5 B2B Marketing Trends for 2014

5 B2B Marketing Trends To Watch In 2014

Repost from B2B Marketing, November 27, 2013

By Tim Asimos

In B2B marketing, 2013 was the year of content marketing, social media and  marketing automation among other things. In 2014, we predict a continuation of  these trends—along with some new trends and philosophical shifts that will make  an impact.

We’ve come up with a short list of trends that we think will have the biggest  influence on B2B marketing plans in 2014. While not exhaustive by any means,  here are five B2B marketing trends to watch.

1. Continued growth in marketing’s use of technology

Last year, Gartner released a study that claimed that by 2017, the Chief  Marketing Officer would spend more dollars on technology than the Chief  Information Officer. Regardless of whether that claim will be fully realized,  the reality is that marketing departments in 2014 will continue a trend of  investing in significant technology out of their own budgets as more and more  marketing is done in the digital space and better tools become available.  Everything from content managed websites to marketing automation software, CRM systems, social media management tools and project collaboration software are helping to make marketing  efforts more effective and efficient.

2. Greater dependence on mobile

The revolution of mobile is happening in a big way and the impact on consumer  behavior—even B2B buyers—is going to have a big impact on B2B marketing best  practices in 2014. According to a recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, two-thirds of  mobile owners in the U.S use their phones to access the Internet and check  e-mail—a number that has doubled since 2009. And a growing number of users (21%)  are using mobile as their primary Internet-viewing device.

Further, a report from the IDC states that by 2017, 87% percent of  Internet connected device sales will be smartphones and tablets. The point is,  the growing dependence on mobile will make the need for mobile friendly  websites, email and content absolutely mandatory—making the utilization of responsive design a must in 2014.

3. Increasing dominance of content marketing as a strategy

We’re in the midst of a fundamental shift in how companies approach marketing and  content marketing is at the center of that revolution. And while some of us have  been a part of the content marketing movement for some time, content marketing  has still not reached mainstream status—at least not in the true sense of the  term. Misconceptions still exist in the marketing community at large about what  content marketing really is. And many companies have failed to put together a  true strategic foundation for their content marketing programs.

Nevertheless, in 2014 there will be a greater awareness of content marketing  at the executive level and more pressure on marketers to not just create  content, but establish strategic, sustained and measurable content marketing  programs.

4. Less focus on keywords, more focus on overall content

Google quietly released Hummingbird, their latest algorithm update,  a couple­ months back. And while the update represents as close to an  entirely new algorithm as they’ve had in 12 years, marketers should focus less  on the details of the update and more on the philosophy that’s driving the  changes in the first place. Hummingbird increased Google’s focus on “semantic  search,” giving the search engine a better understanding of concepts, meaning  and intent, instead of just focusing on individual keywords—all to provide  relevant, high-quality resources for search queries.

This means that in 2014, marketers will continue to focus less on keywords  and more on creating quality content aimed at answering specific, long-tail  questions and search queries of a particular target audience. Marketers will  need to deeply understand the questions and concerns of their target audiences  in order to write content that provides answers for what they are searching  for.

5. Social media marketing & measurement tools will evolve

Social media in the B2B space has had a slower start than its B2C  counterpart. And while most B2B companies are using social media to some degree,  the practice overall is going to see changes for the positive in 2014. One of  the changes coming is more widespread usage of sophisticated social media  measurement tools that better track how engagement and interactions have  contributed to lead conversions and sales.

Additionally, social signals are predicted to have greater influence on  SEO in 2014. Add to these the growth of mobile usage and the rise of content  marketing and social media is something that B2B marketers simply have to get  right. These trends continue to underline the importance of establishing a  documented social media marketing strategy and growing your reach and influence  on the social channels that are the best fit for your business.

These are just a few of the B2B marketing trends you should expect to see on  the rise in 2014. While there are others, we believe these are the ones that are  likely to have the most ongoing impact to B2B marketers this coming year. What  did we miss? Feel free to add to the conversation and share your additions in  the comments.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/b2b-marketing/5-b2b-marketing-trends-watch-2014-0696260#3K0osKEKT6Chv7Hl.99

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