There’s often a moment in a boxing match when the fight changes drastically– a big hit, a comeback, or even a close call. It’s usually unexpected and the opponent has to adjust to their strategy.
B2B marketing, like everything else, evolves over time. It adjusts to current trends and the newest consumer behaviors in order to remain relevant and effective. While changes are inevitable, how things change and the impact they have on companies are often unpredictable.
The most recent shifts in B2B marketing include those who are making buying decisions and what these decisions involve. Audiences are becoming younger and more digital than ever before. To keep your B2B marketing strategies up to date, we’ve outlined the top three changes you’ll want to address.
The Three Opponents of B2B Marketing
A Younger, More Influential Audience
- In the past, there was an even range of ages for the B2B marketing audience. However, in just a few years, the range dissipated into one primary group: millennials. Due to their young age, millennials are very familiar with the digital landscape. They were born into the digital age and have never known a world without internet, email, or even smartphones. Since millennials are so digitally affluent, companies need to adapt their B2B marketing to reach their new customer base where they’re at- online.
- Typically, upper-level executives have the final say in a purchase decision. However, it’s becoming more common to see millennials with more influence. While the c-suite folks still have the majority of the power, the dynamic has changed to include a mix of individuals. Even if these non-executives don’t make the final decision, the vast majority have some influence. So, companies need to be sure to adapt their B2B marketing strategies to this new generation of consumers or risk losing business.
A Broad Search Strategy
- Most consumers start their research with a broad, generic search as opposed to a branded search. In the early stages of awareness, the search is used to gather information on a variety of tools, not businesses. In addition, the length of time spent on research has increased dramatically. B2B companies typically are halfway through the purchase process and have done at least 10 searches before landing on a brand-specific site. Often, a company isn’t involved with the sales team until they’re ready to purchase. However, this doesn’t mean you get to sit on the sidelines and watch. Actually, it’s the opposite. Your B2B marketing needs to get your company noticed early on in the research process to even be considered for purchase. This can be done through lead generation and marketing automation. By focusing your search strategy on the earlier parts of the sales process, ie. “brand awareness”, will help your company gather customers, and thus sales, down the road.
A Digital Purchase Path
- With the development of voice search, Google’s quick answer, and local results, it’s no surprise that mobile devices are used more frequently than computers when it comes to research. The convenience allows consumers to search throughout the sales process, even making a purchase if they choose. Having a mobile-friendly B2B marketing strategy is critical in reaching your customers, wherever they may be.
- Implementing videos into your B2B marketing campaigns can help attract interest and engagement for your business. Videos are richer than plain text or an image because they combine both visual and sound, making them more memorable in the viewer’s mind. Producing videos that help explain a product, demonstrate a procedure, or give a review help your customers to better understand your company while keeping them coming back for more.
Rising to the Challenge
It’s more important than ever to stay on top of all the major changes happening in B2B marketing. Your business will be able to reach your customers and satisfy their needs. Marketing to a younger audience, using a broad search strategy, going mobile, and implementing videos are just a few things your company can do to be successful. Biznet Digital has been in the corner of many B2B companies to help coach them on their marketing efforts. Check out our services page to see how we can help you knock out the competition!