Best Practices for B2B Digital Marketing in 2019

By Amanda Lopes - May 10, 2019

Today’s marketing landscape is competitive and customer-centric, with several emerging trends on the horizon that you need to know about to be successful online in 2019. The ever-growing list of marketing and sales technologies can seem daunting, but when used wisely will provide your business with the competitive edge it needs to succeed.

With all of the options and information available online, you need to provide consumers with instant, relevant and tailored information about your product and services to hold their attention. If your business model doesn’t have readily available information and still requires your staff to manually answer questions, then this is not a scalable business model and you will face difficulties staying competitive.

Luckily, sales and marketing platforms have now advanced to a point where they are able to handle day-to-day tasks as good as, if not better, than a real person. These all-in-one marketing and sales automation tools convert inbound traffic into leads, and smoothly nurture them into customers, allowing your business to scale fast. Automating your team’s marketing efforts, workflows and analytics, is critical for the long-term growth of your business in a market where consumers expect more and expect it immediately.

Here are some of the latest trends for marketing automation in 2019:

Chatbots

Chatbots are changing the way your leads interact with your brand. They provide actual value and become the direct line between the consumer's problem and the solution your business can provide.

With very impressive customisable features and easy to use logic trees for automating actions, chatbots simulate a conversation with your leads and your sales team. Chatbots streamline your sales process and improve customer engagement (while making it easy for your existing team to scale and grow).

85% of consumer
interactions will be handled
without a human agent by 2020

(Chatbots Life, 2019)

Although scaling and automating conversations using technology is very appealing, it is also quite tricky to do it successfully. If chatbots aren’t deployed correctly (aka. They don’t communicate with existing business systems, or conversations aren’t scripted humanly and logically), they will fail to deliver user experiences that are seamless, consistent and efficient.

An efficient chatbot, like (a well-designed) HubSpot chatbot, will better manage and qualify leads through online chat, get more information from leads, and have more personalised conversations at scale. Thus, automating your business process and lightening the load of your team - allowing your business to scale. This automated process ensures that by the time the lead is with your sales team, they have had most of their questions answered and are usually ready to buy.

Understanding engagement patterns with live reporting also can give unprecedented insight into information that only a salesperson would have known before. When using HubSpot Databox integrations, for example, it becomes possible to measure the performance of the chatbot and analyse the information provided by customers with live dashboards available for desktop and mobile.

Quizzes

Another trending technique to digitally engage consumers and get more information from leads are quizzes. We are all familiar with the traditional, lengthy and ineffective online surveys and forms certain business will prompt their consumers to complete; but solutions like Typeform fix that through innovative design and interesting quiz features (think of a sleek, customisable version of Buzzfeed).

Quizzes make collecting and sharing information comfortable and conversational, while also providing the lead with something at the end (usually an assessment or outcome). Platforms like Typeform also have native integrations with marketing platforms, like HubSpot, which can capture data and assign it to leads who would usually never give this much information over.

Recently, Typeform has gained a lot of market traction, with over 650,000 typeforms completed daily, ranging from an online survey, quizzes, feedback forms to lead generation forms. Utilising the power of quizzes can help your business by transforming convenience into your competitive advantage.

Spend your budget wisely

Digital Advertising

The benefits of digital advertising are clear - more significant reach, reduced costs and in-depth analytics. However, digital campaigns are not easy and competition is fierce so managing your campaign investment wisely is critical. While organic reach is crucial to developing and maintaining your brand presence (while also being the highest ROI marketing activity), paid advertising aids your business to scale and can drive engagement much faster.

According to HubSpot, organic reach is declining steadily, with Facebook eventually arriving at zero organic reach, proving the unfortunate requirement of supplementing your campaign with paid advertising.

To maximise the effectiveness of your campaign in such a pay-to-play environment, it is key to analyse your sales funnel. Understanding in which stage your customer personas are, and which are more likely to convert will guide your investment. Ideally, you will engage your customers with organic reach and use remarketing by choosing the most engaging content and audience in a paid campaign. Using remarketing and retargeting will allow your business to be more targeted and cost-effective, as your audience would have already engaged with your brand or content.

Utilising experts

It’s essential to acknowledge that not everyone is good at everything, and outsourcing not only gives you access to experts in the industry but also increases your business efficiency by bringing a fresh perspective to your team. Hiring well for things that your internal team is not equipped to handle will reduce costs and have your business more in touch with the latest technology and market trends.

Analyse your data

Understanding how effective your marketing efforts are is crucial for the long term growth of your business. However, for marketing analytics to be useful, you need to make sure that you are measuring the right metrics that are relevant to your campaign.

