Everyone’s a futurologist at this time of year and most of them spout complete bollocks. From their high horses they tell you where you need to be focusing your energy and budgets in 2018 lest you’re left behind. The source of their wisdom? Usually a combination of their own narrow experience, what they’ve been reading recently and a Google search on what others are predicting (safety in numbers you see).

Here’s a thought. How about we base our predictions on hard data and real-world behaviour rather than theories.

That’s exactly what Circle did with our friends at B2B Marketing. In November/December 2017 we surveyed 350 B2B marketers and asked them to indicate how focused they were on 14 different trends right now. They did so using a sliding scale where 100 represented an all-consuming focus on that activity and zero indicated that it wasn’t even on their radar. We’ll be tracking how this focus changes over time to reveal which trends are becoming main-stream, those rising up the agenda and those which were always just fads.

B2B marketing trends 2018

The B2B Marketing Trend Tracker reveals that five trends will become mainstream in 2018, with the majority of B2B marketers investing considerable time and money into them as we speak:

  1. Improving the customer experience
  2. Implementing/optimising Marketing Automation systems
  3. Preparing for GDPR
  4. Adopting an Account Based Marketing (ABM) approach
  5. Creating marketing campaigns which build emotional engagement

If that’s your focus too, then you might be interested in some of the resources below.

Interested in improving the customer experience?

• Here we reveal the five steps of the B2B buying process and how to influence each
• Here we share six steps to creating a customer journey map

Or maybe marketing automation is going to be the big thing for you in 2018. If so, you might be interested in these three Marketing Automation lessons shared by those who went before you.

Perhaps ABM is top of your to-do list. If so, check out the three critical pieces of insight which need to underpin any ABM strategy.

And if you’re planning to take build greater emotional engagement with the market, take a peek at our infographic detailing the 11 emotions experienced in the B2B buying journey.

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About Andrew

Andrew has specialised in B2B research for over a decade and co-founded Circle Research in 2006. He is a columnist for B2B Marketing Magazine, a regular contributor to Research Live and frequent speaker at leading events such as the B2B Leaders Forum, Customer Experience Live and the Social Media World Forum. Andrew is a Chartered Member of the MRS, teaches the MRS B2B research course and holds an MA in Psychology from Aberdeen University alongside an MSc in Marketing from Strathclyde University.

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