With 2020 arriving, we as a field need to start moving toward new ways and strategies to approach the B2B market. As the market evolves, I believe these B2B strategies will shape a business’s success in the coming year.
Reach your target audience.
Remember, buying groups across an organization are, on average, made up of six people. Hidden influencers and business decision-makers are probably those who you would like to focus your efforts on. Do not rely on the C-suite alone. Though they still play an essential role, they lost their dominating voice a few years ago. Now, above half of those participating in the decision-making process are millennials. This shift happened in 2014, and the trend will keep evolving, so get ready to talk to them in their language. Think about the best moment in their careers to connect with them.
Get ahead of the content.
Yes, relevant content is still king. In the B2B world, content can create a meaningful connection with audiences to deliver the complexity of a B2B message. After conquering B2C, video is becoming a game-changer in the B2B space as well. In other words, video is “the new black” of B2B content.
According to a B2B content marketing report, 71% of B2B marketers surveyed said they’ve used video in the past 12 months.
Go mobile if you are not already there.
As mobile owns 61% of social media time in the U.S., it keeps changing our everyday lives, with B2B being no exception. According to Google, almost half of B2B research interactions take place on mobile across all purchase stages. This means that your mobile consumer journey should be as seamless as the narrow window of attention a user pays to a mobile interaction.
Find your voice.
As voice search keeps growing and gaining importance among interfaces, it is vital to understand which role it plays for your business. How can your call center be integrated into the user journey through voice search? As people rely more on voice assistants in their daily lives, they will expect to be able to have conversations more easily with B2Bs.
When it comes to innovation, it’s not only about AI and VR. Those are also important, but disruptive innovation and understanding how technologies are changing business models is the key to future successes. Evaluating your business model relevancy to clients’ needs and against competitors will help to keep track of your business-model health. Look beyond your category — as in the age of disruption, most of the time the threats are coming not from direct competitors but from the rapidly changing environment and new challenges that those changes bring to the table.
Separate emotions from brand investments.
This area, which many of us used to think of as a pure B2C challenge, plays an essential role in the B2B space. While even B2C brands like Adidas recently admitted that overinvesting in the immediate win of performance did not do so well, B2B brands are the next to come. Understanding the right share of investment likely remains a critical barrier. According to Les Binet and Peter Field, “In B2B, brands should balance the budget between long-term brand building and short-term sales activation with a 50/50 split.”
Make data your competitive advantage.
As storytelling with data has been an ultimate trend leading business decisions, defining what identifies business success and the essential KPIs that best reflect that performance is key.
The next step is determining the cost of the data assessment and keeping on the list only the KPIs that can be consistently delivered on a regular basis. Identify how advanced your analytics are — from descriptive analytics to predictive, perspective or automated, AI-based analytics — and evolve if need be. As much as analytics may seem to be necessary, adhering to the big-picture strategy should remain a primary priority, even if sometimes the data may speak to the contrary.
Equipped with these seven core strategies, one can get on top of the ever-evolving B2B market and ensure the best effort to enhance business performance excellency moving forward into 2020.
content originally ran in Forbes