Five Ways to Up Your B2B Marketing Game in 2017

At the recent Ad Tech/New York, Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer gave an eye opening keynote address on the topic of media consumption as he unleashed a blizzard of stats and facts. A few key takeaways:

  • The amount of time people spend per day with media has increased from 11 hours in 2010 to 12:05, and we are reaching the saturation point. Much of this increase is due to the use of multiple devices at the same time.
  • Of the 12 hours of consumption, digital captures nearly half of it. And, of the digital portion mobile is dominating. People check their phones an average of 46 times a day.
  • 75% have accessed the internet while watching TV, and the vast majority of the content is unrelated to what they are watching.

With all this media consumption, consumers are getting thousands of marketing messages a day. It is getting harder for marketers to break through and connect to buyers with their messages. And, more importantly generate engagement and build relationships. Additionally, the lines between business and personal lives has blurred and often merged. Business decision-makers are getting their stories from Computerworld or CIO in their social news feed along with other industry news and updates from the world of sports, politics and entertainment. Media consumption has moved from a linear and discrete activity to one that is continuous with lots of competing messages.

Given the new media reality how can marketers make meaningful connections with tech buyers? One thought is to take a page from the world of B2C marketing and use some of the tools and techniques that are breaking through.

Perhaps it is time to bring some emotion to your B2B marketing. Tech buyers are people first and will respond to these appeals. Every purchase decision has a rational and emotional component, and for a purchase behavior to happen a marketer needs to connect on both dimensions. It has been said that most purchases are emotionally driven, and buyers use numbers and facts to justify the decision. When an IT buyer comes to the office they don’t leave the emotional decision-making part of their brain at home. The triggers that get people to buy consumer products will also work in the B2B world. This means weaving in humor, storytelling, bold imagery, interaction and compelling copy.

In fact, it is time to up your content marketing game. This has been a staple of B2B marketing since the advent of printing press, but the last 10 years has seen it explode – making it harder than ever to break through.

Here are five ideas to try or improve in 2017:

Focus on Headlines –The key to getting content read and shared begins with the headline. Using benefit oriented provocative and intriguing copy (with your SEO keyword) is a must. A dull headline that clinically describes an article will usually deliver disappointing results both in search listing and once someone gets to you site. It will also disappoint if you use a dry headline in a sponsored post or content syndication. When it comes to sponsored posts and blogs, the better headline always wins more clicks.

Immersive Content – Both virtual and augmented reality are becoming more common place and will see an explosion in 2017. It changes content from flat text on a screen into an experience. Innovative web design can also do this with graphical motion and ambient video to tell a story. The web is more interactive and readers are craving “lean in” experiences.

Native Ads – This content based promotion has become the new standard for publishers and generates above average engagement for both time spent reading and viral sharing. The key to success here is high quality and educational market information delivered in a trusted environment, and staying away from overt selling.

Short Form Video – Especially potent on social media networks, 15 or 30 second videos deliver a quick message and can have corresponding text for people who watch without the sound. Short videos can be quick and inexpensive to create and can pack a punch.

Influencers/Community Engagement – Another B2C hot button becoming an important element in tech marketing. Finding influential bloggers and socially connected people to talk about your brand and share your content can be invaluable. Not only does it amplify your message, but you increase the chances your content will actually be read.

Tech marketing continues to evolve along with the way IT decision-makers consume content in both their personal and professional lives. Your marketing needs to move with it to be successful.



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