similar goals to this customer.
- References and reviews – References and reviews are helpful in establishing your credibility and convincing a prospect to buy from you.
- We are all conscious buyers – An independent study commissioned by SmartestEnergy reveals that 81% of consumers are increasingly favouring brands with a commitment to environmental sustainability. What does this mean for you?
Whether you are a software provider, a holiday letting website or a business consultancy, please make sustainability part of your marketing strategy. You can create a simple plan of how you pledge to be more sustainable as a workplace and as individuals within the company. For inspiration, read how we at Predictable Marketing are doing our bit as a business towards sustainability.
Content is everywhere; but not a word to read.
Yes, we are constantly bombarded with content from all sources – email, social and digital platforms. But rarely do we find a piece of content that is authentic and gives us more information about a topic than we already know. Although content is everywhere the need for authentic content has never been greater. What does this mean for you?
- Create informative content
- Create content formats that make information easy to digest
- Visual content is important
- Where the content is delivered is important too
- There is also a shift towards digital entertainment which means that gamified content is received a lot better
- More emphasis on digital experiences means website usability and experience will be more important than ever.
As with creating more authentic content, personalisation and approachable tones will become a necessity. Not only is customisable content a must, but crucially as a population, we are at a time in history, where due to the global events over the past two years, we have all been through something at the same time; meaning we are connected in ways we haven’t been before. What does this mean to you?
While topics may be sales or process-based, some humour and shorter, snappier language won’t go amiss with your recipient when their workloads may have increased and the need for lighter content or email marketing is welcomed.
Enterprises are moving away from email as the main communication channel to more collaborative platforms like Teams, Slack, Asana, Trello, Monday.com, Zoom and the likes.
What does this mean for you?
Marketers will need to innovate email campaigns so they render well on these platforms. If you have some downtime in your schedule, we suggest you take that time to familiarise yourself with the platforms you may not have used before – as it’s likely in 2022 you will.