B2B marketers spend a great deal of time trying to read between the industry headlines. Scores of buzzwords come and go. A few stick around and become meaningful additions to the marketing toolset. But even when consumer brands embrace a given tool for the long haul, B2B marketers are often left wondering, “Yes, but is it really useful for me?”
Let’s take a look at some of the words and phrases that took marketing by storm in 2018 and break down the implications for B2B marketers going into 2019:
In 2018, more people were talking to their devices than ever. And while the advertising opportunities on these platforms are still nascent (in fact, hardly existent), B2B marketers won’t be able to ignore the realm of voice search in 2019.
Voice search is quickly picking up steam. Consumers are leveraging their voice assistants, from Siri to Alexa, to conduct research—both inside and outside the office. B2B brands need to account for this behavior when building search programs and tailoring the SEO on their sites. Search best practices have changed.
Read More: It’s Time To Find Your Company’s Voice
In 2018, blockchain represented the buzzword that everyone talked about in the office, but no one wanted to explain to their parents at family gatherings. That’s because it’s complicated stuff, and although most executives understand that they need to wrap their heads around it, most get lost when you get into the finer points. And that’s OK.
The fact is that blockchain will change the advertising industry—for B2C and B2B marketers alike. But this is going to be a natural evolution that takes root slowly in areas such as payments and supply chain auditing and slowly spreads outward. What marketers need to know right now is this: Due to its nature as a transparent and immutable ledger of data, blockchain has the ability to change advertising for the better. It can help to prevent ad fraud, speed payment between ad tech players, and bolster user privacy. You don’t have to understand every technical detail to understand that this is something to be embraced.
Read More: Blockchain and Adtech: First Things First
5G networks won’t become widespread in 2019, but it is time for B2B marketers and AdTech vendors to start planning for the day that these networks become ubiquitous. Because they will.
This fifth-generation mobile technology promises faster internet and increased connectivity. That means the AdTech ecosystem needs to prepare for its adoption by optimizing content on publishers’ sites and ensuring programmatic decisioning can keep pace with 5G’s speed. Marketers will also need to plan for an increasingly mobile world in which most people will connect to the internet through a mobile connection. In other words, speed has always been important when it comes to reducing bounce rates and increasing conversions. With 5G, speed will make or break your efforts. Marketers need to start thinking like developers in this regard.
The Internet of Things
B2B applications are expected to capture nearly 70 percent of the value being created by the Internet of Things (IoT). That includes areas such as predictive maintenance and supply chain efficiencies, yes, but is also includes stronger customer relationships.
By changing the way in which businesses gain insights on their consumers, IoT is creating an entirely new data ecosystem for B2B marketers, and it’s one that needs to be incorporated into a company’s broader marketing and data strategies. Going into 2019, B2B businesses will be incentivized to share this IoT data externally to provide insights to partners, both to monetize this new data trove as well as to impact advertising spend and strategy.
Video, Video and Video
Finally—and perhaps most importantly—B2B brands that don’t leverage video in all forms in 2019 will be left in the dust. By “all forms,” we’re talking online video and social video, as well as connected TV.
Cisco predicts that by 2021 video will make up 82 percent of all consumer web traffic. Video is an excellent way to tell your brand’s story, which is necessary for brand-to-demand executions. Since many brands overestimate their brands’ awareness among target audiinences, it’s imperative that they invest in upper-funnel channels like video to ultimately drive the leads they need. B2Bmarketers must ensure their 2019 budgets reflect a strong mix of both lead-generation channels and tactics as well as brand-building ones.