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BizReport : Advertising archives : December 21, 2017

AI to Partnerships, how B2Bers can prep for New Year

From mobile optimization to email subject lines, a new year means a new strategy. We've asked a B2B expert for his opinion on how B2B brands can make the most of 2018.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What trends are you watching now in the B2B space?

Peter Isaacson, CMO, Demandbase: Artificial Intelligence (AI) was the hot topic of 2017, and it will continue to be a trend to watch in 2018. From using AI to enhance personalization to improving engagement and increasing conversions, we've only just begun to scratch the surface of its capabilities in the B2B marketing space. The good news is that the technology is getting easier to use, becoming more customizable and able to drive more meaningful and measurable results.

It'll also be interesting to see how the marketing technology landscape develops in 2018, as new companies, partnerships and avenues for growth surface.

Kristina: As we push into the first half of 2018, what do B2B marketers need to focus on?
As we move into the new year, B2B marketers will need to focus their attention on two important acronyms: ABM and GDPR.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will continue to experience rapid growth in 2018. It will move beyond early adopters and become more mainstream among B2B companies. We'll see less marketers ask why do we need ABM, but rather how can we do it better.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a regulation that requires businesses to take steps to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens by May 25, 2018. As the deadline approaches, marketers will need to make navigating the compliance process a major priority. Expect to see more conversations around GDPR as marketers seek to meet the requirements before the end of May.

Kristina: What strategies are/aren't working as well as they were earlier in 2017?

Peter: Strategies that take an account-based approach have become increasingly important in B2B marketing, while those that don't are taking a backseat in the marketing mix. For instance, lead-ranking isn't working as well as account ranking because it focuses on individuals and volume instead of what accounts to pursue. And broad-based inbound marketing strategies that prioritize quantity over quality continue to be less important as more B2B marketers adopt an account-based approach.

On the flip side, the emergence of real-time intent data that supports and enriches a targeted, account-based approach is being leveraged by savvy B2B marketers to understand intent at the earliest possible moment. Knowing which prospective customers are in market for your product or service as they're doing their online research can help you get ahead of the competition.

Kristina: Looking at strategy, what role will social media play in B2B next year? What about mobile?

Peter: Social media in B2B will continue to support account-based strategies by providing social listening intelligence to better understand your target accounts and allow for deeper engagement and relationship-building opportunities. In 2018, social will increasingly turn to video to build engagement with platforms like Facebook Live, as well as ephemeral video content like Instastories and Snapchat.

For mobile, we still see only a small part of web traffic for B2B sites coming from B2B sites. It's getting more important, but it's still only 11-12% of traffic.

Tags: advertising, B2B marketing trends, B2B tips, Demandbase, mobile marketing, social marketing

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