Digital Marketing Trends in Tech. Belgium Edition [FREE eBook included]


About this Study

2020 was such an unexpected and full of key turn milestones year: it was the year of all-digital events, digital-only marketing campaigns and marked the growth of digital sales.

With a fresh start ahead, we wanted to reflect on the most important takeaways from 2020 and what trends marketers should keep an eye on 2021. How can we better prepare to kick off the next 12 months with the right mindset and strategies?

We hope this study can be a valuable resource for marketers looking to understand how to set their priorities right, and looking to stay updated with the latest trends.

In preparing this study, we’ve conducted a research among several digital marketing experts representing tech companies in Belgium, in order to get a better grasp of what they are going to focus on.

If you don’t have time to read the study now, you can download it for free and read it later!

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to pick their brains and we would like to thank them for contributing and sharing their thoughts:

What did we learn from 2020?

In August 2020 we conducted a similar study across some of the most dynamic technology companies based in Romania: the likes of DRUID, FintechOS, UiPath, SmartBill, Moqups. We wanted to understand how these innovative tech companies adapted, what they did differently and what they planned to prioritize moving forward.

Some of the most interesting ideas that surfaced in the study:

  • Keep your customers closer than ever and listen to them: as times change, so do the needs of your customers. Whether they need an immediate solution (such as a chatbot to handle repetitive enquiries from customers) or up to date content (such as legislative changes that entrepreneurs and businesses must comply with) – you can best serve them when you truly listen. This way, your customers have all the reasons in the world to continue doing business with you and recommend you to others.
  • Content is still king: it’s an important tool to win trust, build a good reputation and attract customers. But that content has to provide immediate value, teach your audience how to do things – not just tell them what to do – and be specific. Generalist or self-promotional content is just noise in an already overcrowded digital space.
  • Marketing and sales departments need to be aligned so that marketing efforts can generate tangible results and contribute to the overall revenue goal. Marketing and sales people need to have a common vision of who the ideal customers are, what their needs are and how potential customers interact with your company. And then work from here to create campaigns that will attract good fit quality leads that sales has a good chance of closing. 
  • Marketing automation to tie all your marketing efforts together: the leads you attract through your website need to go into a CRM, segmented based on criteria that are relevant to you (the stage in the buyer journey, industry, type of business etc) and then further nurtured with timely and relevant messages, using automated workflows.
  • Social Media, SEO, company’s blog, and email marketing remain powerful communication channels.
  • Account Based Marketing, Inbound, Content Marketing and Influencer Marketing are the top tactics that the digital experts we consulted will continue to invest on.

How we see 2021

Digital marketing tactics that we believe will pay off in 2021

  1. Content done right

Looking at our activity the past year, for both our clients and inhouse, we see there is still a huge need for education. We believe that creating real top of the funnel content that brings clarity for your audience will be a good investment of marketing budgets. Teaching them how to do things, showcasing real life examples or bringing in experts to share their views are some good approaches to create that useful content.

Instead, we are looking to ungate content and try to come up with other conversion points that make more sense for the reader’s experience (such as offering them a short consultation call in connection to the content they just read).

When it comes to video in the B2B space, there seems to be a lot of room for growth on Youtube, especially if we pay attention to using the right keywords.

  1. SEO, especially technical SEO

As the digital space gets more and more crowded, we believe investing in SEO should remain a big priority. Especially with the May 2021 Google update, when usability factors will be counted as ranking factors (signal related to loading performance, interactivity and visual stability). Thinking in terms of the website’s performance and looking at things such as page speed, mobile usability should be on your priority list.

  1. A growth driven website

More and more clients and prospects we talk to want their websites to generate more results (in the forms of qualified leads), but don’t necessarily know where to start from. They are either trying to build the perfect website from the very beginning or trying to patch the one they have. 

The solution is to think of your website as an ever evolving project: build a first version with the critical functionalities and continue to build on them. To create a sustainable first version, think of who your users are and what jobs they are trying to accomplish when they land on your website (learn how to do a specific task, find out about your service or product’s functionalities, compare your offering to the competition’s, learn about pricing etc). Figure out what those core jobs are and build functionalities that helps them complete these jobs. And continue to grow your website based on how you see users interacting with it. 

Consider how your users will interact with your website on a mobile device and what goals they have when they navigate on a small screen (it’s very likely they don’t want to read in depth information or scroll through tons of text). And offer them opportunities to connect with you beyond email or forms – chatbots or live chat are good options here.

  1. Be agile in implementing marketing campaigns

With so much competition in the digital space, what used to work can become ineffective real quickly and the only way to discover the next best thing is to be fast. Make assumptions and scenarios, implement and track results and adjust based on what you find.

