3 future-ready marketing strategies B2B marketers should budget for in 2018

by Curtis Cummings
November 20, 2017

The year 2018 might sound like a year that Marty McFly should type into the DeLorean. But guess what…it’s not that far into the future. It’s right around the corner.

As we wind down 2017 and begin to think about the not-so-distant future, we as B2B marketers should be taking a close look at our successes (and our “not-so-successes”) to see which aspects, themes or strategies we should invest more money, time and effort into to grow our business.

Here are a few marketing strategies worth the investment in 2018:

 

1. Audience Intelligence Tools and Personalized Content

It’s no secret that we as marketers depend on data and analytics to show us how and where buyers should be reached. Behavioral and identity-based data help us understand more deeply how to interact with our customers and how to personalize our messaging. There are plenty of built-in tools for social media and individual websites that can be helpful for general informational purposes; however, investing in tools that can help you tell an even more customized, compelling story will take you that much further in generating leads. Investing in tools like PeoplePattern, Synthesio and Forrester’s research library will help you get a better idea of your audiences’ top priorities and mindset. This allows you to make sure any communications are relevant and personalized to your audience. Personalized content is the heart of account-based marketing strategies and provides far greater value to a savvy, self-service digital audience.

synthesio

Credit: Synthesio capture from VentureBeat.com

 

2. Video Marketing and Interactive Video

Video has had its own place in the market for a while now, but more than ever, it has become the medium of choice for marketers who want to improve SEO, visitor retention, CTR and general attention span. Video content allows for higher engagement – especially on social media sites. If your messaging is compelling, your video is not only going to be viewed, it will be shared – and both of those things are trackable (allowing you to keep tally of the data and justify additional videos in the future, since custom video production isn’t cheap). Not only is video great for engagement, it offers a strong emotional connection which brings in leads – and let’s face it, that’s the whole point of doing any marketing, right? But you’re thinking, “C’mon! It’s 2018, surely there’s gotta be a new way to approach video.” Well, you’re right. Interactive video is the next wave that will take digital marketing by storm. Interactive video is a new way to use the power of video and deepen the engagement or personalize the video content. Interactive video is a blank canvass for now, but already top brands are using it to create choose-your-own adventure stories and self-select navigation to provide more personalized content. Interactive video is also a better way to lead your audience to additional, deeper content and capture leads. The possibilities are wide open.

Credit: Somnio original content via Wirewax

 

3. Artificial Intelligence

Don’t worry, it won’t take an entire army of expensive robots to help you reach your marketing or sales goals, but incorporating a few bits of AI into your strategy can help you gain more insight to better communicate with your clients, your competition and even your own team. For example, the personality detection technology, Crystal, “…analyzes public data to tell you how you can expect any given person to behave, how he or she wants to be spoken to, and perhaps more importantly, what you can expect your relationship to be like.” Along with analyzing tone and behavior, there are AI tools out there like Chorus.ai that can help your sales team analyze your sales calls in real time, helping you act on key themes throughout the conversation, as well as take note of any mentions of competitors or pain points.

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Credit: Actual screenshot of Crystal profile through CrystalKnows.com

 

Depending on the success of the marketing efforts or tools you enabled in 2017, your top three strategies to invest in next year may vary. If you haven’t incorporated any of these three, however, your business could be missing out on access to heaps of intelligent data, offering a more personalized content experience for your prospects and current clients, and most importantly, conversions that become leads for your organization.