1. 10 Predictions On The Future Of B2B Marketing

Recently, there has been a great deal of talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, among many other things. The B2B segment has also been evolving at a rapid pace because of the technological changes and new buying behaviours.

This calls for a few predictions for B2B marketing in the years to come. Many of the predictions listed below are based on the adoption of new technologies and the realisation of previous years’ trends.

  1. Blockchain Technology

The next big disruption to marketing is expected to be posed by blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin. ClickZ predicts that ‘tokenization’ of traditional marketing elements will materialise as follows:

  • The use of blockchain in advertising will change the way exchange of value takes place between publishers, advertisers, and users. For example, a token-based system enables the audience to choose the ad they want to view in exchange for a payment.
  • An email sender will command the recipient’s attention by making a payment to him/her. This amounts to compensating users for sparing their time for you.
  • Brands could use the blockchain technology for conducting marketing research. They just have to offer some payment to respondents.

This is not an exhaustive list and the blockchain technology can be used in the field of marketing in many other ways.

  1. Predictive Analytics Tools

Data and modelling are not new to B2B, but the strategies and tools that have been introduced in the past few years will create a new type of data-driven marketing.

In prospecting, new resources such as purchase signals and lookalike modelling will enhance the access of marketers to new audiences and improve their ability to adopt Account-based Marketing (ABM) programs such as Lattice, Mintigo, Leadspace, 6Sense, and MRP Prelytix.

According to experts, B2B industry will have to consider ABM as a business strategy and not as technology. Businesses have to shift their focus to accounts from leads and have a clear understanding of the basics of analytics/metrics and lead-to-account matching.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

AI will be used extensively in B2B marketing in the future because of its ability to not only speed up data processing but also to apply machine learning to predictive analytics, digital advertising, making websites responsive, and adding chatbots, among other things, for customer management. Example:  AI plug-in Einstein introduced by Salesforce.com

  1. GDPR Compliance

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) is being compared to that of the ‘Millennium Bug‘. Experts opine that marketing databases are not going to be lost because of the introduction of the regulation.

Though this is required by law and cannot be considered as a prediction, many businesses are likely to use GDPR to their benefit.

Businesses that have already prepared themselves for GDPR compliance will enjoy a head start. Businesses that practice transparency with respect to personal data usage and marketing will see improvement in goodwill and trust levels. This would help them beat their competition as well.

  1. Self-service Analytics

As the complexity associated with marketing increases, Chief Marketing Officers will start controlling technology budgets that are as big as that handled by Chief Information Officers and drive marketers to identify simple and new ways of taking advantage of technological developments without becoming geeks.

This will drive the need for self-service analytics tools which enable the availability of sophisticated business intelligence. These easy-to-use tools will be powerful and enable quick access to information.

For example, IBM’s Watson can now ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘talk’, ‘taste’, ‘interpret’, ‘read’, ‘learn’ and ‘recommend’. Products that are cheaper and even more accessible will be available in the market in the future.

  1. Customer Experience (Personalisation)

B2B marketers will finally start realising the fact that buying decisions are based not only on price but also on direct and/or indirect product experience, brand, and company.

This will be the situation even in the B2B segment where it is presumed that rational decisions are made.

SiriusDecisions, a global company involved in B2B marketing research and advisory, has been working on this aspect for a few years now.

Marketing departments will focus more on delivering enjoyable and informative experiences consistently both online and offline to prospects and customers.

  1. Millennial Buying Behaviour

New data suggests that millennials are wielding more power now and they are responsible for researching as well as influencing 65 percent of the purchase decisions. In 13 percent of the buying decisions, they are themselves the key decision makers.

Moreover, they turn to social media first when looking for solutions and not Google search or your website. As they age, their influence will also grow. Businesses need to be on top of their wavelength.

  1. Automation

Automation will be used to re-level the workforce. There is a feeling that automation will reduce the need for workers. This is not true. Human capital will always be required. Only the low-complexity and super high-complexity jobs, and rogue activities will be automated.

