It’s a month into 2018 – and the dust from another head-turning year has finally settled. But before the insane hustle and bustle of the New Year kicks in high-gear, here are four things I think will be in store for you this year with all things B2B-related in APAC.

Your customers’ lives are digital, but are you still in analogue mode?

If it wasn’t already obvious before, digital should no longer merely be a component of your marketing strategy. It’s now the new norm – call it basic, if you will – but in APAC, where smartphones are almost ubiquitous, your tech-savvy customers already expect highly-polished and personalised digital experiences when interacting with your brand.

This is why, as our Disrupt speakers have shared, to master the digital advantage is to be multi-faceted where you’ll need to be part scientist, part creative.

Since today’s marketing success is influenced by several key factors like user experience, as a marketing leader, you need to ensure your team breaks out of their silos and are trained and exposed to multiple disciplines – such as encouraging a creative to also web develop – helping you bridge the designer-developer gap in responsive web design.

ABM is back, baby

Big time. At least, that’s what everyone’s saying. What does it really mean to you – the APAC marketer? Will it bring in a new era of customer engagement, or is it just all hype and no substance?

Well, I believe Account-based Marketing (ABM) will be huge in APAC this year. While it’s not new per se, the technology available today has enabled it greatly and marketers are beginning to take notice of it (as they should) because it opens up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of being able to reach out to your target audience with more relevant and personalised messaging.

“Where do I even start?” you might ask. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This was the biggest question asked at our first ABM workshop here in Singapore last December.

And honestly, it’s not rocket science. Getting started requires setting clear objectives, preparing the content audit, identifying the target audience and their pain points, and most importantly, crafting your value proposition.

If you’re not on social media, do you even exist?

In our agency, we’ve known the value of social in B2B for a while. Our Disrupt Club campaign for Software AG, for example, helped key ‘social champions’ connect with previously elusive targets, building stronger customer and prospect relationships. And it resulted in 63 new C-level LinkedIn connections which generated a multi-million dollar pipeline. So, still think social isn’t for B2B?

That being said, B2B marketing doesn’t have to stick strictly to LinkedIn. While it’s still THE number one social platform used to drive leads and distribute content in B2B, identifying which platform to use is still dependent on your target audience and key objectives. For example, we have a client that leverages on Facebook more than LinkedIn because it has a large and diverse community of developers which works out to be more effective for awareness campaigns.

For most lead generation campaigns, in terms of audience targeting and conversion, LinkedIn is still more effective, especially with new features like the LI Lead Gen Forms, which we’ve piloted to great results recently.

You need to play the numbers game to win

With digital, nothing is ever set in stone. It’s never a “set-and-forget” strategy, if you will, because you would need to continually evaluate and optimise your campaigns to make sure that every dollar of the budget is spent wisely to meet or exceed your key performance indicators (KPIs).

And you can’t improve what you don’t measure – it’s as simple as that. So make data your new best friend by leveraging tools, like Google Analytics, to help you track website traffic and user behaviour (e.g. downloads, time spent on site, engagement, etc.). This will give you real-time insight into your campaigns to make the necessary tweaks needed to hit the home run.

So, there you have it. Through the analysis of past and current market behaviour, I anticipate that B2B in 2018 will be focused on weaving in interdisciplinary perspectives into your digital and social approaches to evolve, stay relevant – and of course, turn heads.

Have your own ideas? Then let us know.

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