B2B Marketing in 2020: Here are 9 predictions from our specialists

Can you believe that 2019 is already over?

I love this time of year, when we are in a rush to leave it and begin a new one. To end this decade, we gave ourselves a small office challenge in order to begin 2020 on the right foot. Each of us has identified one or two trends that should mark 2020 in their respective fields.

As a B2B digital marketing company, knowing what lies ahead and sharing it with members of our community is a must. Knowing how to prepare and what to expect becomes an asset!

Alain Thériault

Conversational marketing

New chatbots using more and more AI are able to have a sufficiently advanced conversation with the customer/prospect, enough so to choose/suggest the most appropriate content in the interlocutor’s buying cycle.

In addition, if the conversation resumes in the buying, testing, demo etc. phase, the chatbot can collect information the same way a form would, while adjusting to the current situation.

David Lepage

The employer brand

While there has been talk of labor shortages for some time and the catastrophic recession announced by the prophets of doom, the problem will only get worse. The economy is rolling and, so is production. Contracts are still signed, and the development of new technologies is well underway. We need skilled workers.

As a result, employers will have to redouble their efforts to sell themselves to potential candidates, which will translate into large-scale marketing efforts.  The employer brand will become a crucial issue for all companies, both in B2C and B2B.

More authentic content

Generic corpo texts are already outdated. But the trend towards authentic content is snowballing and will further change the way companies communicate and convey their messages.

Since Familiprix’s famous “Ah HA!” several years ago, we feel that the typical humor of Quebecers now permeates even the offices of content creators. Indeed, one can think of Maxi’s humorous advertisements or Hydro-Québec’s delusional community management on social networks to realize that the tone and content are constantly changing.

It will be even more crucial, in 2020, to stand out from the others by (re)defining the voice of companies. How can you stay authentic in corporate values while being inspired in your marketing? That’s going to be the challenge!

Vincent Cloutier-Naud

Rise of the machine

Ta-da ta ta-da… Ta-da ta ta-da (Terminator’s theme song)

I’m not talking about Facebook or even Amazon, which are already operated by machines …

I predict that in 2020, we will see even more artificial intelligence in the world of marketing. If the largest companies already benefit from it, PME’s would now be able to access it more easily.

This technology will be democratized through various tools used by marketing teams, for example, CRM, live chat (chatbot), web analytics tools, online advertisements, etc. Predictive tools could help you reach new marketing targets… oh, but wait, everything I just mentioned here already exists!

Ta-da ta ta-da…

Jean Gougeon

Creating websites with CMS

If the trend continues in 2020 (it will be perfect vision), more and more websites will use a CMS (Content Management System) to begin with, compared to sites that will not. As of November 2019, 42% of new sites launched do not use a CMS compared to 37% of new creations that do.

WordPress alone holds the largest share, with 35% of the market for all sites developed in CMS and 22% for others.

This is not at all surprising, because we see this trend at ExoB2B, customers are asking that sites be built with a CMS and preferably using WordPress. They will have the flexibility to add new content quite easily on a regular basis, which is essential for optimal search engine referencing. Content such as blog posts, new products and services from PDF documents.

Lynda St-Arneault

Personalization

A real message! Not just: “Hello Lynda St-Arneault, here’s our latest e-book.”

Technologies are within our reach, if they are integrated into the right processes and aligned with company strategies with carefully and rigorously collected data for humans to make decisions, personalization is possible.

Personalization, as we want it and see it is “total”.  It’s a marketing vision that has been present for decades and has been perfected with technology. We can think of its ancestor, catalogue shopping and direct mail marketing, with which several companies have made a fortune (but have not been able to adapt).

Finally, a study published in MarketingCharts  last November reveals that personalization is the No.1 marketing and sales strategy in which respondents have an interest in 2020.

Organizing data to deliver better CX customer experiences

The role that the CMOs will have to assign themselves or to be assigned to, based on their ability to handle it.

The good news is that we will be able to focus more on data rather than applications. However, ways will have to be found to break up data in organizations. Something that separate teams don’t always want to share. Again, there are ways to do it.

Does it mean that no data decommissioning = no optimal CX?

Yes, although we may desire or be sold as ideal in terms of customer experience, if we do not have real-time access to the data that allows us to make the right decisions, it’s a bit like swimming with a rope tied at our waist 😉

In B2B it is crucial to offer good customer experiences because sales cycles are complex, sometimes long and there are also several possibilities to identify players through the buying cycle. Expectations in terms of CX in B2B  are high. Very high!

Claude Malaison

Experiential marketing

While the technical characteristics of products or services from different companies may be virtually identical, what are the factors that motivate a buyer to choose one supplier over another? Or to forge a long-term relationship based on commitment and trust?

It’s all about the social satisfaction that the product or services will provide to the customer and allow them to live an experience that brings emotions, discoveries and pleasure, to obtain a higher level of commitment from the buyer. In both B2C and B2B, it will be necessary to distinguish itself from the competition by an approach that is no longer transaction-oriented but rather the satisfaction of human needs.

“Customers no longer compare you to your competitors, they compare you to other positive experiences they’ve had,” Shep Hyken, author and seasoned expert in customer service and experience, said recently. “Satisfaction is a rating. Loyalty is an emotion. So, we have to find a way to create a lasting emotional bond. »

Video content

It may seem a bit trivial, but in marketing, another way to stand out from the crowd and give potential customers a different experience, especially compared to all the content that is offered every hour, every day, every year on the Web, which has become “infobese”, is a video!

And in all its forms… Whether it’s on YouTube, on your personal live streaming video channel or podcast in RV format, real or virtual images always have the potential to differentiate your content from the mass of content published daily on the web.

Some will say that it is not very trendy. Don’t get me wrong, after reviewing all the blogs and sites of marketing experts who also take advantage of this time of year to make predictions for next year, a vast majority put video content in their predictive lists.

In conclusion

There are certainly other B2B marketing trends that are likely to become more important in 2020, such as ABM, automation, podcasts, influencers (micro, nano or macro), immersive events, virtual reality and well, still others!

Lots of technology or “martech” if you prefer.

But there is a constant in today’s marketing that no one forgets when it comes to looking to the future. This constant is the ‘human’.

It is and always will be part of the equation.

That’s why we’re hearing more and more about “human centered marketing” or customer centric marketing, customer experience or, as the subtitle of Mark Schaefer’s latest book Marketing Rebellion  – “The Most Human Company Wins”

The challenge ahead of us next year will probably be to bring together humans and marketing technologies, as demonstrated in this quote from a PDF on the future of B2B, produced by raconteur.net

With this in turn, we wish you an excellent end to 2019 and if you would like to share your predictions for 2020, I invite you to continue the conversation with us by making a phone appointment or by writing to us.

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