Successful B2B marketers are extremely good at pivoting during any rapid change. And if we’ve learned anything from 2020, we know that there’s no challenge too big that we can’t handle — working from home while handling the hybrid curriculum for kids of all ages, the needy pets who exuberantly realize their humans are now home 24/7, and finding time for self-care and food. As business environments continue to change, B2B marketing must adapt to meet industry needs whether that’s keeping up with complex B2B buyer journeys or the growing expectation of digital experiences. So, as we reflect and plan for the year ahead, we asked the UDG Team what B2B trends are on their radars for 2021.

Chatbots

“I love sites that provide a chatbot due to the immediacy of the option to communicate. Chatbots are always listening, always present, and while the chatbot may not be able to solve my problem or answer my inquiry, I am confident it’s going to be routed appropriately (to a human) so my needs will be taken care of sooner than later! Chatbots my 2021 trend to watch because of several reasons: customers expect self-service options and demand immediate service, customers expect a personalized experience (which can be built into chatbot logic), business owners never miss a chance to communicate with a site visitor, and it’s an opportunity for conversion rate optimization (unknown site visitors to known contacts).”

— Garrett Erny, Director of Marketing Technology

Account-based marketing

“I love ABM because, well, what’s not to love? Marketers get to collaborate more closely with their sales colleagues, know their prospects better and personalize messages to create more valuable content, and use cool technology to do omnichannel targeting. It’s a love affair for the ages!”

— Cari Baldwin, Partner

Sales technology

“I am loving SalesTech! Just a few short years ago, very few clients had sales outreach tools like Outreach.io and SalesLoft. We are seeing sales tech tools more and more as part of B2B companies core tech stacks. Why? Scalability. Just like in the early days of MarTech, sales teams need a digital solution to help them automate the “top of the bottom of the funnel” communications. But, proceed with caution: just like with MarTech, you’ve got to know your buyers in order to send the right message to the right person at the right time. If you’d like to learn more, here’s a great article on the explosion of SalesTech tools from Chief MarTec.”

— Gina Miller, VP of Client Experience

Podcasts

“The B2B trend I am loving right now is Podcasts! While it’s been hot in the B2C environment for a while now, we are seeing this medium begin to transition over to B2B and this is super exciting. It’s the one medium where we can consume content and not have to be stuck to a screen. It’s just as engaging as video and costs a heck of a lot less. And I can listen to any podcast while making dinner, going for a walk, or hiding from the kids!! What’s not to love about that!”

— Dana Harder, Partner

 

“Podcasting is a fun, dynamic, and versatile medium for brands looking to step up their thought leadership. There are infinite stories you can tell and ideas you can explore about the people and trends in your industry, and it offers opportunities to build relationships with other thought leaders and brands.”

— Maggie Iskander, Senior Director of Client Services

Intent data

“The B2B marketing trend that I’m most excited about in 2021 is intent data. If you can target prospects based on their intent to buy, this will significantly improve all of the metrics in your sales funnel, from MQL to SQL and SQL to closed/won. The leads are simply more qualified right out of the gate.”

— Joanna Swartwood, Senior Account Strategist

Clubhouse

“Not 100% a B2B marketing trend but a trend nevertheless, I am loving Clubhouse. The access, the conversations, knowledge sharing, and most of all, the community feel. And I do think we are going to continue to see this style of more authentic communication and relationship building in B2B. Marketers must stay creative through the ongoing effects of Covid restricting how we market to and provide content and experiences for our audiences, especially when it comes to in-person events.”

— Alex Star, Senior Account Strategist

Interactive content

“I love how digital experiences are changing for B2B buyers — interactive content, in particular, is a trend that I’m definitely loving. It can be difficult to stand out and attract prospects and engage customers in a sea of B2B content that’s often complex. But with a little creativity and innovation, no matter how big or small the end-result of the interactive experience is, interactive content helps to create a mindful, positive connection between the user and the company, ultimately engaging users and creating opportunities to show value in your product or service.

— Jeanne Dagalea, Marketing and Design Support

 

If you’re looking to adapt your content or sales and marketing tactics and strategies, keep these 7 B2B trends in mind, and contact us if you’re interested in learning more about any of the trends listed. And, be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook so you don’t miss out on additional strategies and insights.