Top 5 Trends For B2B Marketers In 2021

2020 was a year in which things for the marketing world completely changed. With the rise of account based marketing taking a more holistic approach to how accounts are targeted and that in turn has had a huge impact on what prospects expect. With that being said, the trends we’ve spotted in 2021 have been quite insightful and we’re going to share our top 5 with you below.

1. ABX (Account Based Experiences)

Account Based Marketing (ABM) was everywhere in 2020. A study by Terminus found that 94.2% of respondents had at least 1 active ABM programme (up from 77% in 2019) and that mature ABM programmes accounted for 79% of all sales opportunities with results like this it's only natural to wonder what’s next? Enter ABX!

Whereas ABM focuses on the practical steps to winning an account ABX looks at the experience you’re looking to give the account. A few questions to ask:

  • How should each touchpoint make the recipient feel? 
  • What emotions are you trying to tap into? 
  • Is the buyer journey something that you know is enjoyable?

Something we have found works really well is, during the plan of action, set out where each touchpoint fits in the overall journey for your prospect and set the experience we wish for them to receive. A video message could spark a conversation and intrigue, a direct mailer sent to surprise and delight, a piece of content pertaining to their biggest challenge can demonstrate that not only do you understand your prospect but that you are someone they can trust.

2. Conversational Marketing

  • 82% of people expect an immediate response to their buying questions. 
  • 79% of people would be happy to use a messaging app for customer service.
  • Only 36% of companies use live chat as part of their marketing strategy.

Customer expectations have never been higher and meeting those expectations is key for brands. Live Chat services from Drift, Zendesk, Intercom and dotDigital, to name a few, are easy to set up and integrate into your site.

3. Short-Form Video Marketing

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth a thousand pictures. That’s the saying, right?

Well maybe it hasn’t caught on as a saying just yet but the power of short videos (no more than 5mins) across platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and, increasingly for brands, TikTok give you an opportunity to create the holy grail of content- something that is informative and entertaining. 

And the numbers don’t lie: 72% of businesses reported that video improved their conversion rate and 65% of executives visit a company website and 39% of those call a vendor after watching a video.

Videos on best practices, thought leadership and product demonstrations are especially effective. It is also ideal to include captions and are mobile friendly as most videos are watched on a handheld device and often with the sound off.

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How to break through to Target Accounts using Direct Mail & Gifting

4. Micro-Moments

A new year and a new bit of terminology! Micro moments are defined as “an intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need – to know, go, do or buy.”

Unlike the traditional funnel path of: awareness, interest, decision, action; micro-moments are:

  • I want to know- research phase without an intention to purchase yet
  • I want to go- looking to purchase from a vendor in close proximity
  • I want to do- looking for help in completing a task or trying something new
  • I want to buy- actively looking to purchase or requesting help to make a purchase

Google states that for marketers to win they have to “be there, be useful and be quick” as consumers we’re now programmed to want a frictionless, quick sales process and delivering that can be the difference between winning the deal or seeing your ideal customer go to a competitor.

5. Retention Marketing

It isn’t unusual to get a new client and put them in the “win” section and then go on to market again for new business.

A Harvard Business Review study shows that a mere 5% increase in customer retention can deliver a staggering 95% increase in profits and what’s more, unlike new business, you already have an insight into what content works for your clients.

Some ideas can be:

  • Customer Appreciation- a direct mail send for the completion of a project or team up with them for a case study!
  • Onboarding and Education- your client’s teams are ever growing, content on getting to grips with your solution for their newbies ensures you’re a part of their business
  • Ongoing Training- as you develop and offer more, you have the opportunity to train your client base to ensure high adoption of new features

That’s the list. Hopefully insight into these 5 will give you insight into ensuring that you remain on top of your game when it comes to marketing in 2021. With 2020 having such a big impact it’s going to be interesting to see what new trends become a regular part of every business.

50 Direct Mail and Gifting Ideas for Q2.

Alex Olley
Co-Founder, Chief Commercial Officer

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