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The B2B marketing trends that will continue to shape 2016

We are now well into 2016, meaning that have already seen a number of prominent B2B marketing trends take hold. As ever, we have seen some new and exciting developments in this field over the course of the last few months, including paid amplification and the rising proliferation of podcasting and live streaming within the B2B space.

3 B2B trends that will become increasingly influential throughout 2016

More than anything, however, this year has seen the continuation and evolution of the trends that shaped, defined and inspired B2B marketing in 2015. We can expect more of this in the months ahead, as businesses look to refine their strategies to achieve greater success and an improved ROI.

With this in mind, here are 3 B2B trend and development that will become increasingly influential in the coming months: -

The death of digital marketing (but only as we know it)

Although this headline may seem completely ridiculous at first glance, it refers primarily to the term digital marketing and its consideration as a niche discipline. After all, Internet marketers Inboundly reported that 71 per cent of companies were planning to invest more into their digital marketing budget last year, with these brands also spending 60% of their time solely on such activities.

This underlines the continued growth of digital marketing and its emergence as a mainstream practice, as the boundaries between social, online and offline channels have blurred and customers have continued to prioritise the digitally experiences. As a result of this, B2B firms have followed the B2C template of creating an integrated, over-arching digital strategy the covers multiple online channels.

The trend will continue at pace throughout 2016, as digital techniques continue to play a leading role within a fluid and increasingly adaptable marketing realm.

The renaissance of email marketing

While digital marketing disciplines may have become seminal over the course of the last two years, the opposite can be said of email marketing. Once a leading tactic in any online marketing drive, the use of email has become moribund as real-time communication tools and social media channels have grown prominent.

Despite this, considered research in this field is helping to re-establish email marketing as an extremely effective tactic for creating brand awareness, driving customer retention and optimising conversions. This will come to a head during 2016, as brands finally begin to leverage their email marketing potential in the B2B space.

This should not come as a surprise, as email marketing offers a myriad of benefits to B2B firms. The effectiveness and ROI of an email campaign can be accurately measured, for example, while this platform also allows for a depth of communication that is not possible through social media. Despite this, emails can also be sent in real-time, so this the channel still allows for impactful and well-timed releases.

Just bear in mind that the key to capitalising on this trend relies on design and execution, especially with an increasing volume of emails read through smartphones. You must therefore focus on optimising the mobile experience, ensuring that email templates are responsive, fast-loading and designed to be accessed on phones and tablets.

The customer journey will become a key B2B focus

Historically, the customer experience is something that has only concerned retailers and B2C firms. This has gradually begun to change, however, with the result that the customer's journey from acquisition to sale is one that is becoming increasingly influential in the world of B2B.

This makes sense on numerous levels, as the growing influence of customer experiences has impacted on B2B buyers and encouraged them to demand something similar in their professional interactions. In this respect, the cultivation of a positive (and relevant) customer journey can drive both profitability and a unique value proposition, benefiting B2B buyers and streamlining the processes used to deliver products and services.

As the year progresses, there is no doubt that this trend will take hold as B2B leaders look to identify individual needs and deliver the type of customised experiences that help them to secure their market share.