How can we better engage our customers? How can marketing and sales teams work more efficiently? How can we produce more qualified leads?
If thesetypes of marketing strategy questionsarefloatingaroundin your mind as we enter the new year, keep reading.Nobody wants to be the company left behind because they missed the trend, and everybody wants to get ahead with new groundbreaking marketing techniques.
As always, marketing is evolving.Successful marketers know that staying ahead of the game means adopting the trends that will give you sustainable growth and make your company more competitive.
So, how do you know which trends are worth pursuing? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of thesixmost promising trends to adopt. You’ll find practical tips along the way to help you get started with each one.
Instead of the vague sales and marketing arrangements of the past, it’s time to focus on measurable contributions—from both sides. Successful marketing and sales teams are increasingly going to be defined by how well they can work together. Marketing should be embedded into the sales process by helping move leads through the pipeline.
Instead of having separate goals, combine your goals into business goals. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) become a matter of how much of the goaleach team will take, in a measurable way.
Consider a few tangible ideas for increasing your teams’ accountability to each other:
- Have both marketing and sales at planning meetings
- Ensure sales operations and marketing operationsarein close communication
- Use a common reporting tool so thateveryone has access toa common set of metrics
Marketing isn’t quite there yet when it comes to complete adoption of artificial intelligence or machine learning, but these technological advances will continue to influence our decision making. As AI advances, so will our marketing capabilities. Marketers will soon have even more tools are their disposal to make personalization more precise. With AI’s predictive abilities, you won’t have five personas – you’ll have 5000.
But what can we doto make our personalization more precisewhile we wait for AI to come around?
Personalizationstarts with your data –what type of data you have,where you compile it,and where you put it to use.
- Gathering data:Behavioral data(which can be gained through marketing automation’s web tracking abilities or online community engagement)iswhat you wantfor personalizationpurposes. You want youraudienceto show you what they want by where they’re clicking, so you can use that to further refine their contentandcreate a personalized experience.
- Compiling the data:Got lots of data floating around but no way to connect it?Integrationis the name of the game – get your platforms talking to each other so that data from all of them is being funneled back to your AMS or CRM.
Gating content is key to getting leads, right? Not so fast. People are questioning whether the content you’re offering is really worth the exchange of their personal information. Your resources need to be high quality to be gated. If people haven’t gotten good quality from you in the past, or if what you’re offering isn’t innovative or new, they may go somewhere else, where the information is free.
Let’s consider our goals, if you’re doing inbound marketing– is what we really want our prospect’s email address, or do we wantto help them through the buyer’s journey by educating them and solving their problem?
You already know the answer. We need to keep focusing on transparency with prospects. Your new strategy could be un-gating more contentor giving visitors one form to fill out thatunlocks a resource library. Be more educational and less promotional. Get back to the inbound basics.
4. Make Customer Success Your Business
Is upselling to your customers one of your big goals this year? It might be time to replace that with a goal focused on customer success. Customer success is a longer, more robust path toward improving your marketing reach. When your customers are successful because of you, you end up creating loyal MVPs, who will eventually promote your value.
Tools likeonline community can help you educate, build relationship, and grow brand rapportwith your customers.If you help them become successful, work through problems with them, and genuinely meet their needs, you’ll end up with a crowd of loyal followers who want to help you succeed, too.
Is social media still part of your B2B demand generation channel? It’s time to start phasing that out. While still highly effective in B2C marketing and sales, social media is becoming less and less of a direct B2B lead generation channel. Facebook, although it’s only one of the platforms, is making it harder for brands to get content exposure.
Focus your social media efforts on promoting your brand, recruiting new hires, or giving your company a human face through sharing about your culture or office events.
6. Consider Core Functionality in Your Tech Stack
How will you achieve your tech stack nirvana this year? Sure, maybe that nifty new tool promising to do everything all at once has caught your eye – but before buying new software, always ask yourself:
Am I buying this because of its core functionality? Or am I being drawn in by the “extras”?
Our rule of thumb is toconsider core functionality first.Don’t buy something new because it has two shiny extra things – that’s a waste of moneyandwill likely create more disruption.After all,it’s better to go with a few different platformsthat each doone thingreallywell,ratherthanone or two platforms that do many thingsmediocrely.
Focus on function first, and build or rework your stack so you’ve got the bestintegratedplatforms working together, each doing theirspecific thingwell.
Changing your strategy can be hard,especiallywhen youconsider letting goof programs or softwarethat yourorganization isattached to. But if you want to succeed, embrace change as an opportunity for growth. Thismeansfinding new ways toreach your prospects and customersrightwhere they are, whether that’s through new technology or channels, adifferent approach, or getting back to the basics.In 2019, one thing is for certain–your strategyshould revolve aroundthe needs ofyouraudience.