6 B2B Marketing Trends To Outperform The Competition In 2015

With 2014 nearly over, it’s time to get out the crystal ball and share what will be the big trends for B2B marketing in 2015.

There’s no end to posts predicting the next big thing in 2015. And we all know those predictions are usually wrong – let’s make some, anyway!

Seeing marketing through the customer’s eyes

Seeing through the customer’s eyesMarketing and sales are starting to focus on adopting buyers’ perspectives with regards to selling. This “customer-based selling” is not selling in the traditional sense but more about helping customers to buy – a subtle but distinctive shift in mindset – and content is absolutely key to the success of this. Moving into 2015, content will become even more critical in the customer-based selling process, as marketing and salespeople look to share insights and engage customers based on what they need to make it easier for them to buy.

Content marketing is here to stay

Content marketing is here to stayContent, which is here to stay because brand building is storytelling and marketing is teaching, will continue to improve in quality instead of just quantity. The most successful content will be relevant, entertaining and informative based on where the customer is during their purchase journey. Content should build on itself, be aligned to your sales funnel and move with your customers in their purchase journey.

A picture is worth 1000 words

A picture is worth 1000 wordsVisual content is critical for brands to reach and engage their audiences. Infographics (especially with interactive graphics and embedded video) will continue to grow in popularity because of their value in education and thought leadership, all delivered in understandable sound bites. Expect short, graphically powerful slideshows to also gain popularity in delivering sales messaging.

Show and sell with video content

Show and sell with video contentWith Youtube’s popularity showing no signs of slowing down, video content will become the go to content resource for marketers. There may also be a shift from longer, consumable content like YouTube videos to shorter, snackable content like Instagram 15-second videos and Vine 6-second videos in B2B marketing.

Data will drive personalization

Data will drive personalizationIn 2015, data will play a larger role in content marketing. Beyond just producing great content, marketers need to reach and engage the right audience. Marketers will use data to personalize and deliver content to their highly connected, always-on users helping to create a more informed decision that reduces the risk of being overlooked and increases purchase confidence.

Fostering brand advocates

Are You Your Customers Biggest Fan?Marketers have always known that users who love their products buy more. We’ll see B2B marketers using creative and varied tactics on multiple social media platforms to build sales and win more users by sharing that are visual, compelling buyer testimonials.

Trends are both threats and opportunities for B2B marketers

6 Trends in B2B MarketingCompanies that see social media as something for teenagers will miss the opportunity to connect and educate their customers in a compelling way. Ultimately, they risk becoming irrelevant.

Marketers who move forward with these trends have the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, be seen as innovators and improve their odds of outperforming the competition.

What trends do you see for B2B marketers in 2015?

Good Selling in 2015!

The 5 Top Channel Instincts Posts Of 2014 – As Chosen By You

Street Smart Guy.emfAs 2014 draws to a close, so does the second year that Channel Instincts has been blogging.

Thank you for your continued interest, readership and comments.

But not all of you have been with us for the entire journey and while we have our own favorites, your clicks have let us know which posts struck a chord and were your favorites.

#5: 5 Tips to Succeed with Big Boxes

How to Sell Lowe's and Home DepotMaybe you already sell either Lowe’s or The Home Depot or both. Maybe you eat channel conflict for breakfast. But it’s been my experience that the continuous competitive clash between orange and blue is something that is tough for many manufacturers’ to figure out.

Selling one or both of the home center big boxes is a great way to drive volume. Each, however, works hard to differentiate themselves from one another. That makes it had to sell both of them when you have a commodity category. But it’s still possible to do this without being a major consumer brand.

#4: 4 Steps to Building an Internal Communication Plan

Effective internal communication is critical to your manufacturing successCommunication is critical within any business setting, but most importantly within a manufacturing facilities − where the right communication can really impact change and translate into business success.

What’s the best way to communicate?  How much should you communicate? How do you make sure your messages are heard? This guide will take you step-by-step through the communication process. It has simple, practical, easy-to-follow information you can put to use immediately.

#3: 8 Steps to Building a Customer-Focused Commercialization Strategy

8 Steps to a Commercialization StrategyBefore a commercialization plan can be developed and implemented, it must be driven by an overall commercialization strategy. By taking a strategic approach to your commercialization strategy, you will be better positioned to be successful with your new product launch.

The commercialization strategy should not contain a lot of financial detail or “how to,” but it must be consumer focused and customer centered and not technology focused. A key issue in a commercialization strategy is to set the direction to explore and understand the market. The commercialization strategy must focus on what satisfies the needs of the customer.

#2: Are You Using a 30-60-90 Day Marketing Plan?

Hired candidate had an action planAre you joining a company with big problems?  It may be too cliché, but it probably depends on if you see the glass half empty or half full.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hiring process and your ego can get in the way of asking the right questions.  You may never uncover or, worse, miss the warning signs that would prove that you cannot gain the commitments you’d need to succeed – especially with those critical quick wins that will help you gain credibility and traction with a new employer’s organization.

If you see the opportunity, the alignment and the financial backing, then you should accept that new position but only if you have a plan for success.  If any of those pieces of missing, there’s a good chance that you will fail.

#1: 7 Steps to Writing an Internal Communications Plan

Communication-PlanCommunication is critical within any business setting, but most importantly within a manufacturing facilities − where the right communication can really impact change and translate into business success.

What’s the best way to communicate? How much should you communicate? How do you make sure your messages are heard? This guide will take you step-by-step through the communication process. It has simple, practical, easy-to-follow information you can put to use immediately.

There you are, our top-5 list for 2014.  We hope you’ve enjoyed the posts over the past year, and we invite you to stay in touch in 2015 by following me on TwitterLinkedInSlideshare or Google+.

Good Selling!