The Changing Face of B2B Marketing

Here’s a freaky stat:

The average person spends more time online than TV and all other media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) combined. 

There is even statistical data to back it up, courtesy of Jim Lecinski, Google VP of U.S. sales and service:

  • Digital time: 5 hours, 38 minutes
  • TV time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • Newspapers: 11 minutes (sad for me, a newspaper guy from back in the day)
  • Magazines: 10 minutes (again, sad for me as I love my print magazines)

Digital is the New Normal for B2B Marketing

Digital is the new normal, Lecinski said, and that new normal is changing
how B2B decisions are being made. 

He referred to a study Google completed in 2014 with Millward Brown Digital,
titled B2B Path to Purchase Study 2014.

The study tracked B2B consumers’ online shopping activity, and Lecinski
noted four key takeaways from the study that has implications for marketers and
brand building:

1. How Are You Marketing to a Changing Audience?​

b2b buyer demographics

News flash: Nearly half of all B2B researchers are Millenials, or those born after 1980. 

According to the survey, in 2012, 29% of buyers were from the age 35-44 group. But in 2014, 46% were age 18-34 (while 22% were 35-44). 

What does this mean? 

Well, are you considering Millennials as part of your marketing campaigns? And if so, are you looking to target them through the means they consume information, such as video? 

And if they aren’t buying, the Millennial crowd is certainly part of the decision influencing group – the survey found that 81% of non-C-suite employees play some role in decision-making.

2. Are You Winning at the Key Micro-Moments?​

Lecinski said the B2B engagement window is widening – there are many purchasing “moments of truth” because people are online all … the … time, something he referred to as “micro-moments.”

The survey noted that there are as many as 12 of these micro-moments that go into a purchasing decision, so how do you win each these moments?

Are you waiting for prospects to find you, or are you exporting your content to where they area – especially the Millennial audience.

4. Is Your Product Portfolio Digital-Ready?

As Lecinski mentioned earlier in his presentation, there’s this idea of a new normal, and buyers like Millennials have expectations – and part of those expectations are to experience your products and services in a Millennial way.

Think about the behaviours of the 18-34 year old crowd; where and how do they consume information?

And how can you proactively reach them there with an astute explanation of what you offer them?

B2B Marketing Tactics You Can Try

Ok, so the landscape is changing. It’s more digital. 

The big question you need to answer is “how can I respond to this and gain a competitive advantage in my market?”

To get your creative juices flowing we’ve outlined some best practice inspiration based on the most influential B2B digital marketing below.

Best Examples Of B2B Video Marketing​

Isoline that conducted a study of 127 B2B Marketers who were involved in purchasing decisions. It highlighted the content that they believed most influenced their purchase decisions.

b2b marketing channels

Perhaps unsurprisingly video came out a clear winner.

Let’s look at some of the best examples of B2B video marketing.

HP Wolf Security

This long-form video from HP ticks a lot of the right boxes for a B2B brand film.

  • It’s emotive.
  • It uses story to illustrate the product benefits in an interesting way.
  • It’s different. Most B2B brands focus on the product and spout out a load of stats.

What is Salesforce?

Another great B2B video example here. This time from Salesforce. 

What makes it good?

  • It’s heavily branded (in a tasteful way). More on why this is good in our article on distinctive brand assets.
  • It has a clear and concise message – we bring companies and customers together. The simpler the message the more effective it is.
millward brown graph

Best B2B Social Media Examples

Social media channels offer brands an excellent way of reaching potential B2B customers. They’re a great way of distributing all your content marketing, from brand videos to whitepapers and everything in between. They offer huge scope for creativity when it comes to promotional assets.

Just because we’re working in B2B our marketing doesn’t need to be dry and solely based on product features.

Let’s take a look at some B2B brands getting creative on social media…

Mailchimp on LinkedIn

Mailchimp is an A+ example of how to use creative delivery to stand out from the competition. 

They share a range of useful content from long-form research reports and interviews to shorter best practice examples and updates.

Again – the recurring theme here – everything is heavily brand with distinctive brand assets.

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