B2B marketing trends in 2016 and ones to watch for in 2017

This morning, at the first day of CommuniGator’s Customer Conference, keynote speaker Dr. Dave Chaffey spoke about the B2B marketing trends in 2016 and the ones to watch for in 2017. Founder and CEO of SmartInsights.com, he spoke about the waves of marketing. With different trends crashing forward into 2017, his speech helped market-leaders in their respective industries establish which marketing waves they should be riding.

He kicked it off by asking the question: “How important is mobile to B2B?”

Well, what a biggie to start off with. With Google constantly challenging the parameters of mobile marketing, it is important for marketers to keep an eye on what is happening in the mobile world. However, even though mobile adoption is the biggest trend for customers, marketers should first focus on making sure their desktop experience delivers, Dave told us.

However, this mindset might not keep for long. The whole “Don’t think mobile first?” strategy IS going to change in the coming years. Those marketers who can deliver both a desktop and mobile experience will benefit the most in 2017.

Now, this word “mindset” is where Dave’s keynote got interesting…

The change from moment marketing to mindset marketing

We’ve all heard of personas, but the fact of the matter is, personas do not tap into the reality of the customer. What this marketing tool needs to be able to do is address HOW people buy products. It’s no longer about traditional profiles or what department they work in. No, as Dave pointed out in his talk it’s looking at how people change and develop in their roles.

You need to look for where people change roles, what qualifications they are doing, how they are expanding their role. Essentially you need to find a way to tap into their career in order to connect your B2B marketing with your key decision makers.

Think: what would my ideal customer be typing into Google in order to get the answer to the questions they need? The businesses that are answering these questions on their website are the ones that are performing. They are the ones that are converting prospects into customers.

“The smart use of SEO goes into a level of detail beyond just using keywords on your website. I’m amazed that more people aren’t tapping into its potential. Those who put a back seat to their SEO are damaging their opportunities.” – Dave Chaffey

So which marketing channels are manageable?

Dave and his team have identified over 130 marketing channels, both traditional and digital. Of course, 130 marketing channels is completely unmanageable. So Smart Insights have broken it down into 8 key areas. From there they identified the five most important things for B2B marketing as we move into 2017.

These are:

  1. Big Data
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Marketing Automation (including email, lead scoring, and personalisation)
  4. Mobile Marketing
  5. Conversion Rate Optimisation

For us, here at CommuniGator, our focus will be on making sure our customers make marketing automation a priority. As Dave pointed out, many B2B marketers buy into the theory of marketing automation. Yet, most don’t take the time to set up the right processes to enable effective marketing automation.

But for more on the marketing automation techniques that are emerging, see what Dave had to say in our full interview with him.

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