By Shreegopal Kabra
In the past five to ten years, B2B marketing has undergone some significant changes as marketers shifted their focus from sales and cold calling to digital content marketing strategies and search engine optimisation tactics in an effort to attract new customers. Marketing to businesses is a whole new challenge as compared to marketing to direct consumers. This is the reason a different marketing method exists for B2B marketing.
As the growth of B2B businesses continue to rise, a unique brand voice is more crucial now than ever before. It helps businesses to stand out amongst the sea of competitors and is one of the major trends witnessed in 2022. Brands are also transitioning to digital marketing methods like improving their SEO and content marketing, enabling video marketing tactics using various formats and platforms as well as using social media to their full potential.
Here are 5 ways businesses can approach B2B marketing:
Ethical branding is the future
With the pandemic, people have become more aware of the potential impact their money can have in good or bad times and companies have been forced to update their branding to reflect their ethical values and messaging. Companies that effectively market to diverse audiences will experience a wider and more profitable reach. Marketers can help build an ethical brand by ensuring that messaging across all platforms uses inclusive language and imagery that accurately reflects the diversity.
Retention marketing has been around since the time the first person sold something to someone else as the seller realised it is easier and more efficient to sell to existing customers than to find new customers. Retention marketing is to maintain customer relationships resulting in higher marketing ROI through continued sales at a lower cost per sale. Businesses can retain their customers through onboarding and education, customer training, constant communication, ongoing customer support, surveys and testimonials and lastly customer appreciation.
Effective use of social media
Social media, if used efficiently, is one of the best ways to build trust and transparency in the brand. While creating a social media strategy, it is important to think about these two pillars as it changes the way you approach social media and lead to a better result. Businesses will be seen focusing on integrating real-time customer feedback into social media content, making it easy to find the contact information of key decision-makers, sharing customer stories and case studies, being transparent about pricing and services, providing regular updates on company performance and allowing customers to see the company’s values and culture.
Machine learning and augmentation of AI
Many businesses are leveraging machine learning and AI to augment data to make their business more efficient. The stringent privacy restrictions means businesses have to rely on first-party and inferred data for lead generation and closing deals. Machine learning and AI is being extensively used by businesses to provide personalised customer experience and improve the accuracy of marketing campaigns. Businesses will need to focus on data quality and data augmentation to personalise customer experiences further and use their marketing strategies effectively.
Create original content
Content marketing is one of the most important strategies among B2B marketers. It holds a special value when it comes to generating leads and driving sales. Creating content that addresses the audience’s concerns and needs, gives the brand an opportunity to rank in search results for the keywords they search on Google and other search engines. When the target audience clicks on these search results, the brand can be established as a helpful source of information from the start and helps the consumer with easy decision making.
These are the trends impacting the B2B segment and are likely to grow with the dynamic environment. Brands need to remember that content is of utmost importance and will help in building and fostering relationships with their customers while also attracting new ones. Aspects like technology advancements, consumer behaviours, etc. are evolving and it is in the best interest of businesses to adapt to the changing times and implement the same in their marketing strategy.
The author is managing director and group president of RR Global. Views expressed are personal.