We reckon it can be challenging especially for services companies to adopt this approach, when they have a long sales cycle and their buyers interact over a longer period with their brand. But even so, focusing on smaller goals and testing one assumption at a time can help speed up the learning process and inform your marketing team with valuable insights.

Tactics we think marketers should abandon in 2021

We believe that having a short time view doesn’t work anymore. Implementing a campaign or running an ad and expecting results right away is not realistic any longer. Your competitors are also online running ads, publishing content, sending emails. 

Instead, what we will be focusing on is thinking in steps and creating conversion funnels that take users from learning about an issue relevant to them, to learning how to solve it to then learning about our solution. 

If you pitch your product or service right away and continue pursuing people with sales messages, you are going nowhere – people need to spend time knowing you and learn to trust you before buying.

Digital channels we plan to focus on in 2021

The channels that we are focusing on are LinkedIn, our own blog, as well as collaborating with experts in our industry and finding relevant publications for our audience to guest post on.

We noticed that for us LinkedIn paid off and it’s still not as crowded as Facebook. 

Outside of maintaining your company’s profile page on LinkedIn, other ideas to explore are boosting the profile of the most visible people in your company (your CEO, head of marketing etc) – they can share stories, piece of advice, videos etc.

Quora might be another interesting place for you to interact with potential B2B customers, understand what problems they face and how they name those, and even present your solution – if that adds value to a conversation. 

Tools we think any marketer should have in their “kit”

The marketer’s toolkit should look something like this:

  • CRM and a marketing automation platform: you need to store all your customers’ and prospects data, you want to be able to segment your prospects (based on industry, lifecycle stage, region etc) and keep a record of your interactions with them. 
  • A design tool that requires no design skills – such as Canva, so you can quickly create visuals for social media, blog
  • A content editing tool such as Grammarly (to check for spelling errors), Hemingway or CoSchedule to ensure your content is easy to read and your titles are attractive
  • Chatbot and / or live chat – visitors expect to be able to speak to you in real time so don’t miss out on this chance

Regardless of what tools you choose, you need clear processes to support the software, not the other way around. For example you need to define what is a marketing qualified lead to you, how you follow up with them once a lead qualifies as a marketing lead, who handles what contacts, how you communicate at each stage and so on. Having these processes in place will help you make the most of your martech investment.

How are things unfolding in the tech Belgium ecosystem?

We were honored to pick the minds of 6 digital marketing specialists representing innovative Belgium tech companies and learn what they expect from 2021 and what tactics they consider useful on the long term:

  • Alexandra Mogin, Marketing Manager at TenForce
  • Isabelle Hanet, Growth hacker marketer at Deliverect
  • Karina Kovalenko, Marketing Manager at Geckomatics
  • Mieke Houbrechts, Marketing Manager at
  • Nicu Enache, ACIM, Digital Marketing Consultant
  • Tanguy Verbelen, Growth Marketer at StoryChief

Digital marketing tactics that will pay off in 2021

Content will matter a lot in 2021, and it won’t be just about creating and publishing posts. Creating personalized, high quality content that shows a company’s involvement, attention and focus on their target audiences, educational content and taking all of this a step further and building flows, communities and nurturing leads – this is one of the winning bets for marketers. 

It is safe to say that an inbound-oriented strategy will pay off: addressing customers at all decision stages with relevant information for them, being there to offer support and nurturing the relationship even after the purchase might make the difference between a successful business and one that fails.

I believe it’s not just a matter of selecting the right tactics. In 2021, your marketing efforts will work if you share a message that resonates with your target audience. Focus on building genuine rapport with your audience, and you’ll stand out from the crowd.” – Mieke Houbrechts,

“Growth experiments to feed the marketing flywheel, Account Based Marketing (B2B), high quality content delivered in the right format for each channel.” – Alexandra Mogin, TenForce

I believe there is a big opportunity for marketers who create ‘perceived personalization’. Now, more than ever, people are craving a personalized approach and human interaction in general. The downside is that this isn’t scalable. I believe that 2021 will have marketers across the world try to ‘hack’ the personalized approach through marketing segmentation and automation”. – Tanguy Verbelen, StoryChief

Summing up what will work in 2021 sounds like this: Optimising your online presence by continuously working on your SEO. Creating new content that is good in key words but also educates your audience. Creating a mix of blog posts, online webinars/events. In addition, I believe partnerships and collaboration where joint-efforts on content creation and sharing are a winning strategy.” – Isabelle Hanet, Deliverect

“2021 is about inbound marketing strategies: thought leadership content, community building and lead nurturing” – Nicu Enache,  Digital Marketing Consultant

Tactics marketers should abandon in 2021

Our previous study on digital marketing trends focused on tactics that had stopped working in 2020 and we feel like it’s important to state them here again as they are valid for the new year as well:

  • Siloed approaches, where marketing, sales and client service departments are not aligned and unprepared to answer clients’ needs at any stage of their customer journey are more inefficient than ever
  • empathy, honesty, willingness to help and not just a focus on sales are key elements in any digital marketer’s strategy
  • Content that doesn’t bring any added value is useless
  • Offline events and advertisement is just budget-consuming

For 2021, the professionals from Belgium we talked to also focus on delivering online experiences.

