2020 B2B Marketing Trends Overhaul
2020 Marketing Changes
2020 promises many changes in how marketers do their jobs. Most experts who predict the significant changes in traditional marketing strategies see a common thread will see greater attention to ‘audience convenience’ and ‘personalization’. Whatever your vision, your marketing message must define how you solve ‘their’ problems.
This means emphasizing authenticity and connectivity beyond “sales-pitch hype” and a laser focus on your prospects and customers. Figure out ways of optimizing content and prioritizing the conversations you have with them. Decide What your company’s story will be then engaging your customers personally – and yes that means talk to them – capture their attention and their lifelong loyalty to your brand.
1: Marketing Technology Consolidation
2: Themed Website Decline
Sure, formula WordPress themes are ubiquitous, inexpensive, easy to develop and deploy. But, because companies will need higher-end custom sites with a unique experience and premium branding, they’ll be shopping for something better. Color pre-built themes and frameworks gone and websites that are truly exceptional and differentiating are in.
3: ‘Consequential’ Data Review
Google Ads, Google Analytics, automation platforms and B2B marketing information have become, well, abundant. Marketers have realized that click-through rates by variant are based on “junk data.” B2B marketing in 2020 will employ meaningful metrics by evaluating what data is used to make decisions and actually influence the bottom line – not just generate stroke vanity.
4: Prospect Focus
Focus on your client. They’re the once who really matter and ARE your marketing targets. So, your approach should include a (re)focus on delivering experiences and messages that grab the potential buyer’s attention. It’s not about you. When marketers stop worrying about self-fulfillment and self-aggrandizement, they’ll refocus on what really matters – hearing the cash register ring.
5: Google PPC Yes with Some Modifications
Google Ads is now mature and simple … but has driven the cost up on a whole lot of areas. 2020 will see firms change their Google Ad bidding strategies that is more focused on who the buyer is and what they want. Smart marketers will now be focusing their bidding strategies on the problem potential customers are trying to solve, while avoiding high-dollar bidding terms. Learn about them and know who they are.
6: Sales & Marketing Get Divorced!
The line between marketing and sales has eroded to almost nonexistence. 2020 will revolve around sales enablement, meaning, marketing folks will assume a hybrid character by nurturing a prospect from their first interaction through customer engagement. Realize that that marketing-qualified leads aren’t enough now; marketers must create what sales needs by supporting their effort through the ‘close’ – and beyond. This calls for non-traditional lead nurturing, targeted advertising that coincides with demos and proposals, and pre/post-purchase email cycles. If your sales and marketing folks can play nice, it will reap great benefit.
7: From B2C to B2B
B2B lead generation seeks hyper-specialized targeting while B2C uses mass outreach tools. Think Facebook advertising which is often too blunt to be effective. 2020’s solution is based on demographics and predicted behavior and will highly target specific industry segments, companies and individuals, with laser precision. “B2B” gains a better understanding of the specific prospect - do they fit your demographic, and then, what’s the best approach to target them – not capturing thousands who may just vaguely resemble your prospect.
8: Reducing Garbage Content
People expect content – there is more of it today than ever before. But, producing content for content’s sake usually creates, well, junk and offers little value to the target. The awkward reality is that ranking on Page 1 of Google’s results doesn’t mean you’ll ever convert anyone. To survive, your 2020 B2B marketing should offer content exchanged well-presented useful stuff to the right audience.
Experts predict the biggest B2B marketing movement next year will be offering engaging messages that work for clients and talking to your audience – not hyping yourself. Go back and read #3 and #4!
Social Media Buzz Posts Matter
"Brand Buzz" On Steroids
Marketing Brand Buzz defines a product or service interaction between consumer/users by amplifying or changing a marketing message that either invokes a positive or negative emotion, energy, or expectation. It’s generated through marketing pursuits by a brand owner or the result of public awareness via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube).
Terms used to describe buzz in the business community include:
- Volume (the number of interchanges related to a product or topic in a given time period)
- Rating or Level (qualitative measure of positive or negative sentiment or amount of engagement associated with the product).
These buzz channel Measurements include:
- Visits, views, mentions, followers and subscribers
- Next-level measures such as shares, replies, clicks, re-tweets, comments and wall posts provide a better indication of the participants' engagement levels.
Your Company’s Social Media Buzz Posts Matter
Social Media Users & Brand Interaction
A 2019 survey of 1,000 consumers asked which traits they want brands to portray online and what action-specific brand image (humor or friendliness) prompts a response as seen below:
- 88% of consumers are annoyed when brands mock their fans
- 75% of consumers appreciate humor from brands
- 71% of consumers find brands engaging in politics online annoying
Brand Personality: the More Authentic…the More Effective Your Message Becomes
Brand personality connects your product and consumers and reflects what your brand stands for. It should be the standard running through all of your marketing and creative initiatives.
Tweak and Measure:
Consumers feel strongly about what they want from social platform brands. Across all age groups, 83% of consumers look for key characteristics of your brand’s personality revealed on Facebook which defines the greatest mix of content formats and target appropriate audiences.
Each product brand you have requires that you understand your audience and:
- why they’re use it?
- What content they expect?
- What is their threshold for your marketing push?
- What trends has this engagement rendered?
Once you answer these questions you can determine which platforms need more personality and which are okay.
Balance Between Cool and Annoying:
Navigating the line between annoying and cool requires that you either ‘hold’ or ‘mold’ your brands’ identity (why people like/use it) to what they expect. Then, talk to your audience the way they talk to you. Provide them with what they’re looking for—not what you want them to look for.
