Digitalisation remains one of the most significant trends of online marketing. But what other trends are all the buzz within the industry? The following forecast summarises what may be important within the B2B industry in 2022.
Covid also plays a role in 2022
The Covid pandemic will presumably continue to have an impact on society, and thus the economy, in 2022. This means the situation at the start of the year is similar to that of 2021. Like the previous year, this year focuses on the digital transformation for online marketing. What this means for pushing sales within the B2B industry is showcased in the following forecast.
Trend 1: digitalisation
It is and will remain an all-encompassing trend in 2022. The restrictions and situation of the Covid pandemic alone are reason for this. However, there are also other factors making the technological progress necessary. These include, for instance, global competitive pressure, as other countries continue to be one step ahead in terms of digitalisation compared to Germany and thus have a competitive advantage. For the B2B marketing of German companies, this means:
- More digital sales processes
- More virtual-based internal and external communication
- More online and hybrid events, such as digital trade shows and product presentations
As a result, online marketing will gain relevance within the B2B segment. Companies therefore have to be well set up digitally both in this area and on a whole.
Trend 2: data protection
This trend is closely connected to digitalisation due to new regulations in the German Telecommunications and Telemedia Data Protection Act (TTDSG), amongst other reasons. As a result, ever since December 2021, users have to explicitly agree (opt-in) to the use of non-necessary cookies. If businesses do not adhere to this requirement, they have to reckon with penalties. Which is why cookie-less tracking is important for the TTSDG and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The discussion about data handling on servers located in other (non-European) countries will also continue. For this reason, companies should rely on sellers within the European Union. One advantage from a marketing perspective is that responsible handling of data protection and data security can be showcased towards customers.
Trend 3: integration of marketing and sales
One of the most important trends in online marketing for 2022 will be a closer collaboration between the marketing and the sales teams. Thanks to the integration of data sources, better customer experience management (UXM) can be built up. CRM and marketing automation systems, for instance, can contribute to this. With their help, the online marketing and sales teams can collect and handle more relevant information about customers and leads.
Trend 4: content commerce
The shopping experience is gaining important. Playing an important role in this is content commerce, an instrument for increasing customer satisfaction. This goal is achieved by closely integrating various touchpoints and harmonious content tailored to each. This means content must support the product presentation at many stations – everywhere where customers can be found; content that is helpful information about a product and which is individually tailored as far as possible – from consultation to ideas to tips. Users should not only experience just a presentation of the goods, they should also be enveloped by a kind of all-encompassing world. This is possible, for instance, by fusing corporate websites and online shops.
Trend 5: sustainability
Do good things and communicate this – a piece of advice that every company should heed if they want to act environmentally and socially responsible. Because both stand for sustainability and thus for one of the most important trends in 2022. The environmental consciousness of buyers will have a much stronger impact than purchasing decisions. They are considering the carbon footprint, fair working conditions and the use of ecological materials, amongst others. B2B companies who can serve these needs or are even certified in this respect should clearly communicate this and label their products accordingly, such as with a recognised or well-known stamp.
Trend 6: AI and machine learning
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will also continue to be trends in online marketing. Both technologies help in this case to automate and simplify communication processes. This is thanks to the use of intelligent algorithms which are suitable for forecasting buyer behaviour (predictive analytics), amongst others. What’s also possible: tailored content for (single) users.
Trend 7: Hyper-personalisation
The customised content mentioned above will play an even more important role in B2B online marketing in 2022 than ever before. This means that simply sending out personalised emails and, if necessary, precisely tailored content will not be enough anymore. On top of this, the links contained therein can lead to personalised landing pages which are customised to the individual needs and expectations of the users. This is possible thanks to an interplay of marketing automation tools, buyer personas that are as real as possible, and conscientious customer data management.