According to a global survey by Salesforce, more than two-thirds of shoppers said that the way they shop by 2020 will change completely. The same people said that COVID-19 needs brands to improve their digital capabilities.
Join Salesforce for a live webinar to get an idea of what your customer expects and how you can determine your success strategy for 2021. You can also get tips and best practices from Jordan Speirs, partner marketing director. Vonage strategy, explains how the brand implements the main trends for 2020.
B2B marketing trends for 2021
Trust the brand
With a ‘widespread epidemic of misinformation and distrust in social institutions’, 70% of respondents to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 survey said that trust in the brand is more important today than in the past. Part of the problem is that the CEO’s credibility in the world is low and that changes in expectations create the opportunity to build trust. 86% of the Edelman study believes that CEOs need to speak publicly about social challenges, and some do. For example, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, shared an email he sent to Microsoft employees expressing their gratitude and the steps Microsoft is taking to support customers and the community in a long message from LinkedIn. and continuing the trend until 2021 will help restore CEO and brand credibility.
Clearly, building trust in B2B brands goes beyond CEOs and marketers to assess current brand awareness and ensure that marketing strategies and customer engagement are aligned with current brand awareness. strengthen credibility.
One of the main implications of 2020 for B2B marketers is the shift to a digital approach to marketing and sales. As a result of the pandemic, the virtual loss of field marketing, distance selling, and face-to-face opportunities has led to a major shift to virtual events and the discovery, consumption, and engagement of online shoppers. B2B marketers have had to make significant changes from traditional tactics to digital tactics. As a result, there is an enormous awareness of the shift from B2B marketing to digital formats and, according to a survey by Singular, 76% of marketing leaders say that the digital transformation into marketing technology is the biggest goal for 2021 (Forbes).
According to the Gartner Buyer Empowerment Survey, more than 3 out of 4 people said the last B2B shopping trip was very complicated. The challenges that arose in 2020 made marketers and buyers even more complex and provided the opportunity to duplicate ideal experiences. The customer experience is a priority, but also the work experience and any experience created by the content and media published by a brand. It is no longer enough to inform the public with information alone.
In 2021, B2B brands will focus on authenticity in their communication and will do everything in their power to create empathy with customers, be more ‘humane’ and guide their marketing strategy.
“2021 will be a challenge for brands to create empathy and emotion in their brand strategy, and I can’t think of a more appropriate time to build emotional connections with customers and cultivate relationships,” said Jennifer Chase. And marketing manager at SAS (Forbes).
Since most B2B buyers migrate to digital channels, B2B marketers need to understand the expectations that drive information discovery, consumption, and engagement and then optimize accordingly.
The challenges of 2020 forced B2B marketers to weigh everything from their core offering to their marketing approach. 94% of respondents to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Trend Report said they had to adjust their content marketing strategy due to the pandemic. These important points during the pandemic led to major changes in business and marketing strategies. Many of these changes will continue, as most CMOs believe their market standards will respond in the next 12 months to 2020.
The most important points of attention include:
• More emphasis on marketing ROI: with lower marketing budgets, marketers have become more responsible for the impact of their business. The greater focus on ROI has affected everything, from strategies to tactics, measurements, technology, and processes.
• Retention Marketing: According to Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by up to 95%. As budgets for 2020 are pending and uncertain about when it will open in the new year, retaining current customers is more important than ever before and the trend will continue until 2021.
• Virtual Events: Effective virtual events provide scheduled live content, on-demand video, and online networking. At the same time, webinars and virtual events have increased in 2020, but people are looking for more. Zoom fatigue has increased and Lori Wizdo of Forrester believes that physical events will begin again, but with a new digital dimension. This will create new opportunities for hybrid models of customer engagement events in 2021.
• Social/marketing objective – According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 65% of consumers in 2020 said they were looking for brands that reflect their values. 43% said they would change their loyalty if companies did not live up to their beliefs. And 63% of Americans believe that brands that make a statement in support of racial equality should act. Consumer expectations extend to B2B brands and extensive research is being done to support the importance of Millennial and GenZ preferences for what a brand stands for. The 2020 events made the position of the brand on social issues in 2021 even more important.
A study by Octopost reported in the past that 80% of B2B proposals are generated by LinkedIn. It’s hard to argue that another social network is more important to LinkedIn’s B2B marketers. LinkedIn offers an incredible opportunity for everything from brand leadership development to specific predictions about organic content and networks, to the development of advertising and sales solutions. By 2021, it will remain the leading community in B2B marketing opportunities.AI and chatbots
The Salesforce survey found that 80% of business buyers expect a real-time response from the brands they do business with, and the first digital approach most B2B marketers will follow in 2021 means artificial intelligence technologies such as chatbots and participation fee is formed. . The combination In terms of AI and machine learning in general, modern buyers are expected to process large amounts of data to provide personalized experiences across platforms and channels. To do this, two-thirds of B2B marketers plan, evaluate or use marketing or sales initiatives.