B2B marketers love to talk about data, but simply having data is not going to help them get ahead. Data is only worth the insights that you can derive from it, so without the right systems in place to create insights, then your data is just a bunch of information on a server. B2B marketers today have a number of sophisticated digital tools and platforms at their fingertips and its up to you to collect and activate relevant data so it works for you. To be successful in today’s market, B2B marketers must build large data sets that profile customers and prospects and apply three steps to this process: collect, analyze and develop insights.
According to Forbes Insights, 64 percent of marketing executives report that data is crucial to their marketing success, yet most marketers are not successfully applying data to their campaigns. Marketers may talk a good game about the importance of data-driven marketing, but many don’t know how to put their words into action. More than three-quarters of these marketers would like to use data to build messages that resonate with target groups, and almost half wish they could adapt creative and messaging in real time. However, only 14 percent of marketers actually have the tools in place to accomplish these goals.
Marketers that would like to make data actionable should focus on account-based marketing, which allows them to identify their prospect’s intent and gives them the ability to make predictions about buyers, no matter where they sit in the cycle. ABM allows B2B marketers to use the data to determine whether a B2B buyer is beginning research, doing comparison shopping or requesting a demo. By identifying intent within your database, you may discover new prospects who are already in-market, thus creating entirely new lists of prospects.
As data and technology have become more important in capturing the attention of prospects, investment in digital talent is key for B2B marketers. From data analysts to web managers, from social media community managers to email marketing experts, a strong web presence is as good as gold when it comes to connecting with prospects. Companies need to invest and train these talented individuals in order to make the most out of data and technology.
Mobile optimization and video adoption are also important for innovation. American adults spent more time browsing the internet on mobile devices than on a desktop and 53 percent of email opens take place on a mobile device. This translates directly to the B2B business, as Millward Brown Digital found that 42 percent of B2B decision makers purchasers use a mobile device when researching, up 91 percent in the past two years.
Adding video to landing pages increase conversions by a whopping 90 percent, according to Marketing Land. Seventy-six percent of B2B marketers use video, which means that marketers must have video to beat out the competition, but also that video needs to be creative and compelling to get prospects to engage. Marketers should invest in a robust library of video content that focuses on telling stories that give a human face to your product or service.
Content marketing is also coming to forefront of many marketing strategies. In fact, according to the CMO Club, marketing budgets are on the rise in 2016 and content marketing is the main area that is driving these increases in budget. Smart B2B marketers are understanding that content is about reaching customers and not about channels and are therefore budgeting by customer journey rather than by channels. The most common way to budget content marketing is to divide the budget into three primary marketing channels: owned, earned and paid. This includes allocating budget by channel such as: written content creation, email marketing, graphic design for visual content, and video production.
The rules have changed in B2B marketing and the key to success lies in the adoption of key data and technologies, as well as in the investment in the right people and the right channels.