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Buyer habits are changing the roles of B2B marketers

Trends in B2B online marketing look a lot like developments from the consumer market these days. Buyers have control and are doing much of their own research and education. This means marketers must focus on improving content, embracing B2B social media and measuring the success of different online marketing techniques.

LinkedIn should continue to serve as the platform of choice for B2B marketers, but closing the gap between B2B and B2C marketing techniques could boost activity on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Staying abreast of new social media advertising can locate a whole new audience that is hanging out in places B2B marketers do not usually look. While it's not time for one industry to mimic the other, the two can learn a lot from each other in the coming year.

What B2B marketers can borrow from B2C industry
According Eza Jelezova, marketing manager at Littelfuse, marketers will play a larger role in the top of the sales funnel – helping to qualify leads and customers. With so much control in the hands of the buyers, marketers play a large role in prepping leads to make a purchase. Campaigns must do more than just notify potential consumers that a product or service exists. Strong content marketing provides news about the industry while subtly tying in the ways the company can help the website visitor overcome new obstacles. This should create very qualified leads – provided the content matches the company's products or services.

Buyer power also makes the case for higher-quality content. Just getting leads to the website is not enough anymore. They need to be coming back for more and believe the company is an expert in the industry. They will form significant impressions about a company based on the content provided. Customers are increasingly ready to buy by the time sales representatives get in contact with them, so new trends do not lengthen the funnel, they just change the roles of the departments that operate within it.

Stay connected with customers all the time
Marketers may find themselves wearing the hats of customer care representatives as well. Social media and other online marketing tools are updated far more often than traditional channels. In many ways, B2B marketers are having a conversation with buyers, not just waving ads in their faces. While this constant conversation won't lead to a sale every single day, it does have other benefits such as improving brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Sheila Kloefkorn

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.