As technological innovations continue to transform the B2B marketing landscape, it’s crucial for communications teams to keep up with industry trends to remain competitive. Of course, with new technologies and ways of leveraging them always emerging, professionals may not be sure where to focus their energies.
To help, 15 members of Forbes Communication Council share the top B2B technology marketing trends they believe will have a big impact on businesses this year. Keep an eye on these developments throughout the rest of 2021 to stay ahead of the curve.
The core growth technology that every B2B company needs is a user-generated content tool. UGC creates more organic traffic and conversions by providing the most credible content that both Google and the user are looking for. UGC also provides social proof and elevated trust that improves conversions. - Duane “DJ” Sprague, Shopper Approved
B2B content strategy will evolve in such a way that we’ll see creative, data-driven content becoming the name of the game. With a wealth of data at their fingertips, not only is it possible for content creators to follow their instincts, but they can also now tell almost immediately whether doing so will be worth the time it takes to write superior content that educates and informs customers and prospects. - Frank Wolf, Staffbase
Audio-based apps such as Clubhouse and voice-controlled virtual assistants such as Alexa will rule in 2021. Why? People are busy taking care of work and family in today’s virtual world. They are tired of Zoom and Teams. It’s nice to be able to order food and groceries via voice-controlled apps while doing other things, and chat with strangers at any time without having to go on camera. - Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC.
Go-to-market teams are increasingly adopting martech partners with complementary technologies, rather than one single vendor, to easily orchestrate campaigns across channels at scale. This will bring new levels of integration, interoperability and data flow, as well as more efficient GTM efforts. - Randi Barshack, RollWorks
It’s time for “digital marketing” to become just “marketing.” I’ve been an advocate for optimizing digital content strategies since long before the pandemic. Now, over a year after the first lockdowns, brands are realizing that face-to-face marketing activities may be limited for a while. Particularly for B2B technology marketing, digital content is and will continue to be king as we move through 2021. - Paige O’Neill, Sitecore
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Consumers have long taken content creation into their own hands, but now they can commercialize their own creativity even more quickly and cheaply via NFTs. Brands will need to really focus on product development and invest in partnerships with artists and cultural organizations to ensure true value for their customers. - Michaella Solar-March, Tishman Speyer
Don’t look at B2B as some sterile environment; it’s all H2H engagement, and the more we realize that, the better the quality of our marketing will be. Digital, Clubhouse and more video will all be ways to engage. And, of course, TikTok is the dark horse we’re all still trying to figure out! The key to success is engaging with your customers how they want to be engaged with. - Ira Gostin, Gostin Strategic Consulting LLC
Chatbots and other conversational marketing efforts will take over the B2B space. People are craving human interaction that provides immediate responses to their pain points. No one wants to send an email and wait a week for a salesperson to respond. They want the instant gratification that only chatbots can provide. - Anusha Shankar, The Spur Group
Marketers need to rebuild and strengthen relationships with customers that suffered from the decrease in face-to-face interactions in 2020. The best way to reconnect is through a phone call, but most people don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Branded calling solutions can help marketers identify themselves, increasing customer trust in their brand and, ultimately, restoring that relationship. - Viki Zabala, First Orion
The not-so-subtle move to the e-commerce channel has impacted the B2B market greatly, and it will continue not only in manufacturing, but also in distribution. B2B businesses that want to survive need to put their data asset management plans into hyperdrive, ensuring that their content and communication strategies are flowing. - Mollie Barnett, Satco Products, Incorporated
Overall, people are “webinared out” and looking for new ways to communicate. The growing popularity of platforms such as Clubhouse indicates this kind of evolution in both casual and professional communications. Written, file-based content will continue to be valuable, but needs to be distributed more creatively. In-app advertising will continue to grow, but marketers need to understand how to use it. - Rachael Dalton-Taggart, Dyndrite
12. B2C Strategies Being Used For B2B Marketing
As the line between professional and personal life blurs even further, so too will B2B marketing shift to feel even more like B2C. When it comes to tech, expect to see B2B companies using tech that was traditionally reserved for personal connections more and more. And watch as relationships that would usually be made at the office or during work hours shift to new spaces online. - Kate Barton, Clearview Advisory
From Amazon’s shoppable TV and livestreams featuring links for making direct purchases to leading content producers on TikTok and Instagram discussing products and providing a direct link to purchase within the piece of content, brands are finding new and innovative ways to reach shoppers where they spend the most time: on social platforms. - Heather Byrd, Taillight
The biggest trend will be the expansion of ABM across both marketing and sales organizations. Alignment across these go-to-market organizations on the top-priority verticals and the target accounts within them is one key part of ABM. With that alignment, the marketing team can focus resources and creative on target accounts versus doing broad, unfocused campaigns. - Tom Treanor, Treasure Data
The world is starving for creativity. One might think that the world is full of creatives, communication and creativity, but in actuality, it isn’t. Technology went up, and creativity went down. So, true creativity in content creation paired with automation through marketing platforms will be a big trend in 2021. The result? Content creation at scale, posted everywhere, and with great creativity. - Andrea d’Agostini, American Power & Gas