As 2014 comes to a close, it’s a good time for B2B companies to consider which marketing trends are headed for the back burner – and which ones are likely to be pushed to the forefront in 2015.
Companies that can anticipate the coming year’s changes will be able to reach new customers and markets before their competition. What are the trends predicting now? Here’s what we think B2B marketing will look like in 2015, based on what we’ve seen in recent months:
1. Increased investment in mobile
Mobile has been growing for years, and in 2014, it became the number-one way for people to access the Internet. However, both marketers and publishers have historically struggled to take advantage of this trend. Throughout 2015, mobile advertising will continue to evolve and grow in prominence. Expect to see more ads integrated with mobile apps, and new video ads designed for smaller devices in the coming year.
2. The growth of microtargeting
Micro-targeting uses data to help companies better understand – and market to – groups of specifically targeted audiences. This allows businesses to modify content and messaging more accurately to customers’ actual preferences and needs. It provides a more direct, more meaningful relationship between businesses and business customers, and it helps businesses boost sales. And, with the rise of big data and analytics, it’s only going to grow in 2015.
3. Corporate buyer personas
The growth of microtargeting will naturally lead to an increase in use of buyer personas, which will eventually include corporate buyer personas.
Companies are already using well-defined personas to target individual consumers, but they have not yet become mainstream in B2B marketing (though we are working hard as a B2B marketing agency to change that!). By the end of 2015, we hope to see companies selling to businesses using buyer personas just as much as consumer-facing retailers are.
4. Predictive automated marketing
Over the past couple years, inbound marketing has become more and more automated. While people are still – and will always be – needed to create great content and deliver great campaigns, marketing automation software such as HubSpot is becoming increasingly capable of distributing that content. For instance, many companies already use auto-updaters to share new blog posts on Facebook and tweet about them on Twitter.
Throughout 2015 and into 2016, the automation used in online marketing will become smarter – even predictive. In other areas, predictive marketing has helped major companies grow. For instance, Amazon suggests products customers might like, and Netflix uses predictive analytics to suggest TV shows you might want to watch. Similarly, automated marketing tools will be developed to predict the advertising campaigns that will be most effective.
5. Continued emphasis on quality
Since the early days of search engine optimization (SEO), the slogan “content is king” has reigned supreme. In 2015 and throughout the foreseeable future, quality content will continue to be the most important aspect of online marketing. As Google, Facebook and other companies get ever-better at identifying great pieces of content, investing in solid campaigns will remain a vital part of online marketing.
Develop a strategy for these trends
Prepare your company for the future by developing a strategy for these trends now. Create corporate buyer personas, and microtarget through mobile advertising. Build your database now, so it can be used by advanced programs in the future. And, above all, continue investing in quality content. Be ready to adapt, and you will succeed in 2015.
Need help with your plan for next year?