Digital technology has changed the way B2B businesses reach out to their buyers. In the past, B2B companies relied on personal relationships, industry events, or cold-calling to build their brands. The human element was vital to lead generation strategies and overall business growth. However, since then, modern advancements have drastically changed the way we use B2B technology in the business landscape.
Businesses nowadays need to take advantage of technology when it comes to their B2B marketing and operations strategies. Without adopting modern software and revolutionary practices, you’ll get left behind because your competitors are already onboard.
Would a B2B buyer want to do business with a company that refuses to invest in modern technology? Highly unlikely. Buyers are impressed with companies that bravely invest and experiment with new trends in modern technology. Innovation and progression have become the new prerequisite to success.
Here are some modern technologies that you need to look out for this year.
- ABM Platforms + AI
Last year, technology for Account-Based Marketing (ABM) emerged, as more B2B technology companies adopted this strategy. There are platforms available for every stage of ABM—from account identification and advertising to measurement and reporting.
In the very near future, SaaS providers will start providing end-to-end ABM platforms that integrate data across all marketing systems—from their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to their Marketing Automation System (MAS).
To make ABM platforms even smarter, artificial intelligence (AI) technology can be combined with ABM to truly understand target accounts. As such, B2B marketers will be able to better deliver the personalized experiences that buyers crave.
Blockchain technology undoubtedly disrupted the FinTech industry last year. The technology offers a faster yet encrypted transaction, which can help both B2B companies and buyers feel more secure about the deals that they make online.
Now, tech companies are looking at this breakthrough technology and how it can be applied in various industries beyond FinTech. Expect the emergence of blockchain applications in B2B lead generation strategies, marketing, and sales this 2018.
Take your marketing automation strategy up a notch with bots. Research shows B2B companies that don’t respond to leads within five minutes decrease their chances of qualifying a lead by 400%. And because conversations are more personal than signup forms, employing the use of chatbots in lead qualification has become a growing trend.
You can even create personalized, targeted messages for every page on your website, so that leads visiting one webpage will get a unique script than a different lead visiting another webpage.
While bots will never replace human intuition and insight, they can still help B2B marketers and sales professionals segment and qualify leads more efficiently. Chatbots can help handle multiple conversations at a time, so your sales team is freed up to focus on closing sales.
A couple of years ago, the mobile game Pokémon Go became hugely popular, and people were excited to hit the augmented reality of once familiar streets. The game placed virtual reality and augmented reality in the spotlight and made businesses take a second look at the technology and how it could be applied to further their marketing and sales efforts.
The real estate industry is already using it to show home buyers what it feels like to live in the homes they’re selling. In 2018, more companies will explore how this interactive technology can help buyers understand the value of products and services.
For instance, outsourcing companies can help foreign investors and stakeholders immerse themselves in what a day at the office looks like despite being on the other side of the ocean. It can help potential clients understand the daily processes and workflows of their offshore team. Just one of the reasons why VR and AR have business applications that are worth trying.
Today, more than half of B2B search queries are done from a smartphone, and a recent study projects that by 2020, 70% of B2B inquiries will be from a mobile device. Buyers are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and are regularly switching from one device to another.
Also, optimized mobile strategies fast-track the time to purchase by 20% and contribute over 40% of revenue in leading B2B companies. More importantly, B2B buyers are no longer tethered to their desks, making it imperative to adopt a mobile-first strategy.
The modern age has brought a range of mobile technologies to the B2B industry. The combination of feature-rich apps, effortless integration, and complex mobile-specific analytics makes new mobile technology worth considering.
Big Data may be old news and has long been accepted as an efficient and effective way to personalize marketing campaigns. But the truth is, big data set the benchmark for good marketing by showing the importance of a tailored message. One key area of application is in advertising, which involves leveraging big data to get to know your target market on a deeper level so that you can appeal to what’s important to them.
With this, comes the emergence of programmatic advertising. Although B2C companies generally use programmatic advertising, AdTech app providers such as PureB2B have already made steady progress with its adoption for B2B content syndication and lead generation strategies.
The modern B2B tech landscape is poised to become more innovative in the coming years to empower marketers and sales professionals with savvier, more effective tools to help you reach your bottom line.
Make sure you’re keeping up with the latest developments in B2B technology, so you can act fast when the time comes to innovate or do something new.
Have you come across any amazing B2B technologies recently? Let us know about it in the comments!