2017 brings new opportunities for marketers to drive demand and increase conversions. This year will be more important than ever for your sales and marketing teams: with customers having higher expectations, companies continuously competing to build long lasting customer relationships through video experience, personal 1:1 contact and chatbots.
We reveal the top 5 trends to help you prepare your marketing and sales strategy for 2017
1. Account-based marketing will become more mainstream
“58% of B2B companies already have an account-based marketing pilot or test program.”
Think about the type of companies (accounts) your company wants to do business with and where to drive revenue from. Identifying and targeting key accounts is best practice onwards. Those who use account-based marketing, rather than lead-based marketing have higher-value deals.
The average contract value for targeted accounts is 40% higher for mid-market and 35% higher for enterprise accounts than the lead-based marketing. In 2017, you will see the number of B2B companies testing and running full-fledged ABM programs rise.
2. Video content goes big
“74 percent of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.”
Want more reach? Use video. Want more leads? Use video. Want more sales? You got it: Use video. Why? Because visual language is powerful and humans process visual content faster.
Using the word “video” in the subject line of an email increases open rates by 19%, boosts website visits by 65% and reduces the rate of subscription cancellation by 26%.
Stand above the rest and increase customer affinity when using Facebook Live, Periscope or one of the many other live streaming platforms and tools.
3. Chatbots are the new conversational experience
“Chatbots suddenly became the biggest thing in tech, unlocking interactive communication akin to talking to a human customer service or sales rep.”
Powered by Artificial Intelligence, a messenger service like Facebook Messenger, Slack, or SMS allows you have to have personalised 1:1 conversations at scale with your customers. This way, you can qualify and close more deals with fewer salespeople.
Chatbots require minimum development time (just about one-fourth of the time required to build a standard mobile app) and cost, being cheaper than call centres. Easy to implement, Chatbots come mobile optimised and enable real-time analysis. You can take customer data and personalise future marketing campaigns keeping in line with the latest trends.
4. E-commerce will rocket
“2017 will be the best year yet for B2B e-commerce.”
Social media sites are becoming more dedicated on driving revenues, shifting from content consumption platforms to e-commerce hybrid sites. E-commerce will grow by 31% in 2017, expanding 200% faster than classic e-commerce.
The trends of real-time analytics of e-commerce continue to emerge in 2017. Designing a smart intuitive interface which minimises the time to check out and getting customers in touch with the right products will give your brand best publicity.
5. Customer-Centric marketing continues to be a competitive advantage
“Sales and Marketing teams will work together more efficiently to better understand customer behaviour.”
Customers have greater expectations than ever. Merging all capabilities to offer a unified experience to customers continues to be a differentiator. Marketers will be more involved in sales enablement in 2017. Improving customer journeys at every point of contact remains a top priority.
Moving into the new year, consider how to engage with customers at a personal level, based on their preferences and challenges. Also, have the right content and offers to resonate with customers to build stronger customer relationships. Delivering an amazing experience every time, without exceptions.