Posted by James Ash ● 18-Jan-2017 16:46:19

Are B2B marketers missing a trick in 2017?

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A new year represents far more than simply diets, gym memberships and resolutions. To marketers it offers both challenges, and a chance to elevate their brands to new heights. 

2017 has already produced a couple of interesting takeaways for marketers to take note of; not least the fact that only 45% of B2B marketers who have adopted marketing automation (MA) are only using its core features, with just 2% achieving its full potential.

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According to Communigator’s latest research, more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents said encouraging sales and marketing to work together to implement MA was their biggest challenge in 2017.  If brands are to succeed they must make the most of the tools available to them, but also use their greatest assets (their teams & staff) more effectively.

However, 2017 will require more of brands than just making better use of marketing suites and more effective inter-team communication. Below are half a dozen areas that marketing departments should also be acutely aware of as the New Year really cranks into gear:

A mobile first strategy is a must

The future is mobile, and for the first time ever, in 2017 more Internet traffic will come from mobile devices than desktops. If you’re not catering your content, ads and online experience to a mobile user, then you are not only missing a massive opportunity, you’re probably sealing the fate of your brand too. 

Interactive content is king

There’s content you can read, and then there’s content you can interact with – the latter variety tends to be the more popular type. For example, BuzzFeed’s “Which City Should You Live In?” quiz has been one of their home-run pieces for over two years now!

From a marketing perspective it’s key to think of ways to get readers to actively participate instead of passively consume. Interactive content can include polls, surveys, infographics, brackets and contests. Buzzfeed’s viewer numbers speak for the validity and success of this type of approach, so while it might be a departure from the tried and tested path, why not give it a go? After all, the new year should mean a new approach right?

Virtual and augmented reality

One of 2016’s biggest highlights was watching fully grown, (so-called) mature, adults walking into lamp posts whilst searching for… Pokémon. Besides the inherent amusement factor, the biggest takeaway from the phenomenon was augmented reality’s ability to drive real business results – just look at what it did for Nintendo’s numbers. AR has become a serious, and viable option for marketers looking to bring the online into real world environments.

Livestreaming gathers pace

Although we’re still working out the kinks in livestreaming technology, it’s clear that it will continue to push the boundaries of what marketing can offer. A big step in this direction was Instagram’s integration of a livestream option into its ‘Stories’ feature. We’re going to see a lot more live broadcasts in 2017, of that you can be sure.

Personalisation, personalisation, personalisation

Personalisation means segmenting your content to reach different types of audience members based on their preferences and habits, etc. In a world of too much content and not enough time, personalisation is of huge importance and relevance for brands looking to earn the attention of their consumers.

Influencer marketing

Question: what’s more effective than an ad in selling your product? Answer: a well-known, loved, social media personality speaking highly about your product to his or her fans and followers.

Influencer marketing is on the rise, because people tend to trust recommendations from people they see as thought leaders. The right influencers establish credibility through each social media post or advertisement and when they work with brands, it tends to be because they genuinely believe in them; and consequently that trust is passed on to consumers.

Topics: Marketing, b2b marketing