As a specialist in B2B marketing, every year we make an overview of the marketing trends for the new year. Previous B2B marketing trends predictions from 2017 and 2018 have come true and have become an indispensable part of a professional B2B online marketing department. Our task is to challenge the Jelba B2B experts to come up with the predictions for the B2B marketing trends 2019.
B2B Marketing Trends 2019
What will the focus be in 2019, what are current developments and will get a foothold in the coming year? Jelba’s B2B experts will be happy to take you on board in their vision.
“B2B buyers switch from desktop to mobile” – Arwen Obermeyer, founder Jelba
When we started online marketing in the hardcore business to business years ago, it was not surprising to see that the majority of website and webshop visitors came from desktop computers. From all our customers on average 25% of the visitors visited the B2B webshops and B2B lead generation platforms of our customers with a mobile device. This has more than doubled in three years. This has many consequences for the way we design and build webshops and websites. For example, the old slider or video in the page header, which looks great on a desktop, does not work on a smartphone. Longer pieces of text also work badly. How do you get a message across? How do you make your website or shop a nice and beautiful experience on a smaller screen? Which conversions have priority over mobile? How do you ensure that products are easy to find and order on mobile? These are all design and technical issues that we have been working on for years. The WordPress-, Magento 1-, Magento 2- and Woocommerce-installations we build are also technically strong in development in this area. Our analyses are increasingly focused on the mobile website visitor, where we see that the conversion opportunities are numerous; the behavior of someone who visits your website on a mobile device often has a different intention and timeframe. These B2B marketing trends 2019 are set to continue unabated through the coming year.
“Headless content management system breaks through”
A disconnected CMS architecture, or a ‘headless CMS’, offers the possibility to dynamically publish content for any desired platform. The content is separated from a predefined front-end. What does that mean? Take WordPress as an example. In most cases, the back-end of this platform is completely set up in the way that content should be displayed. For each content type, a (flexible) front-end template is built, as it were. This template is made fully responsive, so that the functionalities remain intact on every device, but the experience is not always the same. This is not surprising, because in the design phase, often one device is taken as the starting point. A headless CMS puts an end to this.
The headless CMS becomes a central hub in which all content is managed. From this place the content is pushed to different front-ends by means of an API. This allows companies to offer the ultimate customer experience on any platform. It also gives designers and developers flexibility to optimise: the design can be completely renewed, without having to rebuild the entire back-end.
Of course this sounds fantastic but such an application still offers many challenges. Content editors and marketers are now creating content around the ‘WYSIYG editor’. With a headless solution, this principle must be abandoned in its entirety: after all, content must be applicable to multiple platforms. In order to keep an eye on this, a content model must be considered in advance. A content model is a kind of mapping, as a database structure is for data. This describes how the data should be structured, categorised and enriched, for example with metadata. This only requires a lot of time and attention. Without a well thought-out model, it becomes difficult to produce content that comes into its own on every platform.
“Focus on rich content” – Yori Thijssen, B2B Content Expert
In B2B it is important to provide your customers with content that is valuable to them. The professional is increasingly demanding product-specific texts and more in-depth knowledge of the subject matter that is relevant to their business. This means that in 2019 more rich content will be created in B2B content marketing.
First of all, video is an important form of rich content. In addition to fire videos, product videos or instructional videos are excellent marketing tools to be used in industry, agriculture, transport and logistics or the construction and installation sector, for example. Think also of producing vlogs. Also in the professional context it can be very valuable to offer potential customers a ‘look behind the scenes’. Video marketing is also becoming increasingly prominent in B2B.
Another form of visual content that is already widely used today is infographics. Users immediately get an overview of the information you want to discuss. The infographic can support your blog, but a blog can also serve as a further elaboration of the infographic.
Potential clients will increasingly be able to find more in-depth information in the form of white papers. This is also a handy marketing tool, with which interested parties can find the information and with which you as a marketer can collect concrete leads. A win-win situation. A similar and more dynamic tool to achieve the same effect is a podcast: a sound file in which professionals have a say. In short, the use of rich content will only further increase the online presence of B2B companies in 2019.
