Top B2B Marketing Services for 2018
The marketing function has changed drastically over the past decade. With the emergence of digital marketing activities and new technologies, many organizations still struggle to develop a cohesive marketing program. To prepare you firm for 2018, you will want to review the current marketplace. Where will marketing head in the coming year? Which marketing services will deliver the best return on investment?
With a clear understanding of the most influential B2B marketing services, you can deploy the marketing strategies and tactics that will help your company stand apart from your competitors. But before outlining the top marketing services for B2B companies, you first need to understand some significant trends:
- Your buyers will turn to online tools at an increasing rate – You can expect a greater reliance on tools such as Google and LinkedIn. Rather than seeking referrals from colleagues or using other traditional methods of finding a solution, buyers will look online. So, successful companies will focus on getting found and being talked about online.
- Organizations will find securing marketing talent challenging – With the lowest unemployment level in years, recruiting and retaining talent well-versed in digital marketing will create obstacles for many B2B companies. Many firms will seek relationships with B2B marketing services providers with specialized expertise to augment their in-house capabilities.
Recommendations for Optimizing Your B2B Marketing Services in 2018
To reach the highest performance levels and accomplish your B2B marketing goals next year, stay focused on these marketing services:
- Target Market Research –You may not know as much as you think you do about your buyers and marketplace. Complacency can lead to failure. Always conduct ongoing research, so you thoroughly understand your target audience and market. When you perform regular research, your company is much more likely to experience growth.
Instead of assumptions, let empirical evidence guide your marketing planning. Regular research projects will ensure you uncover market changes more quickly and accurately.
In addition to secondary research, you must include primary research in your program. In other words, talk to your customers and prospects. Your goal is to uncover their challenges, how your solutions can help them, the impression they have of your organization and how they view your competitors. You might get more objective feedback if you periodically enlist a third-party to help with your primary research.
- Content Marketing –Since buyers want to align with experts, you must position your firm as a market leader. Often companies can tout expertise in their field, but nobody knows it. Your target market must become aware of your unique capabilities to solve their issues and help them improve their performance.
By freely sharing your knowledge through content marketing, you can positively position your organization to a broad audience. You can enhance your company’s reputation by producing blogs, articles, ebooks, infographics, case studies, white papers, webinars, and a host of additional content tools. Also investing in search engine optimization and search engine marketing can help direct your target audience to your content.
One of the keys to successful content marketing is consistency. Successful companies use a methodical and strategic approach to disseminating content. The right content marketing program will help create exposure and uncover the right opportunities. However, many companies find it difficult to develop an effective content strategy, produce compelling content, promote the content, and measure individual content and overall program results. Hiring an outside B2B marketing services agency helps many firms write and promote content.
- Branding –Positioning your firm as an attractive option for your target audience is a top priority. When done correctly, this client-facing activity creates a favorable impression and builds loyalty. Successful branding influences how others perceive your company culture and reputation in the marketplace.
Branding starts with your website. Are you creatively promoting your company and how it helps your target audience? Does your website content convey the brand attributes you want potential buyers to know about your organization?
Do your branding efforts position your team members as industry experts and your company as a current or up and coming market leader? Keep these questions in mind as you develop and fine-tune your branding strategies.
- Lead Generation – Spend your marketing budget on what works. Although face-to-face networking and referral techniques do work, they also have limitations. With limited people to manage these B2B lead generation efforts, you can usually only reach a few prospects and influencers at one time.
However, digital marketing helps you reach a much broader audience without investing significant amounts of your budget. For the greatest impact, growing companies will leverage techniques such as content marketing, ongoing website development, online advertising services, SEO, SEM, mobile, and social media marketing.
- Marketing Analytics –You must know how your various marketing activities are performing. With tons of available data and marketing analytics tools, you can measure performance. These analyses can give you unique insights into your marketplace and buyers’ behavior. This insight can help you develop better programs that move your prospects to act. As machine learning and artificial intelligence evolve, the information you glean will become increasingly powerful.
You can begin the measurement process by merely thinking analytically about every marketing program and activity. How will you measure results? Why do some tactics work and others do not? How can you test different approaches to determine top performers without breaking the bank?
B2B marketing services have undergone tremendous changes in the past few years. Successful marketers will understand this evolution. The key is not to stand idly by, but to adapt and take the steps necessary to improve your marketing program performance.
To learn more about integrating a business-to-business (B2B) success system, contact KEO Marketing today.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.