If you haven’t checked out Thirty.9’s growth marketing article, I suggest you start here.
Due to COVID-19, we’ve seen a great shift in B2B organizations who are focusing more intently on building customer relationships. Sales cycles have become dramatically longer due to travel restrictions, conference call fatigue, digital advertising saturation and buyers seeking more educational information prior to making purchases. All of these factors, and many more, have pivoted organization’s to focus more on long-term strategies rather than short-term wins for sustained growth.
As we kick off the new year, here are our top 3 Growth Marketing Trends for 2021.
Number 1: Account Based Marketing will allow organizations to play where they can win. Account-based marketing, also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.
According to ITSMA, “about 85% of marketers who measure ROI describe account-based marketing as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach!” If you are a B2B sales-focused organization that does not have an ABM strategy, this should be a priority. (Not sure where to start or what resources you will need? Contact a growth marketing expert at The Grovery for more information.)
If your organization does have an active ABM strategy in place, has the approach been refined since COVID-19? For instance, have you considered direct mail since most employees are working from home? Or has your target list changed based on which industries have been resilient during this pandemic? Before unpausing your ABM campaigns after the holiday season, take a step-back and re-align with your marketing and sales teams to ensure your current ABM approach encompasses industry growth areas and complexities among your key decision makers.
Number 2: Unify your data. According to Audienceplay.com, “2% of the marketers today are investing actively in data-driven marketing tools.” Having a comprehensive and robust Data Management Platform (DMP) is cost effective and allows your teams to focus on marketing performance and campaign insights rather than sifting and sorting through data in disparate systems. A standard DMP can provide data collection, classification, analytics, and ad network integrations which will allow your marketing teams to make more efficient data-driven decisions for optimizing your campaigns and marketing spend.
Choosing a platform should not be a quick evaluation and decision. Gather your cross-functional teams to brainstorm and strategize which platform can support the type of data you need stored, the architecture you need the data stored in, and the outputs of the data such as insights and profiling. I would also suggest having as many of your departments key decision makers on the demo as possible. This helps with buy-in and can eliminate any adoption hurdles. Need a DMP list to get started? Check out mediashark’s 2020 list here .
Number 3: Investing in a community manager. As social media continues to evolve, community managers play a huge role in advocating and engaging with the digital community for your brand. For 2021 brands will continue to invest in relationship building, therefore cultivating relationships online will be vital for listening, engaging, monitoring and seeking out growth opportunities.
Remember, a community manager is the liaison position between your organization and your online audience. They will help set the narrative and act as an ambassador, so make sure your HR and talent department does a thorough search in their recruitment and training process. Additionally, a community manager should know the industry inside and out and be able to knowledgeably discuss your organization’s services and/or products (make sure product marketing and management provide thorough training!). Having a savvy community manager can enhance your social media strategies and help continue to build your brand reputation.
Whether your organization is new to implementing a growth-marketing approach, or data-driven methods have been embedded in your organization for quite some time, reviewing and reevaluating focus areas and platforms will help to better optimize your marketing spend.