“Personalised content is the new standard” – Vincent Aalbers, B2B Online Marketing Expert
Two important B2B marketing trends 2019 in online marketing are focused on offering personalised content. Due to the increasing individual needs and personal wishes of the users or visitors, there is a challenge for the online marketer to connect to this with the right resources and content. We distinguish between interactive content and liquid content. Interactive content speaks for itself: the content that is offered comes into its own through interactivity. Examples are infographics or videos. You can also think of a quiz or poll that is offered.
Liquid content means offering adapted content for a specific target group. Take the content on a web shop page as an example. When the webshop in question offers products to both people within the car industry and people within the medical industry, liquid content can be tailored to the specific needs of both industries. More concretely, liquid content can be used to ensure that a header is shown that responds to the wishes of customers within the medical industry when a hospital employee comes to the site in question. When an employee who is working in the automotive industry comes to the site, a header is shown that is in line with the wishes of this specific target group. Besides a header, there are many possibilities on a specific site that you can hook into by means of liquid content. Think of displaying products relevant to products that are viewed or even the layout of the menu or submenu.
The current online market is overwhelming and the competition is lurking. It is more important than ever to personalise content and focus on the needs of the ever-widening target group. Within B2B online marketing there is often talk about customer-oriented marketing. For relevant and effective customer-oriented online marketing, a personalised offer is of great importance. Interactive content and liquid content are indispensable for this.
“The rise of material design and end of flat design” – Tom Teunissen, B2B Design Expert
The success of a B2B website starts on the drawing board. A well thought-out design plays an important role in the opportunities for new leads and conversion. An intuitive website and removing steps in the navigation of the website remain growing needs of the user. The digital age in which we find ourselves has spoiled us and the road to the competitor’s website has come so far. Holding on to users and providing the tools to find what they are looking for on your website is of the utmost importance. In 2019, design and conversion optimisation in B2B will focus more on user-friendliness than ever before. Within our design department it is time to really let go of flat design in the basics. The reduction of shadows, gradients and patterns is strongly on the rise and will continue to develop in 2019. A powerful example is material design, a design language developed by Google. Material design is about uniformity in interfaces and reducing elements that have disappeared in the flat design trend. Objective: to create uniformity and make the functionality of elements self-evident with a short learning curve. This design language inspires designers worldwide and according to our B2B marketing trends 2019 will find its way to multiple online applications.
“Data driven marketing as the basis for any conversion marketing action” – Bart Strijker, founder Jelba
Classic (online) marketers tend to take the results of target group surveys as a basis for marketing actions. Recently I heard the statement at a meeting “it’s best to send an e-mail on Tuesday or Thursday”. On the internet there are many studies about e-mail marketing with the result that Tuesday and Thursday between 10:00 and 14:00 are the best times to send an e-mail. With the strong rise of data driven marketing, these studies can explore the realm of fables. Don’t let yourself be led by previous general surveys but focus on your own data, create volume and keep testing for better results. At the moment we score high conversions to B2B buyers with an email campaign on Monday morning at 06:00h. If this is still the best moment in three months? No idea. The data will show this. Of course marketing automation is already quite developed within online marketing and good to start with in email marketing. So we see in the B2B marketing trends 2019 a very strong growth of data driven marketing. So stop googling for research but look at your own marketing data as the basis for the next marketing action.
Jelba and B2B Marketing Trends 2019
In order to remain a leading player in B2B online marketing, B2B e-commerce and B2B lead generation we work every day with technology and target groups to achieve the best result (more business through online channels) for our customers. Every day our customers reach a dominant part of all professional buyers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Our predictions for the B2B marketing trends 2019 are based on practical experiences, looking back on previous results, the emergence of new technology and the online behaviour of professional buyers.
If you have any questions about our B2B marketing trends 2019 you can reach us by phone 030 – 227 14 23 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to use these trends in your own publication please ask permission and of course a source mention with a direct link to this article. We also think of our own SEO position.
On to 2019!