Humor on social doesn’t drive ROI, and depending on your industry, a humorous social presence isn’t your audience’s top priority. So, focus on what the majority of consumers want and what any brand - regardless of industry – provides to them: an honest, helpful, friendly connection.
Bragging can backfire as well. If snarky Tweets and humorous memes dominate your product’s personality, you may lose devotees. It is a fine line so focus on giving consumers the brand buzz they want: honest, helpful and friendly content. View: in-depth US 2019 Report (select country):
Is your social branding buzz working for you? If not, HQZ Experts helps clients define the scope of their company’s social brand buzz outreach. Call us: 949-454-6149 or email
Surprise in Your "Bag-of-Tricks"
Case Studies convincingly define why your company is different and special by demonstrating how a business relationship with you has benefitted “XYZ Company” through growth, expanded outreach, financial upturn, etc. Case studies provide alternative selling propositions, such as:
- Demonstration of success
- Sales report promotions reports
- Substantiation for trade journal articles
- Effective ‘closer for sales’
- Demonstrating solutions
- Company newsletters
- Annual reports
Think of case studies as testimonials on steroids. Used as valuable alternative marketing tools, case studies promote your product or service through a reliable and credible source … but you aren’t making the claims. The impact of case studies increases your credibility because you aren’t the voice promoting. Remember that case study ‘acclamations’ bestowed on your brand often make a significant impact - whether online or used in your marketing toolbox.
Asking customers for a case study is an artform; if your approach is casual and appropriately timed, they are generally pleased to participate when asked.
Ready, Set. Go for It
Your happiest customers make the ideal first candidates since they’ve already voluntarily shared their satisfaction about your product or service. Specifically, those who have thanked you for your support or for helping resolve a problem … almost always respond eagerly because they’ve already expressed their unsolicited gratitude.
After reaching out to customers that use your products and services regularly or have sent you referrals … and then agree to be the subject of a case study … ask open-ended questions that allow them to define the ‘solution you provided’ in their own words. Below is a sampling of frequently asked case study questions:
- Please provide a brief description of your company
- How did you first hear about us?
- Why were you seeking an alternative?
- What solution were you looking for?
- What feature of our product was most appealing?
- What was the initial reaction to our solution?
- How has our solution helped since implementation?
- Has this solution saved money and/or increased productivity?
- What have you been most impressed with?
- Is there anything else we should know?
Emphasize Mutual Opportunity
Help customers view a case study as an opportunity from which both you and they will benefit. Define how exposure of the story can be advantageous – increased sales, growth, how a new solution caused a dramatic change in their market, etc. Then ensure the development process will be timely and not burdensome to them.
Case Studies are far less costly to produce than most traditional marketing tools. They become your most appealing “self-promotion” because they are verified and honest. Contact HQZ Experts www.hqzexperts.com or 949-454-6149 - allow us to assist you in soliciting case study referrals for your company.
Put some umph in your marketing messages.
Marketing 2020 Style
It's All About the Customer's Sandbox
Because customer experience is replacing mass advertising as the preferred customer connection, marketing pros must also shift gears and incorporate greater complexity in their program. Why? Because the accelerating pace of technology change, mobile lifestyles and an explosion of potential marketing channels (connected objects and locations) have already begun changing marketing.
By 2020, based on new interactions created between you and your customers, vast innovation will be viewed on small screens. The three technology-specific trends expected to have the biggest impact on marketing organizations by 2020 include: Mobile devices and networks (59%); Personalization technologies (45%); and the Internet (39%).
Now more than ever customer analysis will include factors such as demographics, psychographics, clickstream (purchase behavior), customers’ devices or locations, the content they’re viewing, or other data points. Yet, defining a “best” customer profile requires deeper evaluation:
- Uniqueness: Is the data specific to the user or common to a target sector?
- Privacy: Does the data require a customer’s permission or consent?
- Applicability: Will the data apply across marketing and business processes?
- Value: Will the data help a marketer meet key performance or business goals?
Marketers identify one customer profile that strategically integrates marketing analysis, creative development and marketing automation capabilities. All which helps marketers sustain the customer throughout the transaction.
It’s no surprise that marketing complexity has accelerated. 2020 will see noticeable marketing practices changes, resulting from heightened technology changes, mobile lifestyles and a significant increase in marketing channels. Specifically, these technology trends will be mobile devices, networks and personalization technologies.
Today the top three channels that link you and your customers include: Mass-media print channels first, Television, and Radio last. Not surprisingly, interactive media conduits like the WWW, social media and e-mail rank the highest.
Looking ahead, customer marketing channels are predicted to see social media increasing sharply while the WWW will decline. By 2020, mobile apps and mobile web will overtake e-mail as a top channel to the customer – it is already happening. This migration suggests that the top three channels to the customer will be those focusing on personalization and engagement, while the bottom three channels focus on publishing.
Win, Nurture & Retain Customers
So, expect and prepare for changes in your traditional marketing approaches. These efforts should adapt to a well-defined customer profile, then drive that personalized customer experience across platforms at every touch point. Meaning that as data and analytics skills alter marketing strategy, a new model of value and exchange - based on personalized customer experiences - must evolve.
Why? Because a customer ‘experience-based’ marketing approach is a better model than advertising in a crowded, information-rich marketing environment. Besides, you must interact with prospects and customers in their sandbox ... because your competitors certainly will.
Converting your marketing dynamics can be tricky … HQZ Experts understands that and will assist your marketing shift to prepare for the shift.