Banner/display ads will stop bringing results in 2021, especially if you’re tracking their performance as an individual channel. Nevertheless, they stay relevant as “surround marketing” for targeted ABM programs. I’d advice tracking your multi-channel campaigns – display ads vs. no-display ads. You might discover that although your banner CTRs are low, your engaged opportunities progress faster through the funnel. Or not 🙂”- Alexandra Mogin, TenForce

The list of effective/ineffective tactics will vary from company to company and its target audience. However, the tactics to stay away from are being inflexible, relying on offline events and conferences, and producing generic content that will waste your audience’s time.” – Karina Kovalenko, Geckomatics

In 2020, I’ve seen many businesses discover the power of webinars. However, many of them just saw it as an opportunity to create a sales pitch for their company. A webinar is meant to provide value to an audience, not to sell them something. Hopefully, 2021 will become the year where webinars become valuable again.” – Tanguy Verbelen, StoryChief

Print magazine or cold calling won’t pay off in 2021. If you go for this type of advertising, you must align with your digital strategy. Especially in tech.” – Isabelle Hanet, Deliverect

 “Tradeshows & events or any other type of physical event, outdoor and print shouldn’t be on marketers’ radars in 2021.” – Nicu Enache,  Digital Marketing Consultant

Digital channels to focus on in 2021 

For any company, a buyer’s persona analysis will relieve the best social channels to focus on. For some, the more and more popular platform, TikTok, might make sense, while for others, Instagram can be the more appropriate choice. 

For our tech focused marketing managers, there are 2 communication channels that seem to be the most relevant in 2021: LinkedIn and email marketing.

Content marketing is one of our pillars, because it works across the funnel. We’ve driven a lot of inbound marketing acquisition through search, so search optimized content creation remains one of our main focus areas. In addition, we’re also exploring new content formats to create brand awareness, such as webinars that focus on solving key challenges of our target audience & building a relationship with them.“– Mieke Houbrechts,

LinkedIN, email marketing, and video/phone calls – still the best  combo for a B2B audience.” – Alexandra Mogin, TenForce

Content marketing, email marketing, and SEO have proven themselves efficient and withstood the challenges in 2020. They add up to brand awareness and transparency and help the right people find us.” – Karina Kovalenko, Geckomatics

LinkedIn is still a huge opportunity in my opinion. It’s a platform with a few creators and a big audience. Especially if you’re trying to claim thought leadership within a B2B niche, LinkedIn is a high potential platform for your business.” – Tanguy Verbelen, StoryChief

For us, it’s a combination of social media and Google.” – Isabelle Hanet, Deliverect

“LinkedIn, Google Display (RTG), FB & IG (RTG) and Blogging. For LinkedIn, we can observe an increasing adoption rate for other professionals and more time spent. Having in mind the granular level you can target the audience, definitely is a must digital channel.” – Nicu Enache, Digital Marketing Consultant

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How can marketers improve their online communication

With so many businesses migrating online, there is also a lot of noise going on. How can one stand out and differentiate themselves from their competition and among their customers?

Well, it looks that now marketing becomes more human than ever, with a focus on empathy, close listening, tailored messages and a desire to help instead of aggressive selling.

Your marketing efforts will only work if you share a message that resonates with your target audience. Find out where your audience hangs out. What are real issues and problems they are struggling with? Create content and ads that give an answer to these problems, and your message will resonate. Focus on building rapport with your audience, and you’ll stand out from the crowd.” – Mieke Houbrechts,

It all starts with knowing your customer well and looking at the content “”with their eyes””. Research, test, adjust, repeat. Often, our prospects are aware of the problem and are already looking for a solution. To help them find us, we use the most relevant keywords, integrate our content and channels, and tailor it to the target audience.” – Karina Kovalenko, Geckomatics

By listening closely to their audience. One of the pillars of success in our company is data-driven decision making, which also means knowing what works with our target audience. Whether it’s through organic posts or advertisements, I believe that the iterative process of rapid experimentation will help many marketers to finetune their communication to their target audience.” – Tanguy Verbelen, StoryChief

What will work best in 2021 are targeted messaging and strong visuals/video. The more personalised the message, the more your potential customer will feel addressed and the better he will understand what you are trying to tell him. – Isabelle Hanet, Deliverect

Focus more on their business value proposition and better define the personas they are targeting. In the end, it is a match between offering and a need/pain point.” – Nicu Enache,  Digital Marketing Consultant

Tools any marketer should have in their “kit”

In the end, we wanted to see what any marketer’s tool kit should include for a successful 2021, so we asked our contributors to name the most important ones for them.

