Doug Wendt is a co-founder and senior partner with Wendt Partners.
The field of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) marketing is undergoing rapid change. As these changes continue to evolve, they are forcing a fundamental rethinking process for CEOs and marketing executives alike. Consider these major trends:
1. Pervasive Mobility & Responsive Design
Information used to be trapped on desktop computers or within corporate networks. Then, laptops freed us from our desks – but often with limited capabilities. Today, laptops, mobile phones and tablets all provide identical capabilities. In fact, in some cases mobile and tablet applications are faster or more powerful than their desktop counterparts.
One powerful solution is to provide a dynamic online experience for your prospects and customers through responsive design. Responsive design allows you to deliver web experiences to any range of devices and screen sizes without losing quality. The content elements resize and reconfigure dynamically to meet each device’s needs, rather than being fixed or unsuited for a given device.
2. Business Blogging
Customers today have many, many questions and what they need most are answers, fast. Answers can come from you – or your competitors. The choice is yours. Business blogging is a formal process of ramping up the role of your website blog from being an also-ran tool for occasional commentary, into a powerful and mission-critical resource for your customers and prospects. Build a team of key employees and practice writing content regularly – daily and weekly, not just monthly or quarterly. Content that answers questions, explains complex issues and educates your audience on key issues is the most valuable.
3. Google Authorship
Google has developed and deployed a dynamic process that regular online content writers can use to establish their formal ‘credentials’ online, and tie the disparate content they publish, and places in which they publish it, together. Using Google+ allows content writers (i.e. you, your executives, and your technical experts) to become recognized online leaders in a range of content areas, and in turn boost the search engine benefits back to your business.
4. Content Optimization
Content optimization is one of the most powerful, newly emerging trends in the digital marketplace. Content optimization takes the content that today is static (words on a page, related resources, media and links), and adjusts them for each user, based upon that individual’s previous activity and current interests. Think of it as applying the dynamism of a Google search to every page in a website – automatically.
5. Inbound Marketing
Bringing many of these concepts together is an essential task, otherwise the work of implementing each tactic will interfere with the overall business strategy and objectives. After all, powerful marketing must begin with a powerful strategy that aligns your products and services with market needs. The inbound marketing methodology brings together business blogging, content optimization, responsive design, social media and more under one framework, so that you can achieve success without becoming lost in the details of tactics and technology.
Companies such as HubSpot are leading the way with comprehensive marketing automation systems that integrate with your favorite CRM platform – providing a truly end-to-end solution for marketing and sales together.
As business technology changes, business buying decisions and sales processes change as well. Creating marketing solutions that harness emerging drivers will position your business for success.
Image credit: Irargerich (Flickr @ Creative Commons)