Four B2B digital marketing trends to watch in 2021

Our new normal is still taking shape. Businesses and marketers are still learning how COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption. What we do know is that buyer groups and B2B sellers are facing this new normal together, and we can learn and act from that starting point.

Right now, new players have joined an increasingly crowded B2B digital landscape, and there is an imperative for businesses to:

  • communicate authentically
  • reduce prospect friction
  • gain confidence through buyer intent insights 

To spot B2B digital marketing trends, it comes back to thinking where our buyers are going to be.

Gartner research on the B2B buying journey shows that buyer groups are spending as much as 27% of their time researching independently online. That’s almost 1/3 of their working week.

So which platforms and tactics are going to best enable you to meet these buyers where they are in their journey?

Four growing digital marketing trends we’re seeing in 2021

1. Automated testing platforms for creative

Digital creative is crowded, with audiences seeing as many as 5,000 -10,000 messages a day in some markets.

How do you cut through?

Zappi is an example of an ad testing suite that can deliver insights to marketers in tight spans of time. It’s tools have been developed to power test-and-learn approaches throughout the ad development process. Users can test creative early in ideation and concepting or final ads, optimise based on feedback, and continue; until you have an effective ad for your vertical audience.

Ads are evaluated based on configured KPIs and diagnostics such as heat maps for static assets, or second-by-second response for video or audio, creating the best chance for engagement and conversions once in-market.

With capabilities across static, digital, broadcast, audio and branding, Zappi is a platform demonstrating the opportunity in bringing B2C expertise in knowing what buyers want, across to the B2B space.

To learn more, take a look at Insight Platforms’ recently published list of the top automated advertising testing platforms.

2. People-centered messaging

In a recent McKinsey publication on elevating customer experience during COVID, shows that companies have been fast at understanding which behaviours and digital experiences are generating interest and investing in them. Just as critical as providing those access points for buyers, is ensuring that the messaging that meets those prospects feels authentic.

A favourite principle to remember in B2B digital marketing: people buy from people. Simple messaging that takes into consideration your audience and their circumstance can be impactful. Address their pain point early, and show you’ve paid attention to their business or developments in their sector.

Note: Don’t overthink when writing briefs that tee up all content, whether a whitepaper synopsis, blog or email nurture campaign copy.

3. Conversational marketing

Modern is currently partnering with international technology clients to integrate conversational tactics and platforms into B2B digital marketing. What does that mean?

Deploying platforms like Drift that empower people-centered dialog, reducing friction in customer engagement and the sales funnel. Tactics can involve intelligent chatbots for visitors to your website offering a 24/7 voice for your brand, conversational UI within Facebook Messenger and, marketing tools that shorten the sales cycle. 

Drift recently found in research for its 2021 State of Conversational Sales report that for organisations using a conversational sales solution:

  • 53% of sellers saw improvements in overall revenue growth
  • 49% saw improvements in their overall customer lifetime value
  • 45% were able to learn more about their buyers in less time
  • 42% were able to accelerate revenue generation
  • 38% could book more qualified meetings
4. Behavioural insights in account-based marketing (ABM)

Intgrating intent and behavioural insights into an ABM programme is a wise path to bridge the gap that can exist between marketing and sales teams when agreeing which companies to target.

Cross-functional marketing and sales teams that are sharing insights on existing customers or prospects who are researching topics that indicate their requirements have evolved, or are closer to/further from your service offering, will have more success in delivering quality leads and retention.

Modern has been using intent-tracking tools such as those available from Cyance and 6Sense in campaigns to help frame targeting and content strategies with intent topic insights sourced from activity across thousands of publisher websites, using device and company matching.

What’s next

Trends emerging during the COVID recovery, like the above, show us that it’s vital to have an adaptable digital experience that thinks first about where our buyers are, what they’re facing and how we can remove friction from their journey.

Need help developing your strategy, designing your programme structure and devising the right process to meet your objectives? Get in touch.

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