If you work for the B2B sector, there is a big chance you found this article through LinkedIn, the most popular social media for B2B promotion. Can you believe LinkedIn generates 80 percent of leads in this sector? Not Facebook, not Twitter, no quick images on SnapChat, because business needs text and space for thought and discussion. So unless some new social channels miraculously conquer the business world in 2016, LinkedIn will stay The King of Business to Business. What other trends should we expect in 2016?
In the field of technology nothing will stay still, B2B managers will have to surrender to constant development:
- mobile marketing (there is 1.91 billion smartphone users in the world, predicted increase to 2 billion in 2016). 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy, which also works in favor of their brand in SEO, as mobiles usage influences Google’s search algorithm. IDC claims that by 2018 80% of B2C and 60% of B2B businesses will restructure their digital tools to support from 1,000 to 10,000 times more customers.
- big data Ashish Thusoo, CEO of Qubole, predicts 2016 will be the year where those who want to stay in business, need to focus on big data analytics. ‘ The combination of social data, mobile apps, CRM records and purchase histories via advanced analytics platforms allow marketers a glimpse into the future by bringing hidden patterns and valuable insights on current and future buying behaviors in light. In 2016, businesses will increasingly leverage these insights(…)’ – explains Thusoo.
- wearables – according to the great “8 B2B Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016” article, we’re still a 12-24 months off from wearables really going mainstream. So 2016 is the time to look around, observe the smartwatch market and try out diverse business apps in order slowly to incorporate these devices into our marketing strategy (example of business app for the Apple Watch here).
Data and analytics
As mentioned before in Ashish Thusoo’s predictions for big data, there will be a huge and constantly growing amount of data to be collected and analyzed. Forrester’s report finds 37 percent of surveyed B2B specialists increasingly using data and analytics and seeing that as a high priority. In 2016, that number will possibly double.
Have you noticed the growing trouble of distinguishing yourself from your growing competition? There are more and more growing markets which develop in speeding tempo, e.g our competition in Asia. This is even more dangerous to those sectors, who must reveal their key actions and modus operandi on the Internet. Companies must categorize their B2B partners not just on segments but also microsegments in order to find and cover their niche. Brands must find simple relations between how their customers buy and what they’re looking for to solve their daily problems on all levels. Maybe they require extended support on one of the small moments of their supply levels? And then fulfill this need, as a microsegment.
Key word: personalization. As sales tend to transform their relationship with the buyer in a more one-to-one contact, the content becomes even more important and also has to give the feeling of being dedicated to one concrete group of readers. Each slice of attention for the audience is building the relationship. According to CMI, 51% of B2B firms plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2016. To get ahead of the competition, reach for enhanced personalization in your marketing contact – try video messengers for mobile and embed video greetings in SMS delivered to your customers. Jed Singer, author of the aforementioned “8 B2B Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016” warns us: ‘Plan to incorporate video into your B2B content & community marketing plans for 2016, or prepare to watch your competitors succeed with this highly engaging medium’.
So you have great tips for your Business to Business strategy in the upcoming year. Now go and get this market! May 2016 will successful to you All.