Workers will be required to put the tools to use and do data analysis. Such jobs will not be automated. This is because humans have something that machines don’t have. Humans have experience, ingenuity, and intuition.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR)

The demand for virtual reality experiences will grow faster and higher than ever before. In a survey, respondents from different age groups were asked as to whether they have tried out VR goggles. The results in terms of the age group and the percentage that has tried are as follows:

  • 18 to 24 years                  50 percent
  • 25 to 34 years                  54 percent
  • 35 to 49 years                  41 percent
  • 50 to 64 years                  21 percent
  • 65 years and above         11 percent
  1. Digital Video

According to experts, the increase in ad spending would bolster the traditional media for some more time, but digital videos will achieve mass reach in the near future. It all boils down to the number of people subscribing for cable services.

According to a survey, 50 percent of consumers belonging to all age groups are no longer subscribing to cable services. Instead, they are making use of services such as Netflix, Sling, and Hulu.

The Bottom Line

Summarizing, this is definitely not a comprehbbive list of prediction as regards the future of B2B marketing. However, it pays to keep these aspects in mind. The key trends to note will be differentiating business offerings, especially in the buzz-heavy space, and employing mature strategies.

Identifying what works best and implementing those strategies as quickly as possible is what will drive revenues for businesses in the years to come.

2. DOES TELEMARKETING STILL HAVE A PLACE IN B2B LEAD GENERATION

Most sales and marketing teams today have their budgets focused on digital channels. As a result, telemarketing has taken a back seat becoming an old forgotten art that is no longer needed.

But this is an incorrect approach. Telemarketing is still an effective tool, especially in the case of B2B lead generation, if incorporated correctly in the marketing mix.

Integrated Marketing Mix

The results of integrated marketing activity are much more as compared to the use of a single channel. There must be different touch points to reach to the potential customer. The popularity of email marketing campaigns has increased leading to junk mail becoming a common phenomenon.

You cannot be sure if your email was opened or not. If the recipient has opened your email, can you be sure that they have understood what you intend to convey and have seen your product/service as you want them to? Can you guarantee that they will get in touch with you to know more about your offering?

This is where telemarketing needs to make an entry. Telemarketing gives way to personal communication with the prospect. It helps brands gather market insight and nurture customer relationships which might not instantly convert into deals but will definitely establish a bond for the future.

Here are 5 reasons that show how telemarketing still has a place in B2B lead generation

 

Direct Communication

Telemarketing helps to establish a direct link with customers. It assists with building awareness for the business and its products. In fact, telemarketing is the only marketing strategy that gives an instant response.

One-on-one communication

Telemarketing adds a personal touch to communication. It gives potential clients the opportunity to interact with a genuine person and build a relationship of trust and confidence with the business.

Immediate Feedback

In the case of telemarketing, clients give an instant response – both positive and negative. With such communication, you get specific information about what works and what doesn’t. You know what prospects like and what they don’t.

The number of people you engage with, the better your understanding is about the target market. You can then alter your outbound calls and achieve more favorable results.

Hit the Right Target Market

Digital channels make it difficult for you to target specific segments of the market. Telemarketing eliminates this challenge. It helps you to contact a particular target market with a focus on those who will have an interest in your products/services and your offerings.

Repeat Sales

Telemarketing, on one hand, helps you to generate new leads. On the other, it gives you a chance to interact with previous clients and consistently work with them for the sale of new products and services.

When a client builds a bond of trust with your business, they listen to you with more attention and take your advice with respect to the offer you are making. This ensures that you have regular customers and the chances of referral also increase.

A Final Thought

Telemarketing is still one of the most effective tools for B2B lead generation. In combination with social media tools and digital marketing channels, telemarketing enhances the ROI of marketing strategies. Brand awareness can be established through digital channels while telemarketing can build strong one-on-one relationships.

3. How B2B Telemarketing Helps In Lead Generation

Most business owners concentrate on the acquisition stage of the sales funnel. They keep the objective of marketing activities synonymous with customer acquisition – the act of getting new customers for your business. Retention of these customers is not given as much importance as acquisition.

Customer relationships are what give a business maximum good in the long-run. Here are some of the ways in which customer retention strategies can supercharge your marketing.

  1. Maintain Current Customer Base

Customer retention strategies help you to remain in contact with existing customers. These strategies ensure that customers do not feel neglected and do not forget about the existence of your company. These customers can eventually become loyal customers and can prove to be extremely valuable in the growth of the organization.

