In 2023, there are numerous marketing trends which rise to prominence and fall by the wayside in a matter of months but there are some which will remain for the long-term as they are either heavily entwined in business practices in general or have become integrated into tech platforms and are unlikely to ever leave…only adapt to current times.
The three fundamental trends we will cover in this blog are B2B Marketing, Curated Content and Marketing Automation.
B2B Marketing: What is it?
Business to Business Marketing (often referred to as B2B Marketing) is the process in which a product or service is marketed to businesses rather than to an individual customer or consumer.
B2B marketing often targets large organisations, enterprises and corporations that require both generalised and specialised goods and services. To put it into simple terms, B2B marketing is one business selling a product or service to another business.
In contrast to selling a product to a consumer on a single occasion, B2B marketing often requires the establishment and maintenance of long-term partnerships between both firms.
B2B marketing assists firms in securing orders because a client is far more likely to buy several things or services if the service is needed on a recurring basis.
An example of this is a PAT testing service, as it required that all UK businesses must get their electronic devices PAT tested on a yearly basis, meaning PAT testing companies will get recurring clients.
B2B marketing is not specific to any industry or service type, as any business who sells to another business falls under the B2B marketing name.
The campaigns run by marketing companies often target high level employees or directors in the companies, as they have the most purchasing and decision power, meaning they are more likely to get a new client or response from the company.
B2B & B2C Marketing: What is the Difference?
There are a few significant differences between B2B and B2C marketing (Business-to-Customer), with the most obvious of these being the pool of customers.
If you are a business exclusively selling to other businesses, the pool of customers is more limited due to there being less businesses than people. However, if you were a business selling directly to customers rather than businesses, the customer pool is much larger.
Outside of the most obvious change is the variation in range of a service or product’s Return on Investment (ROI). Businesses only buy items which will eventually help them, or increase their profits, such as high-quality office furniture, and they may purchase copious amounts, however, a single customer may only need a small amount of office furniture as they may not have a large workforce to manage.
B2B Marketing tends to need a more focused and experienced approach as those being sold and marketed to have industry professionals who will have some marketing or sales experience themselves and therefore may be more critical than a standard consumer.
Another significant difference between the two marketing types is the number of decision makers. If selling to a company, a board or group of high-level employees may check to see if the product is needed or if another product has better pricing or features etc.
The concept of multiple decision makers is both a good and bad thing, as the group may decide to buy the product or service. However, a group of buyers also causes problems, as some of the group may disagree with the product or experience. This is not an issue when selling to an individual customer, as once they need to purchase the product, they do not need approval from a board, they can just decide if they need it.
An example of a company that uses both B2B and B2C marketing is Apple – Apple sells its products directly to consumers via its stores and online web shop, however, it also sells to businesses, such as hospitals, mobile phone contract companies and many other technology stores.
This has been successful for Apple, as they are now one of the biggest companies on the planet. This shows that both marketing techniques work well, however for smaller businesses, it’s best to pick one.
It is important to understand that both marketing techniques require different relationships with their customers.
For a large company selling to other businesses (B2B), it’s best to have a healthy, personal relationship, as it is easier to make the product more attractive to them, meaning they are more likely to purchase the product or service multiple times.
On the other hand, a company selling to individuals (B2C) may only need to maintain a good brand reputation to be able to sell products to customers, as customers mostly care more about brand and features than uniqueness of the product and ROI.
Curated Content: What is it?
Curated content is the practice of researching, selecting, organising, and sharing valuable information to help the readers to understand the subject field much quicker.
Curated content is useful as it removes any inaccurate and untrue content, and in its place leaves a neatly organised text document that is factually correct, easy to read and easy to understand.
Curated Content and Social Media Marketing
A common use for curated content is social media marketing. In the process of publishing social media content, the creator attempts to inform the customer about the product or service in the limited amount of time and pique any interest they may have.
Curated content is especially useful in social media marketing as it gets to the point with as little text or information as possible.
In recent years, this has become more predominantly presented in either pictures or short videos, with over 50% of all social media users preferring video content over other types of content. Short videos have been especially successful at marketing products, as they do not take up much time and are easy to listen to/watch.
Another example of where curated content is used is through email newsletters. Email newsletters are good marketing tools as they allow the user to receive information without having to go searching for it.
Curated content in newsletters is also a powerful tool, as it may influence a person’s decision to purchase a product, meaning a return for the company.
Although effective, newsletters are not used frequently as a marketing tool much anymore, slowly becoming part of holistic marketing campaigns which put more importance on social media marketing.
Curated content is still extremely useful in a modern marketing campaign, for example, it is extremely time efficient to both the consumer and the marketer.
However, if the consumer must read lots of information, they may get bored and move on to the next product, this is why if the content is curated and shortened to only show important points, the consumer may read much faster and decide whether they want to spend money on the service or product in a short time frame.
It also saves time for the company who is selling the product, as they do not have to spend their time responding to queries if the information is too confusing, or trying to get customers through other means to make up for the people who disregarded the text.
Marketing automation refers to the use of technology and software to automate the delivery of a variety of different marketing campaigns.
It is used quite often by large companies with a large marketing team; nevertheless marketing automation can also be carried out by smaller scale companies and even individuals who are trying to market their product or service.
Marketing automation uses several different processes and marketing techniques, such as email, social media marketing, mobile messaging and managing ads for platforms such as google and Instagram.
Marketing Automation: The Benefits
Marketing automation has many different benefits, all of which can help a marketer reduce costs while maintaining the same level of advertising.
One of the main benefits of marketing automation is the time it frees up for marketers to get in-depth insight into their customer base.
This is useful as it gives companies the ability to target who they advertise to, for example, a company such as Samsung would market their products to people who they know are in the business to purchase a new product in the field, such as a smartphone or television.
Conversely, this could also be seen as controversial, as to get the data required for such a campaign, they would need to purchase it from a company which may not inform the user that their data is being sold to that specific company.
Marketing Automation: Things to Avoid
Marketing Automation isn’t all fun and games as there are also as many disadvantages to it as there are advantages.
One disadvantage is that marketing automation requires extensive planning and could also require a large amount of funding to adequately set up. It is essential to check before automating marketing whether it would be a benefit to the process, and to evaluate how much automation really will help.
There is also the issue of learning automation software, as lots of industry standard software such as ZohoCRM have a steep learning curve, making it difficult for beginners and less tech savvy people to automate the process.
This also can lead to inefficiencies, as the software may not be set up correctly, which could lead to negative repercussions from the process, rather than positive as anticipated.
One final large disadvantage to marketing automation is messaging fatigue – this is when the customers receive too much communication from a single company, resulting in them ignoring or unsubscribing due to an oversaturation of messages. This would result in the opposite effect being garnered from a marketing campaign as was initially intended.
There are also many advantages to marketing automation though, for example, the reduction in staff costs. Marketing tools such as ZohoCRM can massively increase the efficiency of the staff members, resulting in a better workflow and better impact of the marketing campaign.
Automation also helps to improve the customer experience, as more communication with the customer shows willingness to work with them.
Customers respond better to personalised content, and with marketing automation, all content sent to the customer can be personalised to content that they may like, or that they have been known to purchase in the past.
Digital Marketing Moving Forward
For any business owner all three marketing strategies are relevant and essential to use. Without the use of these tools and techniques, the marketing industry would be inefficient and to put it simply, would not be on the same level that it is today.
So, for any business owner who wants to delve deeper into how B2B Marketing could help take their business to the next level, get in touch today by contacting Lynx 19 Marketing.