In 2021, businesses should be moving out of their recovery phases and looking to accelerate growth. During 2020, many B2Bs took it upon themselves to undertake necessary restructuring - with a focus on survival but as we look forward, greater ambitions must dictate strategy. Here are some of the tips and tactics to help your B2B navigate its way towards a state of growth with focus on B2B marketing in 2021.
A new landscape for B2B marketing in 2021
We don’t need to recap the difficulties that have brought this new landscape about, but what we need to do is note the shifting priorities and needs. Recovery phases saw many B2Bs focus on upselling and cross-selling to stay afloat. 2021 will see the focus moving toward new customers as well; hence you will need to ensure that the information circulating about your brand fits in well contextually in comparison to other businesses in your industry and ensure that your B2B marketing strategy in 2021 is aligned to this thought.
One of the driving forces of B2B marketing in 2021 will be in the gaining of testimonials that share insight into experiences with your brand rather than the product or service you sell specifically. As you make plans for the year ahead, it will be essential to do an audit of the reviews on your brand and products or services. This is because referral marketing is still crucial. Additionally, B2Bs conduct intensive research before reaching out to potential vendors, and they will likely look for information relating to your brand from unbiased sources.
Since content marketing has been implemented fiercely throughout various industries, there is an abundance of high-quality content produced by everyone. It has become the standard to do so, leaving B2B consumers inundated with information. Therefore B2Bs will need to guide their audience in trusting in their own decision making by cutting through the content overload.
Putting B2B marketing plans into action
Many businesses may be grappling financially still. Therefore, marketers need to be sensitive to those who are only interested in essential core products and services. If this applies to your B2B, it is best to have an intensive B2B marketing strategy with a focus on a few techniques or social media platforms in the mix, rather than dabbling in too many, which may dilute your efforts.
As you develop your marketing strategy, it can be tempting to reinvent the entire operation you have going, as so much of life and business is changing. However, in many cases, a complete transformation is not necessary - instead, transitions are. The best way to do this is to optimise absolutely everything. This can carry you through until your business can supply you with bigger budgets for B2B digital marketing.
Knowing that B2B transactions take far longer than B2Cs do, marketers should realistically expect these lead times to be extended even further. Marketers will need to utilise their analytics to their full ability, as they can provide valuable predictions that can help you to assist leads throughout their buying process better. This will allow you to guide your customer through the sea of options available to them.
Following closely on this technological assistance is that of automation. It is a great way to increase your productivity while decreasing costs. Many B2Bs are utilising such tools on a fundamental level and will aim to upgrade to advanced levels in 2021. It, therefore, helps to look into the programs you use, as well as the benefits of such upgrades, including better advertising and communication with advanced chatbots.
B2B Marketing in 2021 - Tips and tactics
- Benchmarks: With so many changes, you will need to adjust your predictions and expectations. Goal setting when it comes to analytics will be challenging during these uncertain times, so the value of your efforts need to be measured in ways other than merely analytical reporting. The fact is, most B2Bs have access to intensive insights, so how you translate this will be paramount.
- Personalisation: Online meetings often result in people inviting others into their homes in a sense. With this comes the need for highly personalised interactions with leads. More than a specific name, you will need to consider each B2B leads journey with your brand to encourage conversion rates. Your marketing efforts will need to be integrated, yet distinct as you offer people multichannel marketing per their needs.
- Networking: It's clear that the disruption in events was a major setback for B2B marketing professionals in 2020. While events and conferences are expected to be back this year, there is likely to be much networking that still takes place online. You will need to have a consumer-centric approach and digitally intuitive means of closing deals. Standing out in the virtual world is vital - you may be required to improve your digital selling capabilities amidst fierce competition in the field.
- Account-Based Marketing: When in comes to B2B marketing in 2021, ABM has to be the prime strategy for most B2B businesses. This approach will lead to higher lead quality. It is known as a marketing tactic that produces the best results; however, it is difficult to achieve. The insights learnt will need to inform each interaction you have with each customer. It will also notify you of whether your customers even want to deal with sales reps at all (did you know, half of the millennials don’t?), so be prepared for potentially significant changes with this.
B2B is changing and rapidly so. With the shifts in the landscape, marketing strategies and plans must be reimagined to meet the needs of the new world. With the tips mentioned above, you can take your B2B from strength to strength with B2B marketing in 2021.
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