The best-read article about the trends in 2021. 

But really.

To realise your potential as a marketer, sales, and B2B organization, you want to stay informed of the latest trends in the market and your field. Then you probably recognize that a flood of emails, LinkedIn posts, and online advertisements about the trends for 2021 is coming over you. All meant to grab your attention. Since everything for the click! And then, of course, hope that you will look further and perhaps convert to a lead. However, the question is: How can you expect leads if your creativity does not go beyond copying what others do? 

Change ‘2020’ to ‘2021’ and publish the article!? 

It strikes me that the trends presented have been on the list for several years: 

– The use of marketing and sales software such as marketing/sales automation or a customer data platform (CDP) 

– Personalized content in emails, videos, websites 

– Social selling 

– Influencer marketing 

– Account-based marketing / selling 

In short, grab the 2020 article, make it 2021 everywhere and check it out and then go online. After all, last year, that also resulted in the necessary clicks. But be a little more critical! What are your (potential) customers talking about, and how can you help them realize their potential? 

COVID-19, corona, and back to “normal” 

Far at the top of the list of original messages is COVID-19. Topics such as events will take place online or in a hybrid form, and sales will be more remote. Moreover, there is speculation about how we will work during the new “normal” within our marketing and sales landscape. Please stop that as marketing and sales professionals. 

Copying behavior and creative impotence 

In addition to trends, I also see a lot of copying behavior. For example, I see many people who would like to “test” the LinkedIn algorithm by asking your opinion on various posts. You can give your reaction via a like, celebrate, interest. 

After the first came up with this idea, many soon followed. Many people seem to want to know if I want to work from home more when the lockdown measures are a thing of the past. I don’t know who placed such a poll, let alone at which organization. What is the added value of that? How does that suit you as a person or with you as an employee of an organization? What image does this evoke for your (potential customers)? 

2021: a new year full of creativity 

I hope my point is clear and that we, as B2B marketing and sales professionals look critically at our content. Despite all the trends, content that fits your brand and the customer’s needs will always win fleeting trend reports and copied posts on social media. We can do better! 

Research also shows that there is a need for creativity. I don’t just see examples of what not to do. Fortunately, there are many examples of parties engaged creatively on themes such as social distancing. 

Besides, there was an appeal from Burger King to also buy from its competitor McDonald’s and later the help offered to the local smaller competitor. Here is an example of copying behavior, in this case by Sunweb. 

Creativity: not only the message itself  

In addition to a creative and relevant message, it is also good to look at the channel(s). Due to the many homeworking, everyone has started to use online tactics (even more), but why are offline tactics such as sending relevant attention omitted? Here are opportunities to be truly personal. 

For example, I recently spoke to a customer who had chosen to send a toolkit to various desired accounts. You would say, there is nobody in the office who is not going to work? Yes! Many organizations regularly check their incoming mail, like invoices. In this way, the customer could stand out, be relevant, and generate several qualified leads! So ask yourself these questions: What do you mean via online tactics? How do you get noticed when so many people are fighting for attention on the same platform? 

Creative message via the right channel(s), but to the right DMU?  

Finally, I also see the necessary people who send me a sponsored InMail on LinkedIn with a message: why is this relevant to me? How did I get into this target group selection? It is also good to ask yourself a few questions: 

– Which role / decision-maker do I want to address? 

Which factors make an account attractive, or what factors determine whether or not it is interesting? 

In short, let’s make it a beautiful and creative year, in which we bring the marketing and sales profession to the attention in a professional and positively critical way. Or, as we say at Smart Profile, time to further realise our potential! 

This blog was written by Jurgen Verheijen, the Marketing Lead at Smart Profile.

Would you like to get in touch with him or make a connection?

Check out his LinkedIn profile here.