Important marketing metrics in many businesses are often overlooked. It usually involves a Marketing Manager presenting campaign “results” (cherry-picked data to make the marketing team look good) to a CEO who doesn’t fully understand marketing. Creating these manual reports can take days to gather impactful information (from the numerous platforms used - MailChimp, Survey Monkey, Google Analytics… the list is endless). This process is time-consuming, ineffective, may include human errors and the Marketing Manager is wasting time which could be better spent elsewhere.

Being able to see, in real time, all of your most essential metrics and KPI's in one place not only saves your marketing team a lot of time on generating reports but also provides better transparency, perspective and real-time understanding of developing trends without any human error (or cherry picking!).

Using a platform like HubSpot or Databox can help tie together all of your analytics and assists you in developing insights based on user engagement. These tools, when carefully curated to the needs of each business, offer measurable results and allow you to maintain a steady analytics process.

Optimising & Automating

Successfully utilising an all-in-one inbound marketing and sales platform is one of the main keystones in reaching success in a competitive market. Automating your processes improves operational stability by preventing human errors, saves your sales team time and reduce costs, and provide the opportunity to become more customer-oriented. While the initial cost of implementing these platforms can seem a lot, the time and resources they save your company, in the end, will be well worth the effort.

Are you using the following automation techniques yet?

  • Automating most manual tasks like emails and social interactions
  • Smart EDM system to deliver the right content at the right time (to the right people)
  • Scalability without needing to train new staff
  • Personalised and tailored outreach to new and existing leads
  • Automated lead engagement with guaranteed follow-up from a system that never sleeps, takes time off or forgets to reply
  • Integration with your existing systems to connect all your data
  • Workflow automation for complex activities
  • Aligned sales and marketing team with unified goals and measurable results
  • Follow-up automation for your internal team and notifications for management based on performance
  • Live 24/7 digital reporting with custom dashboards and KPI’s for different teams/management

If your business isn’t using automation for most (if not all) of these, you really need more automation.

Free marketing automation ebook!

Using ABM (Account-Based-Marketing) to target key decision makers

Complementing your inbound marketing strategy, ABM (Account-Based-Marketing) techniques will drive long-term ROI growth by identifying leads and personalizing content to influence key decision makers.

ABM, is a highly targeted approach to B2B marketing. The key to ABM is focusing on key accounts and creating highly targeted content and marketing materials tailored to the buyer’s persona. A lot of thought and effort goes into tailoring content that “speaks” directly to your target audience to personalise the experience as much as possible.

An effective ABM campaign will have an identified targeted audience, with a clear understanding of who influences the final buying decision, followed by personalised content that addresses their business challenges. Using LinkedIn to reach those professionals and displaying relevant content, will ensure your campaign has greater outreach and generate revenue to your business.

HubSpot refers to ABM as spearfishing where you focus on a single target rather than casting a wide net, which is highly effective when it’s calculated and targeted. In a previous article, we explain Sales Enablement in detail, but in a nutshell, ABM is all about aligning marketing and sales efforts and shifting your mindset from quantity to quality.

It’s not about the number of leads you have in your database but the quality of those relationships. Nurturing those relationships from both marketing and sales is the key to an effective ABM strategy.

‘All-in-One’ vs ‘Stand-Alone’ Solutions

One of the main advantages when implementing an inbound marketing strategy is the amount of data available to determine campaign effectiveness. Although it may seem tempting to use a number of cheap online services (MailChimp etc), in the long-term it will prove to be time-consuming and ineffective for your business.

When using this scattered approach, and not having a 360-degree view of your lead activity, your team will spend most of their time managing all of these services, trying to link everything properly and loosing so much data when trying to track a campaign. Not to mention many of these services track data differently leading to differences in results.

With so many marketing and sales automation tools available today, if your business isn’t adopting automation then you are directly impeding your marketing and sales team in achieving critical business goals. In the end, it all comes down to data.

“Marketing automation is not a ‘load and forget’ piece of software
but a catalyst to change; part of the pathway to becoming a
more effective, data-driven marketing organization”

(Forbes, 2019)

When using tools like HubSpot, which integrate all your tools under one platform, it becomes effortless to gather information, analyse your data and increase revenue. Utilising the inbound methodology of ‘attract, convert, close and delight’ through these platforms will also help your business scale its growth and your team to spend less time on repetitive tasks.

Do you want to know more about marketing automation?  Speak with one of marketing experts to find out how we can help.

 

About the Author

Amanda Lopes

Amanda Lopes joined Oxygen in 2019 to serve as a strategic link between clients and internal teams–developing marketing strategies, crafting buyer personas, establishing key performance metrics, maintaining customer relationships, and guiding Oxygen’s team to deliver with excellence.

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