2016 has come and gone, and we had a great year. But we’re already well into planning and looking ahead to next year. While there are likely many trends and strategies we should all be watching and implementing for our own businesses this year (all of the other many trend pieces out there are evidence of that), we decided to share the five B2B trends we’re most excited about and will impact many different aspects of business in 2017.
Reputation is everything
We believe reputation is everything in business, and always has been. Your business truly is defined by the company it keeps. However, B2B decision making and purchasing has been rather archaic to date. When a business is looking to partner with a bank, a lawyer, an accountant, a PR firm, and more, they attempt to find as much information about them online, schedule discovery calls, and call on their references. Similar to how this was manifested digitally for individuals (LinkedIn, AngelList, etc.), we believe reputation building will move online for B2B in 2017.
Social capital makes the world go ’round
It’s easy to focus on the capital that so clearly makes your business run – financial and human capital. After all, you need money to pay salaries and bills, and you need a solid team to move it all forward. But, helping others always goes a long way and the impact of your business’ social capital is underestimated. Doing a favor for a colleague or peer is always appreciated and typically reciprocated. It’s just the way business works. If your business is known for helping others, others will help your business.
H2H marketing FTW
A lot of marketing companies and agencies preach human to human marketing (H2H), for good reason. In business, being human is more important than ever. Your buyers are not businesses – they are people from other businesses, often facing the same sales/marketing/HR/product challenges that you are. More importantly, they want to be spoken to (online, on the phone, in person) the same way that you do – as a person with unique and individual challenges that you can (hopefully) help them solve.
In-person complements digital
We’re a digital product company, but we understand the importance of face to face. In-person meetings, attending events, putting in the face time – it’s all invaluable when it comes to relationship building, and you already know how we feel about building relationships and reputation.
Data drives decisions
Access to information & connections is becoming more and more available online. It’s important for businesses to make sure they’re online presence is accurate and up-to-speed with competitors. (How many times have you chosen one restaurant over another because their menu was online or they had good reviews on Yelp?) Further, as consumers in life and in business, we have a responsibility to learn as much we can about our purchases and partnerships to make sure they are in line with our goals, our timeline, our budget, and our expectations as customers. Data helps us make smarter connections and decisions which, simply put, drives success in business.
We’re excited to watch these trends evolve over the next year (and beyond!). We’ll be working on putting them into practice at VentureApp and of course helping others in our community benefit from them, as well. What trends are you watching this year?
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