The combination of Google Analytics, Pipedrive, Supermetrics & really did the trick for us in terms of marketing reporting stack. Some new favorites I discovered in 2020: Hopin, Livestorm and Ahrefs!” – Mieke Houbrechts,

“Hubspot is probably one of the best decisions we made as a growing, ambitious SME. You can also support your BizDev activities with solutions like ZoomInfo, PhantomBuster, MeetAlfred etc. For those dealing with a B2B audience buying intent insight is crucial so you should look into something like TechTarget, DemandBase, Clearbit or integrated solutions from players like Salesforce +Pardot.’ – Alexandra Mogin, TenForce

I recommend Hubspot, Google Analytics, Hotjar, Canva / Adobe Illustrator, and Grammarly.” – Karina Kovalenko, Geckomatics

Processes will change over time as your business grows but having an integrated tech stack that allows for easy data communication is more important than ever before.” – Tanguy Verbelen, StoryChief

I would choose Adobe Creative Cloud or Canva for design and Monday for project management. Hubspot is a very strong tool to have as a marketeer. ” – Isabelle Hanet, Deliverect

Definitely any marketer should have HubSpot, Hotjar, Zoom and Semrush. Favourite tool: HubSpot” – Nicu Enache,  Digital Marketing Consultant


To sum it up, 2021 seems to be about high quality online content delivered through carefully chosen channels and well targeted messaging. Now, more than ever, design, tone of voice and intention play an immense role in marketing, and the switch to an integrated approach not only with other communication departments, but with the whole company is inevitable. 

It’s not just siloed strategies that have stopped working, but generic content, offline tactics and messages that aren’t aligned with the company’s core values. 

We will probably see even more events migrating online, tons of educational content and a constant battle for the audience’s attention. In this crowded environment, we believe that those who aim to help have already started on the right foot, increasing their chances to build relationships and not just sales and reaching their goals one by one, sustainably.

About our contributors:

Alexandra Mogin is the Marketing Manager at TenForce, a software product company for the EHSQ market. She’s always looking for hands-on, pragmatic ways of connecting creative marketing efforts to real business results.

Isabelle Hanet is Marketeer at Deliverect. Started when the company was still small and helped scaling the business on a marketing level up to today. Continuously looking for creative ways to reach end customers with the highest ROI.

Karina Kovalenko is a Marketing Manager at Geckomatics with a background in Contemporary Communication.  Her area of expertise embraces brand identity management and development and execution of marketing strategies. 

Mieke Houbrechts, currently working as a Marketing Manager at, a provider of embedded analytics solutions for SaaS platforms & web applications. With over four years of experience in digital & performance marketing, she has developed expertise in implementing, measuring and optimizing marketing activities across the customer journey.

Nicu Enache is a Digital Marketing Expert and HubSpot Wizard, having previously worked with SaaS business MobileXpense. He specializes in growth hacking, as well as business development, sales and sales training.

Tanguy Verbelen is a growth marketer who’s helped multiple Belgian startups with their go-to-market strategy and execution. He’s currently working as a growth marketer at StoryChief. Aside from his day-to-day job, he helps B2B businesses with their marketing strategy and execution as a freelance growth strategist.

About the companies they represent:

TenForce is a dynamic company with a very specific mission: to deliver cutting-edge software products in a pragmatic way. We are experts in semantic technology, machine learning, and big data with broad experience in digitizing business processes. Combining the two sides, we add a layer of cognitive capabilities to our products to augment our customers’​ intelligence and efficiency by a factor (or force) 10.

Geckomatics is a Belgian AI mobile mapping company that offers authorities and businesses high-quality geodata faster and more affordable than ever. We have redesigned the mobile mapping process for scalability and flexibility. In our product, we have integrated the power of AI algorithms and a user-friendly mapping camera to help Smart Cities and Road Authorities acquire geographic information when and where they need it.

Deliverect is a fast-growing tech start-up that connects third-party delivery platforms and food businesses around the globe. We’re neither a delivery provider, nor a POS system – we bridge the gap between them. In order to help businesses manage their food delivery and takeout operations more efficiently, we integrate their food ordering channels in their existing POS.

Automating the online ordering process helps our customers save money and time, so they can focus more on their core business and continue to do what they love doing most: making their customers happy. is the building block for dashboards inside your SaaS application. Create dashboards without writing a single line of code, and embed interactive analytics into any SaaS platform in minutes.

StoryChief is a content marketing software that helps B2B marketing teams and content agencies to grow their business through content marketing. Currently, more than 5,000 organizations across the globe are supercharging their content marketing with StoryChief.