The B2B ecommerce sector is growing by leaps and bounds, with online sales in the United States expected to reach 1.8 trillion USD this year, amounting to 17% of total transactions. This is a natural consequence of ever-evolving technology and changing consumer behavior that turns customers’ focus away from the brick-and-mortar store. However, ecommerce is now more than just a new sales channel that companies experiment with. As the B2B industry continuously transforms, entrepreneurs know how important it is to offer relevant products and services that tick with the new generation. On sale in the B2B world can equal dozens of business-to-customer transactions, and losing one client means taking a significant bite out of profits, hurting the company’s bottom line.
While B2B customers generate more significant revenue, they also need more effort, whether they’re approaching marketing efforts, customer service, or product and service improvement. It’s, therefore, essential to keep pace with the following trends transforming the B2B industry to create strategies that are as effective as they can be in meeting the ever-changing consumer needs.
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More personalized content and communication
Customers are increasingly disinterested in the traditional B2B experience, where they’d meet with potential suppliers to conduct transactions. As personalization is all the rage, they seek more targeted experiences with a focus on the customer, meaning that marketers must gain insights into the B2C marketing space. But how to do it effectively and provide the right content through the right channel? By understanding the audience, you’re serving, identifying their needs and coming up with solutions. While this may sound idealistic, it’s achievable by working with the right market research consultants. For instance, by using Savanta B2B services, businesses gain answers to questions about their targeted market that would otherwise remain a question mark, boosting the relevance and efficiency of their marketing campaigns.
Short video content is king
It shouldn’t be surprising that video still reigns over other marketing techniques. In this fast-paced world with individuals’ shortened attention spans, a well-created and impactful piece of video content is more effective than a thousand words, and data supports this fact. A 2022 study on consumer trends reveals that 41% of Gen Z in the US would instead learn about a new product or service through a short-form video, with 1 in 4 looking to discover it from influencers.
Contrary to what one might assume, Gen Z is taking over the workforce and is becoming more involved in B2B today. They’re one of the fundamental forces that will shape B2B in the following years. Since they’re digitally native and have grown together with globalization, these two aspects profoundly impact how they experience life. Their money-spending decisions are otherwise influenced by a force residing on the internet.
Increased focus on personal data privacy
If the annoying “accept all cookies” is driving you up the wall, breathe a sigh of relief because the days when it would pop up everywhere are ending! The American Data and Privacy Protection Act and California Privacy Rights Act will likely be considered by the US Congress this year, meaning that stricter rules will appear to ensure personal data privacy.
With regards to content personalization, this creates waves of tension among advertising teams. Advertisers and marketers seek alternative personalization strategies, including micro-segment personalization.
It’s important to keep micro-segmentation distinct from network segmentation! The first is a network security technique that divides markets into small groups sharing similar characteristics. In contrast, the latter needs hardware and is intended for north-south traffic.
Adoption of generative AI
Dalle-E and ChatGPT dominate conversations and are regarded as the new transformative tools for Google’s hegemony. No one can deny the power of generative AI that makes producing various types of content in a split-second look like child’s play. From content creation to recommendations to data analytics, they all can be improved thanks to the plethora of applications created by this technology.
AI went mainstream with the announcement of ChatGPT and its launch in November 2022. As it’s enhancing at a breathtaking rate, it will be playing an increasingly more dominant role in marketing this year and beyond for both B2B and B2C industries. Tools that rely on this technology to create text have already picked up much steam. Further on, AI may help content marketers boost production. However, it’s safe to say that AI can only help businesses streamline their marketing efforts. At the end of the day, they don’t add the human touch that several work areas require. As technology becomes more intelligent, humans must adapt and learn to use it.
Martech streamlining is gaining ground
With the rising inflation of marketing tools lately, many businesses have been growing more reliant on tech to solve their problems. Marketing technology, or Martech as it’s also known, encompasses the software and tech tools that enable marketing capabilities. These, in turn, lead to efficient customer targeting, attracting, and retaining. It isn’t easy to imagine marketing that is not tech-powered, and while some may define the term broadly, its use cases stretch further from what meets the eye. In fact, increasingly more giant businesses anticipating the ever-evolving trends and inherent issues are looking to put more capital into this area.
Web3 – the future of the internet
Web3, or the future of the internet as it is dubbed, satisfies the need for more personalized experiences between brands and consumers. It aims to put more control in users’ hands, which will ultimately lead to the need for more transparent marketing. Blockchain-based projects, data decentralization, and the immersive virtual experiences offered by the metaverse are only several important characteristics of what’s ahead for the digital era.
All in all, today’s customer is interested in authenticity and transparency.
B2B companies that prioritize transparency and authenticity in their marketing campaigns have a lot to benefit from this approach. From making behind-the-scenes glimpses available to the world from boasting their commitment to environmental and social responsibility, there are many ways businesses try to attract a wider range of customers by allowing them to gain a glimpse into their processes in 2023.
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