Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Key marketing trends for 2012 (part two)

Part two of our guide to key B2B marketing trends that will be seen this year.

Now is the time that B2B marketers like you will be considering if and how they want to change their advertising strategies in 2012 in order to win new business.

Some key marketing trends for 2012 have been discussed and now it is time for part two of our guide on what will be lucrative for B2B firms this year.

Integrating email marketing with social media
While many of you may feel that email marketing is a dying advertising medium due to the popularity of social media, it can still be lucrative for you in 2012.

According to Elisabeth Sosnow, who was writing for Business to Community, this is the year for B2B firms to run integrated marketing services that incorporate emails and social marketing campaigns.

She states that 47 per cent of companies intend to increase their investment in email marketing to drive growth in social media channels in 2012.

Beware though as you need to do more than just adding a social share button to your email marketing messages in order to do justice to both platforms.

Julia Peavy, director of Response Consulting at Return Path, suggested adding social media calls-to-action in email marketing messages.

She wrote on the firm's blog: "Test out different wording to encourage sharing or engagement with your social media site.

"While including simple 'follow us' and 'like us' text is better than no guidance, test the social media calls to action to see if this encourages more clicks."

You can also include the option to add comments to a social media page in your email marketing messages to help encourage engagement with your brand.

Content marketing
Producing high-quality content is a proven marketing tool for B2B marketers and the type of material required to win new business is set to develop even further in 2012.

White papers will always be a great way for you to reveal the latest developments in your industry to prove you're an expert in the field but B2B buyers will want to read more engaging content too this year.

This can include corporate blogs, written by your chairman or an industry expert, webinars that B2B buyers can watch online, and even e-books, as e-readers are gaining popularity across the globe.

Social media
Social media was a popular marketing method in 2011, with the launch of new social network Google+, and new advertising tools on both Facebook and Twitter.
These sites are sure to have more opportunities for you to build lead generation in the pipeline, such as Facebook which will be introducing private messages between brands and customers.

As a result, firms will be able to deal with customer service issues directly and in private, rather than on their Facebook page.

What methods will you be employing this year? Take our Poll opposite and find out what your peers think.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Key marketing trends for 2012 (part one)

As the New Year is here, you may be wondering what key marketing trends you should get involved in to boost lead generation in 2012.

That's because marketing is one of those sectors that is constantly evolving as new technologies develop and people find themselves engaging with digital data in innovative ways, such as through smartphones.

Let's take a look at some of the trends that are set to be important this year:

Branded Advertising
One big marketing trend for 2012 is set to be advertising that benefits those who see it rather than traditional advertising on mediums such as TV.

Such is the prediction of Chris Gorell Barnes, chief executive officer at Adjust Your Set, who was writing on the Econsultancy blog.

He explained that people, including B2B buyers, want advertising that contributes to their quality of life, meaning online marketing will be big news next year.

Instructional demos, product innovation and your Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, which means running a company so it doesn't have a negative impact on the environment, stakeholders and the public, should be a focus in 2012 in order to boost lead generation.

This also means there will be a greater focus on pictures and images over words, with Cisco predicting that online video will account for 90 per cent of all internet traffic within the next three years, leading us to the next trend.

Video Marketing
You can also employ non-traditional advertising in the form of online video marketing, as you can provide demonstrations of your products and how they would benefit a B2B buyer.

The amount of money spent on video advertising increased by double-figures this year, with a further rise in budgets expected in 2012, according to a study by Break Media.

It found that 68 per cent of marketers intend to boost their online video marketing budgets in 2012, suggesting brands are seeing this channel as beneficial in terms of sales and new clients.
Mr Gorell Barnes revealed that another key marketing trend for 2012 will be mobile.

He wrote: "Smartphones have revolutionised how we interact with content on-the-go and in 2012 the mobile device will continue to play a significant role."

Smartphones are gaining ground in the UK, US and even Japan where the majority of owners are male aged under 35, according to Comscore.

This is an ideal demographic for you as these people can be involved in the buying process at a B2B firm so mobile marketing is also a great channel for lead generation.

What marketing methods are you planning to employ in 2012?