B2B marketing trends for 2018

If you’re standing still in marketing and in business as a whole, then it’s likely that you are in the process of being overtaken by competitors. That’s why successful businesses appreciate the importance of continually looking to stay one step ahead of the competition.

For those operating within a B2B environment, this means that you need to move early, in order to gain a critical advantage. So what sort of activity should you be undertaking right now? In this article, we take a closer look at the hot trends that we’re foreseeing for 2018.


Are you spending your time creating marketing campaigns manually? If so, it’s likely that you are failing to reach your full marketing potential. Your competitors are almost certainly making intelligent use of automation, enabling them to get their message in front of a greater number of prospective clients.

Automation can take many forms, including remarketing ads and lead grading applications, but the key to success in this area is to ensure that your automation actually feels natural. For the most part, your prospects shouldn’t even realise that you are using automated techniques.

Content marketing

We’ve been told for years that “content is king”, but this phrase still holds true. The most successful businesses out there are using content to attract visitors to their websites, to retain customers and to pick up referrals. They’re also enhancing the entire customer experience using content marketing.

But you may be thinking that the first two areas that we’ve covered here are rather contradictory. After all, isn’t it a really bad idea to automatically create content?

This is where it becomes so important that you use intelligent automation. Personalized video content provides an excellent example of this in action: you can create personalized content that appears to be targeted at an individual, but it can actually be created at scale. That’s the perfect means to enhance on-site content, while ensuring that you’re not having to rely upon a laborious manual process.

Channel integration

The third area that we’d like to mention in the context of 2018 B2B marketing is the importance of integrating across channels. You may be creating a fantastic mobile app right now, but does it seamlessly integrate with you website? Are you collecting data via your website, mobile apps and email marketing in a manner that allows data to be transferred directly into your CRM system? Are you potential clients viewing your business consistently across channels? If not, you’re falling behind the competition right now.

Finally, it’s critical that you remember that your CRM software isn’t simply there to win business and to remind you of the contact details of existing clients. Use it to keep in touch with all clients on a regular basis, sending them special offers and reminding them that you value their business. By doing so, you will increase levels of customer engagement and will build loyalty to your own business.



Brand Awareness vs Direct Response Marketing

 When you start thinking about a new marketing campaign, is your focus on achieving a direct response? In a marketing environment in which a concentration of effort often understandably falls upon achieving the best Return On Investment (ROI), some within the industry have fallen into the trap of assuming that ROI can only be achieved via direct response marketing.In this article, we’d like to take a closer look at why this simply doesn’t appear to match reality: in truth, a single piece of marketing activity rarely exists within a vacuum. Although it’s true that direct response marketing can often be the final piece of the jigsaw in producing a sale, it’s rarely the only step involved within the overall journey.

Before a prospective customer or client takes the all-important final step of handing over some money, they first need to be assured that you are able to offer precisely what they want. Demonstrating that this is the case involves more than simply having a great pricing strategy. There are numerous elements to consider, but ultimately that prospective customer needs to buy-in the values and ethos of your brand. In short, they need to believe in what you offer.

How can you establish the conditions that make such a scenario more likely? As in daily life, it’s all a question of relationships. If you already have a relationship with an individual, then they will be building an awareness of what you can offer and they will also be far more likely to trust you. That positioning is critical, since it’s far easier than trying to sell to someone who has no previous knowledge of what you provide.

With this in mind, we can begin to build a picture of when direct response marketing works and why it sometimes doesn’t. Attempting to get a response based on first contact with a potential customer is incredibly difficult because you don’t have that established relationship in place. Why would they choose to buy from you? In these circumstances, it’s a case of marketing in the wrong way.

Where direct response marketing can be incredibly powerful, of course, is in helping to seal a deal on the basis of an existing relationship. Building up brand awareness is vital and should form a central part of your strategy. Think about your potential clients when creating an awareness campaign. The point isn’t to dazzle and sparkle by talking all about yourself but rather segment your customers and deliver a personalized message that really connects with them and speaks to what they need.

Reflecting on the overall context, it might be said that there really is no such thing as “direct response” marketing. There is just one big marketing mix that takes an individual from knowing nothing about your brand to being a paying customer.