- The trends for digital marketing in 2019
- New tech, new opportunities
As the end of another year approaches, we can see how profound the changes in digital marketing have been. We’ve seen content get more dynamic, technology more intelligent, and marketing campaigns more tightly integrated. And after a dynamic 12 months, many marketers across industries are looking ahead to the new year and asking themselves what the biggest B2B digital marketing trends in 2019 will be.
Many of the trends we’ll see define 2019 are well under way already – but the most interesting will take a new turn, either by increasing vastly in scope or revealing as yet untapped marketing potential. To get you prepared, here’s a look at the biggest contemporary B2B digital marketing trends we predict for 2019.
1. End-to-end personalisation
As technology gets smarter, so does marketing. Today, both B2B and B2C consumers increasingly expect the marketing material they consume to be personalised. Gone are the days when a simple template email would suffice.
Personalisation means that the content of marketing material is specific to individual users, customised for their unique interests, activity and interactions with your organisation. You’ll notice we use the term ‘marketing material’ instead of email. As 2019 gets going, we’ll start to see personalised user experiences begin to influence the entire integrated customer experience.
2. Long form content becomes ever more popular
In the digital world, there is a long-held mantra dictating that content should be short, immediate and to the point. After many years, this logic is starting to become a little more nuanced – and ‘long form content’ is becoming more popular for marketers who are looking to achieve more with their SEO efforts.
The main reason for this is that it ranks well. Google has more recently come to favour long form content on the assumption that the information within it is more analytical, useful and valuable than its shorter counterparts.
But it’s not just Google that’s beginning to prefer long form content. Readers, swallowed under the weight of endless streams of content, are increasingly finding that long-form content is better researched, more analytic and more informative than its shorter counterparts. Long form content, regardless of the time it takes to read, is far more likely to have value than something that’s shorter. Google likes it, readers like it – and B2B marketers in 2019 are going to love it.
3. New technology creates new opportunities
Machine learning, alternate reality and artificial intelligence are set to transform every sector that relies on technology in one way or another. And marketers are almost certain to be among the first to unleash its potential.
Machine learning will allow marketers to use customer data to build an ever more complete picture of the individual to which they’re trying to target.
Perhaps the most promising development uses a combination of machine learning to create ‘identity resolution’, a technique which allows marketers to combine information from a range of disconnected sources and find out more about potential business consumers.
It soon won’t be enough to know what a customer is looking for, or even what other solutions and services they’ve historically been interested in. Soon, marketers will be able to discern why their customers are seeking a solution and what stage of the enquiry process they’re at. Marketers can then tailor their marketing material more closely to this information.
4. More chatbots: better customer experience
Powered by artificial intelligence, chatbots automate basic customer service requests, meaning customers can solve simple queries without having to speak to the business themselves.
These have recently become quite prolific on B2B websites, but there’s every opportunity for the technology to develop and find new applications in the new year. So far, it’s been used as a tool to aid user experience and optimize customer service. In future, there’s potential for it to develop into a direct marketing tool.
Could artificial intelligence identify what marketing materials to direct the user to, based on their queries? Could it combine this with identity resolution technology, creating an increasingly personalised user experience? The possibilities for this new technology to revolutionise B2B marketing are endless.
B2B digital marketing trends in 2019
Each of these trends alone suggest exciting prospects for B2B marketers in the coming year. But it’s only when the strengths of each emerging trend are combined into a broader inbound marketing strategy that the real potential of the future begins to emerge.
Until now, the marketing material different people consume has been largely similar, with personalisation focusing more on the products and services they’re directed towards. The marketing of the future will increasingly use emerging technology to find out more about each potential customer, making the resultant marketing experience more detailed, more personal – and more effective.
B2B businesses will need to create an integrated marketing experience if they want to generate meaningful leads and sales in the coming months and year ahead. Contact Fifty Five and Five to find out more.