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4 trends changing the UK B2B marketing industry

Rakefet Yacoby-From of Mayple lists the 4 trends raising their heads in B2B marketing, and explains how they’re taking shape.

With digital marketing recognised as one of most effective ways to reach and engage with customers, the last few years have seen

a shift from traditional marketing strategies to more disruptive digital channels

which deliver greater value both in terms of results and engagement, and far more

accurate attribution and measurement

So, what are the trends that companies need to adopt to ensure that they stay ahead of the game and deliver ongoing customer satisfaction and loyalty?

1. Putting the customer at the core

For a long time, revenue-generated marketing has been the focus, with churn-and-burn strategies frequently deployed. This has often led to customer dissatisfaction, and compromised

long-term loyalty

. More and more, savvy marketers are moving towards retention-based marketing by deploying strategies that deliver both continuous engagement and advocacy. This includes putting the customer at the forefront of the marketing strategy not the business or the product, building communities instead of chasing social followers, and shifting from trend-based to more personal brand-based marketing.

2. Embracing new forms of content

Technology is having a huge impact on how target audiences consume content. Nowadays,

immersive reality is being integrated

into pretty much every environment with many companies using it to power up their marketing efforts. Be they interactive shopping experiences, educational outreach or social media engagement, these technologies are transforming the way that brands personalise their content and engage with their customers. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another innovation which is allowing businesses to revolutionise day-to-day practices and boost productivity. AI-based clustering and interpreting of customer data is paired with profile information and demographics which continually adapts to a customer’s likes and dislikes and react with new recommendations tailored in real-time.

3. Merging creativity with analytics

Today’s marketers are completely changing the way companies use data and target customers, with analytics playing a

pivotal role in digital marketing strategies.

However, it’s when digital targeting merges with creative appeal that optimal results are achieved as campaigns don’t just reach the right audiences; they inspire those audiences to engage and act, in turn increasing loyalty and retention.

Thinking laterally when it comes to your marketing is also key. While SEO and PPC will continue to remain valuable tools for marketers. It’s important to think about where your customers spend their time, and the marketing methods you should deploy to engage with those customers natively on those platforms or channels. For instance, for local businesses, direct marketing such as flyers might be far more effective than SEO.

4. Investing in specialists

Over the past few years many companies have moved from considering marketing as a ‘nice-to-have’ to considering it as the cornerstone to brand building and customer advocacy. However, it’s often the first thing to go when budgets get cut or, worse still, there is an expectation that the scale of marketing activity will remain the same but for a fraction of the original cost. This often leads to over-promising and under-delivering and the deployment of poor practices, such as using low-cost, low-value providers to deliver a ‘lights-on strategy’ which will often do more harm than good. If you find yourself in a situation where finances are a challenge, rather than trying to do everything for less, pick your priorities and invest in a

digital marketing specialist

who will ultimately deliver far greater business value.

To recap, if you want to remain at the forefront of digital marketing, then adopting the following strategies should be a key part of your business plan. Think through a relationship-oriented lens; see technology as a key enabler to effective content delivery, combine data analytics with creative thinking in customer targeting, and invest in specialists.

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