6 B2B Marketing Trends For Winning In 2016

6 Predictions for B2B MarketingWith 2015 nearly over, it’s time to get out the crystal ball and share what will be the big trends for B2B marketing in 2016.

There’s no end to posts predicting the next big thing in 2016. In fact, these are virtually the same predictions many made in 2015 – including me. 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 2016, 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 2016, data will continue to 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 2016?

Good Selling in 2016!

Greg Bonsib is an author of the new Mighty Guides Ebook Data Disruption.

4 Secrets to Transforming Your Marketing Team into a Data-Driven Marketing Organization

The phrase “data driven” has become a major business buzzword with companies possessing a data-driven nature reporting significantly higher profits than ones that do not.

So data driven has become a rally cry. What’s most important isn’t the data alone; it’s what you do with the data.

You need to see the forest for the trees. Unfortunately, data makes it all too easy to focus on the leaves!

4 secrets to succeeding with data-driven marketing

Here are four secrets to transforming your marketing with data:

  1. Start small. Be focused on how you begin. Think crawl, walk, run. Keep the customer in the bulls-eye. Look first at an online ad campaign. Try a few different approaches. Have an objective against how you are measuring. Keep your budgets small. This is a process that takes time and few organizations have patience as a virtue.
  2. Test & learn. Be flexible and be ready to change based on what’s working and what isn’t. The goal here is to learn, make mistakes and try new avenues. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating new creative, adding or deleting key search terms or even targeting a new demographic.
  3. Build on success. As you discover approaches that work (are resonating with customers), begin the process of scaling up.
  4. Document your knowledge. Really you’re doing this along the way so you know what it is you are trying. And really you’re sharing your successes throughout the organization, gaining credibility and shifting resources toward “proven” marketing programs.

Data proves your marketing works to the CEO and CFO

At the end of the day, you want to be able to solve your customer’s problems. And that’s the real power of data-driven marketing: less gut instinct and more knowledge.

It is being able to gain resources for programs because you can demonstrate they have a return/quantifiable result.

The end result is more efficient, more effective and more customer focused marketing.

Maybe it should be called customer marketing instead of data-driven marketing because the customer is the real winner.

Good Selling!

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