  1. Record Customer Information

With the help of customer retention strategies, you have all updated records of your customers. You have the updated email address, contact number, and other personal information. This information can be used to reach out to the customer in times of a sale, discount offers, new product launches, and more.

  1. Customer Referrals

Constructive relationships with existing customers lead to referrals. This is because your existing customer base is really happy with your products and services and is likely to share your company details with their friends, relatives, colleagues and more.

  1. Retention is quite economical

Costs and expenses need to be cut down in order to maximize business profits. By focusing some of the sales and marketing efforts towards retention, the goal of lowering expenses can be achieved. Existing customers help to generate more ROI.

In fact, you are expected to spend five times more if you try to bring in new business as compared to dealing with existing ones. Several studies conclude that developing existing relationships is much more affordable because you are aware of the contacts and their information – interests, product preferences, order frequency, etc.

  1. Repeat Customers Reap Better Returns

While repeat customers are more economical than generating new ones, they also offer better returns. This is because they are expected to buy more frequently, have a bigger ticket size and help generate more revenue and profitability in comparison to first-time purchasers.

  1. Get Positioned as a Consultant

Customer retention strategies keep you in contact with the customer. You provide excellent customer service to them at regular intervals. This establishes your relationship with the customer as that of a consultant or advisor. A trusted service provider is way more important than a brand new organization reaching out to the target customer.

  1. Improve Product Offerings

Lines of communication are much better with existing customers than new customers. This makes it easier to discuss sensitive issues and at the same time have access to better feedback. When existing customers tell you how they feel about the product and your services, you are in a better position to create improvements and further develop your product for the target market.

  1. Break-through the Clutter

Customer retention strategies help you to stand out from the crowd. Several brands are running around searching for new customers but what they forget is that existing customers help collect referrals, testimonials, and reviews. It is this relationship with the customers that can help to set you apart from all competition.

Final Thoughts

There are several ways in which the implementation of customer retention strategies can take place. Whichever method you choose for implementation, these strategies will prove to be beneficial for the long-term growth of the organization. They will put you as an industry leader and act beneficial for both you and the customer.

4. How Customer Retention Strategies Can Supercharge Your Marketing

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Most sales and marketing teams today have their budgets focused on digital channels. As a result, telemarketing has taken a back seat becoming an old forgotten art that is no longer needed.

But this is an incorrect approach. Telemarketing is still an effective tool, especially in the case of B2B lead generation, if incorporated correctly in the marketing mix.

Integrated Marketing Mix

The results of integrated marketing activity are much more as compared to the use of a single channel. There must be different touch points to reach to the potential customer. The popularity of email marketing campaigns has increased leading to junk mail becoming a common phenomenon.

You cannot be sure if your email was opened or not. If the recipient has opened your email, can you be sure that they have understood what you intend to convey and have seen your product/service as you want them to? Can you guarantee that they will get in touch with you to know more about your offering?

This is where telemarketing needs to make an entry. Telemarketing gives way to personal communication with the prospect. It helps brands gather market insight and nurture customer relationships which might not instantly convert into deals but will definitely establish a bond for the future.

Here are 5 reasons that show how telemarketing still has a place in B2B lead generation

 

Direct Communication

Telemarketing helps to establish a direct link with customers. It assists with building awareness for the business and its products. In fact, telemarketing is the only marketing strategy that gives an instant response.

One-on-one communication

Telemarketing adds a personal touch to communication. It gives potential clients the opportunity to interact with a genuine person and build a relationship of trust and confidence with the business.

Immediate Feedback

In the case of telemarketing, clients give an instant response – both positive and negative. With such communication, you get specific information about what works and what doesn’t. You know what prospects like and what they don’t.

The number of people you engage with, the better your understanding is about the target market. You can then alter your outbound calls and achieve more favorable results.

Hit the Right Target Market

Digital channels make it difficult for you to target specific segments of the market. Telemarketing eliminates this challenge. It helps you to contact a particular target market with a focus on those who will have an interest in your products/services and your offerings.

Repeat Sales

Telemarketing, on one hand, helps you to generate new leads. On the other, it gives you a chance to interact with previous clients and consistently work with them for the sale of new products and services.

