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Top B2B Marketing Trends for 2021

January 18, 2021

By Lee Odden

Top B2B Marketing Trends 2021


Each year I’ve taken inventory of the major trends emerging within our B2B marketing agency practice and with the crazy year that was 2020, the new year requires even greater focus on what’s ahead. Some of the marketing predictions and trends I’ve shared in the past include:

Top 10 B2B Digital Marketing Trends in 2020

  • Personalization
  • Video content and live video
  • AI and Machine Learning
  • Voice engagement and Podcasts
  • B2B Influencer Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Chatbots and Conversational Selling
  • Customer Experience
  • Visual and Interactive Content
  • ABM

Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2019

  • Live, Interactive Video
  • Voice Search
  • AI/Machine Learning/Chatbots
  • Data/Privacy/Transparency
  • Influencer Marketing 2.0
  • Purpose Driven Brands and Gen Z

It’s interesting to see things like Video, Voice, AI and influencer marketing persist each year. The fact is, when it comes to B2B marketing trends, the world is moving fast and while marketing innovation hasn’t slowed, there are still fundamental shifts in B2B buyer preferences for information discovery, consumption and engagement that have not yet been implemented by the majority of marketers yet. As a result, a lot of the “trends” we’ll see a focus on in 2021 are not particularly new, just not evolved.

The chaos of 2020 created some important shifts including 80% or more of the sales cycle happening in digital (Forrester) and impacting B2B verticals in very different ways. The uncertainty caused 50% of buyers to hold off on purchases (Harvard Business Review) but with Tech and Telecom least affected (eMarketer) that also meant an opportunity, especially for those B2B marketers that understand the new normal of go-to-market strategies is here to stay (McKinsey).

So, with all that’s changed in 2020 due to the pandemic as well as political, economic, and social uncertainty, what are the major trends B2B marketers need to be aware of for success in 2021? Here are 20+ that stand out:

Brand Trust

With an “epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust of societal institutions”, 70% of respondents to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer study said brand trust is more important today than it was in the past. Part of the problem is that globally, CEO credibility is at an all-time low and changing expectations create an opportunity to create that trust. 86% from the Edelman study think CEOs should speak out publicly about societal challenges and some are doing that. For example, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared an email he sent to Microsoft employees expressing gratitude and the steps Microsoft is taking to support customers and the community as a long form blog post on LinkedIn. We saw an increase in the number of CEOs communicating in this way and the continuation of that trend in 2021 will help regain both CEO and brand credibility.

Building trust in B2B brands goes beyond CEOs of course and marketers would do well to take inventory of what current perceptions are of the …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog

      

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