List of things to do in 2018

The personalization of customer experiences grows in importance, there’s no way back. But 2018 will show how companies will try to make personalization on- and offline happen and which methods and technologies they will use.

Predictive analytics will play a crucial role in anticipating customer behavior or define customer segments. Artificial intelligence will be equally interesting since new technologies regarding customer centric- as well as internal processes are on the rise. It is crucial, though, to keep the customer value in mind when you consider any of these technologies for your own company.

For example, switching all service communication to chat bots and cancel all other service offers will not be the best way to make your company customer friendly.

Which three trends and developments will be on the radar of B2B marketers in 2018?

  1. Account Based Marketing

Existing customer care becomes more important. Globalization and the digital transformation raised the stakes for the competition and customer loyalty is on a decline. I personally think that companies need to work on loyalty with individualized communication and content that is targeted specifically at single key accounts.

Account based marketing is especially valuable right now because the market offers the right tools for it: marketing automation, social media and analytics are perfect to identify, address and reach important customers.

Business relationships can be strengthened and further developed.

  1. B2B eCommerce

There’s obviously a market for B2B companies that don’t have an online platform, yet. But especially low-priced products that are being sold at high volumes seem perfect for an ecommerce strategy instead of just the stationary business, catalog or purchase order forms.

Every B2B customer is also a B2C customer in private and therefore used to online shopping. Why shouldn’t they prefer the flexibility of ordering whenever, wherever at work as well?

I like to cite Adidas as a great example for successful and modern B2B ecommerce. The B2B online shopping experience is visually the same as the B2C experience with the added functionalities and requirements for a B2B purchase. Because the shop itself looks and feels just like the normal online shopping experience, it’s much easier to convince existing and new customers.

  1. GDPR

Personally, I don’t think that trends are only new and hot topics but also topics that will define the industry over a long period of time. I am absolutely convinced that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be on everyone’s calendar this year. May 25th is the day when not adhering to the GDPR regarding customer data from European citizens will result in hefty fines (find out more about it).

Whoever hasn’t already implemented the correct processes and communication strategies will certainly be forced to take a chunk of their annual budget and invest in these changes. And these changes are not minor: cleaning and join data, structuring data processes, get necessary opt-ins and update all texts and information on the use of data and all customer communication regarding data.