When a client builds a bond of trust with your business, they listen to you with more attention and take your advice with respect to the offer you are making. This ensures that you have regular customers and the chances of referral also increase.

A Final Thought

Telemarketing is still one of the most effective tools for B2B lead generation. In combination with social media tools and digital marketing channels, telemarketing enhances the ROI of marketing strategies. Brand awareness can be established through digital channels while telemarketing can build strong one-on-one relationships.

5. HOW TO GENERATE AND CLOSE MORE LEADS WITH EMAIL MARKETING

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Among the numerous marketing techniques that can be used by digital marketers, you should note that email marketing is the most effective.

A $1 investment in email marketing has the power to generate returns valuing $45.

And the main reason for this value addition comes from the comfort level of customers who look at emails as familiar and simple marketing tools.

The universal acceptance of emails is another promising factor that helps marketers to generate more leads.

If you are looking to exploit the power of email marketing, here is a list of do’s and don’ts that you need to know.

Firstly, you should be aware of the things you should not do with email marketing.

Marketers should always play safe by avoiding sending unsolicited emails. Gone are the days when you bought an email list from mailing list companies and email your prospective leads after uploading the list on your CRM platform. Now, with the advancements in email filtering, such emails do not reach your target audience. Additionally, they can also block your ISP. In such cases, your hands will be tied when cannot send an email to any of your leads.

So how should you implement the concept of email marketing?

Marketers should come up with a repository of opt-in prospects and leads which according to them would be interested in a conversation. They should then target these prospects and provide them with unmatched quality content compelling them to sign up for your products or services.



The Responsibilities of a Marketer with Relevance to Email Marketing

The job description of a digital marketer is to come up with various engagement practices so that they can encourage a number of potential customers who are at different points of the buying cycle. They are also expected to provide these leads (prospective customers) with an engaging content of utmost relevance, strictly following the non-invasive method of striking a conversation. If your question is to know the best way to fulfill these two responsibilities, you can rely on a marketing automation software that uncovers the functionality of your online offerings.

 

Marketing Automation Software – A Potent Means to Generate and Grow Leads

 

The marketing automation software is a boon to marketers since it allows them to generate email marketing ‘tracks’. According to a layman, a marketing ‘track’ is an assortment of emails that should be sent out to a unique selection of prospective buyers or customers who have expressed a specific interest in your offerings,. Once the software generates these marketing tracks, you are all set to slot your customers into segments and then send out these emails as streams of correspondence.

Let us now move on to the most crucial part and that is to design an email as part of your lead generation strategy.

  • A Compelling Subject Line Does the Trick

The first thing that catches the attention of your leads is the subject line of your email. Studies indicate that 35% of the readers open emails after getting impressed by the subject line. That means a subject line decides whether readers will proceed to read the body of your email or simply abandon it. So, marketers should strive to improve their headlines. An interesting tip would be to come up with subject lines that address the pain points of your leads. You may also come up with actionable subject lines like “download our e-book”. At times, posing open-ended questions like “Do you want help. How may I help you?” will also work wonders.

  • Simple and Crisp Content

The mailboxes of your prospects and leads are brimming with emails. In an attempt to allow readers to open your email, marketers should ensure that promotional emails are simple to read, showing up crisp and engaging content.

  • Replace Text With Images

You may also take the help of images since pictures promise a greater retention when compared to plain text. Hence, your email with images is sure to capture the attention of readers alongside effectively passing on your intended message.

  • Tap Into The Power of Social Networking Sites

Social networking platforms are one of the top tools to lead generation. You may support your emails with social media links, promoting your products on networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. This can be an effective tip for readers to share your content on the networking platform they are comfortable with.

  • CTA Can Educate the Readers About Your Offerings

Educating your leads about your products or services is another significant step in email marketing. You should take the assistance of a call-to-action (CTA), allowing them to perform certain activities by using action words like ‘read’, ‘try now’, ‘download and register’. These action words will prompt readers to accomplish your prime motive; to generate and close a lead. Along with these CTA, you should also support your email with the next step that should be taken by your readers.

All the above pointers once implemented can make your email marketing strategies tap into the pool of leads so as to enjoy increased sales.