It’s time for those 2019 prognostications to come out, and here’s our list. These are the strategies and tactics that are going to make the most sense to capitalize on in 2019 as the year progresses. Get them in your playbook now.
The big shift in 2019 will be toward experiential and event marketing in the B2B space. Yes, trade show marketing has always been around, but it’ll be increasingly supplemented by the use of experience in the marketing funnel to help shape and gather contacts.
We see this happening in two ways. First, it’s happening through the use of more live or web-casted video conferences and seminars. These will go far beyond typical webinars; they’ll morph into experiences that rival those of online engagement platforms like the online education market, and they’ll even take inspiration from real-world conferences.
Second, there will be more in-person events targeted toward buying groups or personas. I see this happening more in the professional service industries – they’ll be able to use space and time as a marketing venue to help position value to the prospective buyer.
This will work for you if two things are important to your buyers: 1. localization and 2. trust.
Localization will be a defining component of service firms as they work to create a “showroom” experience for their product and services and create a showcase of their business that appeals to potential employees.
Trust seems like a no brainer, but it’s something that becomes harder for companies to articulate outside of personal engagement. Events are relational. That makes them perfect for building trust.
Content Video is King
It’s the age of video content production by any serious players. Five years ago, a blog was enough. Now, video is quickly becoming the leading form of influencing content, right above images. Video will be gaining more attention and engagement as brands pour more money into the medium.
What does this mean for you? It’s time to push into video. We’ve been talking about this, and we’ve been working on living it out by embracing the shift ourselves. But this reality means learning how to communicate in a medium that is both visual and auditory. It’s much more costly, but it has higher engagement.
Yet, there’s a sentiment that I think remains true as channels change: the quality of content will always reign. In other words, if you have a great, fantastic blog and you do that well, it will still work for you. If you do a great podcast or email newsletter and your engagement is through the roof, that is clearly working for you as well.
In other words: don’t jump into video and do the same crappy job you were doing with your blog and email campaigns. You’re not going to get the return that you need to be successful, and you’ll spend more money chasing your prospects.
The Return of The Cold Call
Yes, it’s coming back. But it’s revised, it’s all new, and it’s supported with a ton of data and strategy (think ABM campaigns) to help it along. So it won’t be so cold, exactly; it will actually be a warm call, and it won’t be the sales team’s first touch.
The number of marketing messages your prospects receive is increasing each day. As the pendulum swings and the majority of companies are focused on inbound and digital tactics, the traditional touches like phone, personal mail, and pop-bys, are a way to stand out – and they’re being welcomed. Yet, now they’re based on analytics, too; they’re being logged in the CRM, measured for effectiveness, and tracked after opens in a whole new light.
Hem and haw as you want, but tried-and-true tactics combined with new-era analytics are winning the game.
All of this is to say that relationships still matter. They matter a lot in B2B tech sales. And without clear relationships, lead development strategies just don’t get very far in marketing.
Maybe it’s time to invest in BDR, or business development, through personal contact and outreach methods beyond the promise of SEO and inbound methodology.
Now’s the Time
With these three shifts, you should be on a better track for 2019 that’ll let you capture more leads for your B2B technology marketing and increase your lead generation efforts. If you’d like to talk more about these shifts or create more value in your marketing, let’s talk via our free 30-minute marketing review.