5 B2B Marketing Trends 2022
B2B marketing has changed rapidly over the last few years with many new trends emerging in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the first year of the pandemic saw many marketing budgets unchanged or even reduced, two years on in 2022 we are now looking at a world of opportunity. Key to that is taking into account the changed customer and needs of companies, and how we can evolve our strategies in a world that is increasingly open for business.
As the world gradually opens up, we are seeing an increase in the number of both animated explainer videos, as well as a combination of live-action footage with animated elements. For example, this could be by integrating product animations into real footage or using an animated mascot.
Traditionally used in B2C, mascots are increasingly prevalent in the B2B world as it provides customer relatability. Taking on the trends and lessons from the pandemic as brands evolve to become more empathetic and authentic in their output, it makes sense that the combination of using real people and characters that evoke an emotion will become more commonplace in B2B.
XR (made up of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality) has been around for decades, but the three mediums as a whole are always evolving. Take augmented reality (AR) for example, where significant advancements are being made in terms of machine learning and full-body tracking, improving the detection of environments, objects, and even people.
New technology is always exciting to utilise, but what does it mean for B2B? It means that any digitally created assets will be created more accurately, and quicker, saving on time and budget.
For example, this could be a faster turnaround for an animated explainer video that can be viewed in virtual reality, or a more accurate scan of a digital 3D model of one of your products in augmented reality so that the customer can get a real-world understanding of the product in its real proportions.
With an ever-changing industry, marketing strategies need to be adapted and utilised in order for your business to maintain its competitive advantage. Not only is XR more affordable than you think, it’s a better experience for customers too.
A neurological study by Snap found that XR experiences are more engaging for users, maintaining high attention throughout while traditional advertising experiences peaks and valleys over time. A heart rate tracker graph demonstrated that every second is that much more impactful and delivers positive memory encoding.
3. Touchfree Events
Conferences and trade shows are back on the agenda in 2022, but with Covid still prevalent, how might they change while still keeping attendees engaged? The introduction of gesture control at booths and stands would remove the need for touch-based experiences.
The potential uses for motion-controlled gesture technology are truly endless. It can be seamlessly incorporated into everything from conference opening ceremonies and award presentations through to product launches or a fun game at the booth to delight attendees, all controlled touchfree.
4. Machine Learning
Machine learning is the science of building algorithms that can learn from data. There are several key ways in which machine learning is transforming B2B marketing: predicting customer behaviour, improving campaigns, improving lead quality and personalising experiences.
Predicting customer behaviour is becoming an ever-more important part of B2B marketing, as marketers attempt to understand their audiences on more personal level. Machine learning can not only provide us with invaluable insight into our contacts' interests and behaviours, but also allows us to gain insights into new contacts and optimise opportunities.
It can show us when a customer is most likely to make a purchase and automate the sales process, as well as present patterns so that the marketer can personalise messaging, and produce higher-quality leads.
5. Customer Oriented Content Marketing
By nature, content marketing is informative, delivers a boost in brand awareness and can help build trust in your services. By prioritising the customer's needs and how you bring them value, you'll convert prospects and leads no matter where they are on the sales funnel.
Google revealed in 2021 that content marketing was its number 1 SEO ranking factor. Subsequently, Hubspot found that the number of marketers utilising content marketing was 82% in 2021, increasing by 70% in just one year.
It makes sense for marketers to make use of this medium. But rather than just creating contented masse, B2B marketing will place higher priority on the customer's needs and illustrate how they create value. We expect that content marketing will continue to grow in 2022, perhaps incorporating some of the other trends mentioned in this article such as animation.
With some of the effects of the pandemic still hanging over a handful of areas in B2B marketing, we expect the use of technology to bridge the gap of in-person connection, whether that is in shooting video or making more Covid-safe events.
But with it comes the opportunity to take a leap into new technology and discover how your business can make the best use of innovative technology for a more engaging customer experience.
To learn how you can use innovative tech in your marketing output, contact EPM Digital.