6 B2B marketing trends for digital commerce startups in 2022
Updated: Jan 26
Today’s B2B customers don’t just want to be delighted and satisfied, they also want to feel confident, valued, respected and understood. This has always been the truth, yet sometimes as CEO’s, sales and marketing professionals we get caught up in the jargon and data - leads, accounts, opportunities, win, retention rate etc. and forget that underneath all this, it’s ultimately about forging a human to human connection with our customer. And that means connecting emotionally.
Let’s have a look at some of the B2B marketing trends for 2022 and how you can sell and market more effectively by delivering on emotions at key points throughout the buyer’s journey -
1.Digital Storytelling - Although it’s fast changing, a lot of young SaaS companies in their digital storytelling are product oriented. They talk more about themselves, their product, its features and what they can do and not nearly enough about their customers and how they make them successful. In 2022, ask yourselves - how can you make your brand’s narrative be more customer-centric? How can you include your customers in your brand story ? What is your deeper why? Lead with your customer’s agenda instead of your own. Be authentic and your customers will feel connected to your brand.
2.Relevant Content - Often early stage startups stay focused on sales, marketing is not really a priority or considered a business partner. Perhaps you are just getting started with your marketing initiatives. You are ready to create content. But where do you begin? Relevant and personalized content is key. You want your content to add value to your clients at every stage and be relatable. Plan your content strategy before getting to creating anything. Topic ideas could be - sharing how you have digitally transformed a brand by helping them create seamless omnichannel commerce experiences or helped them rapidly scale operations globally. You could share this in multiple formats such as case studies, use cases and interviews. This would be very useful for a prospect in raising their confidence in your product's capabilities as they will be able to relate with the customer journey.
3.Videos - Videos are powerful and will continue to outpace static content in 2022. Think of including them in your marketing initiatives to engage your customers and drive revenue. Let’s say you help brands optimize omnichannel fulfillment, you could develop product videos explaining how you do so. This would be useful for a potential customer who is looking for a solution to meet their fulfillment related challenges. While producing videos, less is more. Keep them short, to the point and straightforward. Short form videos are found to be 46% more effective by global marketers than long form content. This again raises their confidence in buying from you.
4.ABM/ABX - In 2022, we would see more companies adopt Account based marketing/experience strategy to drive revenue. But one has to be careful when implementing it. Sometimes companies implement this lifecycle marketing strategy with sales and marketing teams functioning in silos. Ensuring both teams are better aligned will yield better results and help you deliver superior customer experience (CX). Another thing to bear in mind, is that simply making a high value target customer list and attempting to engage prospects without knowing if they are ready or even interested in your offering makes for a frustrating experience. By knowing what to say, when to say it and how to say it, will not only improve engagement but also make your prospects and customers feel respected, valued and understood.
5.Brand Investment - B2B customers today care about business outcomes but also about who they are partnering with - their values, purpose, mission and how socially responsible they are. A lot of the times early stage companies fail to pay attention to developing their brand. Somehow that doesn’t seem important. Why bother, you ask ? A strong brand helps with your overall market positioning, building credibility and driving sales. Customers want confidence in doing business with your company. And having a digital commerce solution isn’t going to be enough. They want to know what you stand for, how you treat your employees, partners and customers. They are looking not just for a technology vendor but a "trusted partner". So taking the time to invest in your brand is essential for short and long term returns. Develop a brand personality, clarify your value props and messaging, and communicate clearly and consistently across all customer touch points.
6.Brand advocacy - If you have spent some time on Linked In, you have probably seen employees sharing messages about the company they are working at. From job announcements to recruiting opportunities to sharing company news, employees today have taken on the role of brand ambassadors. And this trend, where employees are leveraged to strengthen brand awareness and achieve business outcomes, is expected to grow in 2022. By 2023, 90% of B2B social media strategies will employ brand advocacy programs. Such programs not only increase employee engagement but also builds brand trust in the eyes of your customers.
You could start small if you are not yet ready for a formal program by setting and providing guidelines for your employees to follow.
Nobody likes to be sold to but we all like to buy or do business with companies we feel aligned with. We stay loyal to companies that only provide us with a satisfactory product experience but a differentiated digital experience based on broad range of emotions.