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10 Trends to Inform Your B2B Marketing Strategy for 2018

Jay Wilder | 12.08.2017

B2B marketing is dynamic. With new tools, technologies and strategies, it’s always changing and it’s always getting smarter. Looking into 2018 and beyond, the statistics and trends don’t lie. The numbers tell a story of growth, technology, measurement, change and marketing and sales alignment as being top of mind.

Here are 10 B2B marketing trends to plan for:

Marketers have more engagement tools than ever to orchestrate, measure and optimize.

  • Almost 5,000 companies are now part of the marketing technology landscape, a huge leap from the 150 itemized back in 2011. (ChiefMartec.com)

B2B are no strangers to targets, but they’re still struggling with data and measuring results.

  • 77% of global 2017 B2B marketing decision makers say the lack of their ability to measure results is a top priority, up from 58% in 2016. (Forrester)
  • 48% of the global B2B marketing decision makers say the lack of defined metrics to measure success is a major challenge. (Forrester)
  • 89% of marketers ranked improving the ability to measure and analyze marketing impact as a top priority. (Demand Gen Report)
  • Just 37.4% of B2B projects leverage data for decision making (Deloitte)

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a mainstream function to connect marketing and sales.

  • By the end of 2017, over 60% of B2B marketers in midsize to large organizations will have adopted account-based marketing techniques (Gartner)

B2B marketers are planning to shift more spend into social, mobile, and content.

  • Social spend is 6.8% of the budget today but is predicted to climb to 9.2% in 2018 and 13.7% in the next 5 years (Deloitte)
  • Mobile spend today is 4.7% of the budget today, investments are predicted to climb to 11.1% in 3 years. (Deloitte)
  • In the next two years interactive content/storytelling, mobile marketing and customer communities top the list of new initiatives (Sirius Decisions)

B2B marketers are betting on innovation, scale and efficiency to drive growth.

  • New buyers (24.2%), new markets (23.5%), new product offerings (21.7%) and productivity gains (20%) lead the way for growth (Sirius Decisions)
  • Acquisitions came in last (10.6%) (Sirius Decisions)

B2B content marketing is widely adopted, but measurement confidence lags greatly.

B2B marketers are actively expanding measurement into influence across the customer journey.

B2B marketers will take greater ownership of the customer, due to the shift to online research.

  • 60% of prospects prefer not to interact with a sales rep as the primary source of information. (Forrester)
  • 68% prefer to do research online on their own  (Forrester)
  • 62% of buyers say they can develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list based solely on digital content. (Forrester)
  • 80% of buyers actually seek out a negative review when they’re researching. (Forrester)

B2B marketers are looking to become stewards of the customer experience.

  • A majority of high-tech companies said customer experiences and becoming experience-led was their No. 1 priority in 2017. (Source: Adobe/Econsultancy)

B2B companies are moving further into ecommerce to reduce costs and serve online customers.

  • 11% of all 2017 B2B sales in the US ($889 billion) will be via ecommerce (Forrester)
  • 13.1% of all B2B sales in the US will be via ecommerce by 2021 (Forrester)
  • Reducing cost was found to be the #1 driver of ecommerce projects by B2B businesses (Forrester)

Put Marketing Intelligence at the center of your evolution

B2B marketing never rests. It’s always evolving. That’s why measurement, reporting and optimization across all of your programs and initiatives has never been more important. How do smart marketers keep up with all of this testing and learning?  The answer is Marketing Intelligence– one platform to automatically integrate every aspect of your marketing and sales data in one place.

Learn more about how we can help you get prepared to measure, report and optimize on your next initiatives. Get started with an option below.


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