As a creative marketing agency, we recognize that industry trends are constantly evolving – especially in business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
In B2B marketing, strategies are crafted to navigate the complex web of business relationships. The focus must extend beyond speaking to individual consumers to the intricacies of corporate decision-makers. B2B marketing is a landscape where precision and personalization are paramount, and the success of campaigns often depends on understanding the unique needs and challenges of fellow businesses.
Insider Intelligence reports that B2B marketing spending is expected to grow while budgets likely remain tight. Due to this landscape, it’s essential to stay current.
Today, we’re diving into the art and science of B2B marketing, exploring crucial components, innovative examples, and emerging trends in this ever-evolving domain, helping you craft compelling narratives to forge meaningful connections.
Diversity, equity & inclusion
If you are a B2B company, it will be vital to keep diversity, equity, and inclusion top of mind. It is reported that “More than three in five B2B leaders globally (64%) said their campaigns include people of color, people with disabilities, and people of different ages and gender identities in their images. That figure is highest in LATAM (70%) and second-highest in NA (65%).”
When incorporating your company values with your marketing plan, be aware of the importance of DEI initiatives. Gen X, millennials, and Gen Zers care deeply that these principles are represented throughout the organization, including their marketing.
Bumble launched a successful campaign representing DEI principles. In their video, Bumble explained that their app sees a variety of users in the New York City area, and the company celebrates them.
Add a human element
In the era of artificial intelligence and advancing technologies, infusing a human element into your B2B marketing efforts is more crucial than ever. While AI enhances efficiency and data-driven decision-making, a human touch builds trust and creates lasting connections.
Eighty-one percent of consumers want brands to get to know and understand when to approach them and when not to. You’re missing out on a monumental opportunity if you’re not using personalization. Businesses of all types and sizes – from email to e-commerce – offer the relevance and personalization that the strategy provides.
Take Monday’s zero-party data collection strategy, for example. On its homepage, the brand prompts visitors to pick how they intend to use Monday’s product. When a visitor picks an option, the “Get Started” button lights up in the color corresponding to their selection.
In addition to this fun aesthetic choice, Monday can use the zero-party data garnered through this interactive element to customize the rest of the website for a particular visitor.
Amp up thought leadership content
Establishing thought leadership is a cornerstone of successful B2B marketing strategies. It is a powerful catalyst for building trust, credibility, and influence. As decision-makers seek guidance and expertise, businesses that position themselves as thought leaders can become trusted advisors to your target audience.
To execute effective thought leadership content, go beyond product promotion and establish yourself as an authority in your respective industry. Your blog post articles, LinkedIn articles, and videos should offer valuable insights, industry trends, and, most importantly, strategies to propel them forward.
In the B2B space, decision-makers turn to thought leaders for informed perspectives to drive their choices, so investing in thought leadership content is a commitment to shaping the industry’s narrative and earning a place at the forefront of innovation.
SAP is one of those innovative companies. The company invites influencers to industry events to help them increase social engagement and extend their brand awareness. At one event in Germany, they invited five influencers to discuss machine learning, data analytics, and IoT.
The event was trending in Germany for two days. The influencers in attendance drove 50% of all social media mentions about this event, showing B2B can work with influencers just as well as business-to-consumer.
High-quality content will always remain supreme, and as AI-generated content increases, so will the demand for high-quality content. Webfx.com reports that 44% of marketers already use AI for content creation and ideation in 2024, identifying content holes, finding ways to expand on topics, developing potential writing outlines, and more.
However, despite AI efforts to replicate unique, creative content, it still needs more capacity to provide the same high-quality content created by individuals. While you can certainly use AI in some marketing capacity, we recommend focusing your marketing efforts on creating campaigns that reflect human emotion, creativity, and exceptional quality.
Focus on LinkedIn
B2B companies should continue to focus on LinkedIn as a powerful platform for networking, connecting with potential clients/customers, and launching B2B marketing campaigns.
The average person watches 17 hours of online video per week, catapulting the importance of video content in your marketing strategy. While video marketing is already a powerful vehicle for B2B companies, it is expected to grow even more in 2024. Thus, creating high-quality, engaging video content that tells a story and connects with your audience is key.
Column Five is sharing some incredible B2B video marketing campaigns that will inspire your next marketing efforts, including this video from Dropbox:
Prioritize these B2B marketing trends for 2024 and solidify a top place in your industry. While AI, social media, and content creation continue to evolve, the overarching theme is the value placed on people, emotion, and creativity.