Guest post by Heather Redding

Industry 4.0 is a concept that refers to the rapid and ongoing transformation of the marketplace, with innovative new products, like AI and IoT.

Built around the digital landscape, Industry 4.0 is having a massive impact on many parts of the business landscape, from how we design and manufacture products to the strategies available to take those products to market.

Interestingly, while many businesses are aware of Industry 4.0, a lot of market leaders don’t fully understand how this concept will impact their marketing and promotional efforts.

Today, we’re going to examine how Industry 4.0 will transform the way that you connect with your B2B customers in the months and years to come.

Updating the Target Audience

The first thing to remember when you’re stepping into this new industry is that it’s brimming with a new kind of audience. Today’s customers are more informed and connected than ever. They have endless tools at their fingertips for researching companies and understanding their products.

That means that organizations need to be incredibly transparent with their marketing strategies.

To understand exactly what kind of questions you need to answer to convert your target audience into buyers, you can use some of the latest tools to emerge in the digital landscape.

For instance, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools combined with analytics and artificial intelligence can give you in-depth insights into your customer personas. These machine-learning tools can even track trends and show you how certain people feel about your brand.

With Industry 4.0 to help, companies will be able to create more informed target audience frameworks, so that they can deliver more relevant experiences for clients.

New Ways to Connect with Clients

In the B2B marketplace, many of the old marketing and sales processes were focused on the offline world. You showed your products off in a demonstration booth at a local event or set up demonstrations in a company’s office after they found your brand.

Now, we have countless ways to connect with B2B buyers and show them just how much our products can offer.

To enhance the buying journey, think about the easiest ways that your audience can learn about your company. For instance, instead of just posting blog posts on your website, can you also publish podcasts and videos that deliver more in-depth information? Would it be possible to host a webinar so you can interact with possible buyers from a distance, and show them what your product is capable of?

Some marketing teams will even find that they need to update their marketing strategies to suit different audiences. For instance, you can invest in dynamic and intelligent advertising that adapts according to the products your customers have bought before, or their relationship with your brand.

Transforming Content Management

Content is still one of the most important parts of the B2B marketing strategy. Perhaps even more than B2C customers, businesses need a lot of information to make a confident decision about which products and services to buy. Because of this, you’ll need to invest more money and time to create the right content to generate trust. 

Fortunately, new Industry 4.0 tools and technologies like artificial intelligence and automation services can help with this. AI has the potential to find relevant content for your audience and make sure that it appears in front of your audience on the right platforms. This could boost your chances of capturing company attention at the times when clients are most ready to buy.

Your AI technology will also give your marketing team more support when it comes to mapping out a comprehensive content strategy. You can use in-depth analytics and historical data to find out what kind of journeys your B2B customers take before purchasing your products.

Once you know your customer map, you can ensure that you have the right content in place at every potential touchpoint for your target audience.

You can even use individual pieces of data to determine what kind of content your audience will respond to best.

Predictive Analytics and Proactive Marketing

Industry 4.0 doesn’t just help you to understand the paths that your customers have taken to your product in the past. The new technology in the landscape can also help business leaders to understand what their customers need in the future too.

For instance, if your products are enabled with IoT technology, they can include sensors that tell you when a potential error is about to occur so that you can market support services to your clients at the right time.

The same IoT technology could tell customers with printers that they need more ink or people with email marketing software that they’re about to go over their list threshold. This means you’re more likely to send the right messages to your customers at the best possible times.

At the same time, because you’ll be collecting more information from your devices, your customers, and your marketplace with AI and other automated technology, you can also predict upcoming trends and changes in demand that you’ll need to prepare for.

Getting Ready for the New Age of Marketing

From behavior and predictive analytics with AI to IoT enhanced data gathering that will help you deliver the right messages to your audience, there are endless opportunities for Industry 4.0 in the marketing world.

When you’re connecting with B2B customers, data plays a huge part in your ability to not only deliver more personalized experiences but also provide the customer service and information that your business users so desperately need.

While you might not use all of the tools available in the Industry 4.0 marketplace for your business, evaluating the existing opportunities in things like big data analytics, hyper-personalization, and machine learning could help you stay one step ahead of the competition.

As we move into the future and our reliance on digital technology and data increases, there’s a good chance that transformative marketing campaigns will make a massive difference to your chances of sales.

Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager, solopreneur and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.