As the economic recovery begins to gain strong momentum, B2B marketers will have a significant budget to strengthen their marketing efforts. That said, they should watch out for marketing trends that will make their efforts count.
The COVID has brought many challenges for B2B marketers that they may never have imagined. It has given rise to the constant flux of customer behavior and changing marketing needs. Yet, for B2B marketers, change is something they are not any strangers to. They have always operated in a world where customers’ preferences continuously evolve, and they are forced to adapt.
In the past couple of years, marketers have been stretched in their roles and responsibilities, they have expected to deliver exceptional experience while operating on a stringent budget. But, these seem to be positively changing for them.
With economic recovery gaining momentum, many B2B will likely have enough to spend. This is an opportunity for them to understand how they should spend their dollars in an effort to strengthen their marketing efforts. Here are a few trends that they should look out for in 2022:
- ABM 2.0
Around the mid-2010s, account-based marketing started to gain traction. Marketers flock to adopt to move from general campaigns towards a targeted outreach strategy to get the company’s message in front of the right people.
“The concept worked when the target audience was small and well-defined enough to allow marketers to experiment with personalization,” said Bonnie Carter, CEO, Full Insight Circle. She further added, “But at the time, scaling up the approach using the technology available became too expensive. Now technology has caught up, and marketers can more easily personalize outreach to named accounts using intent data.”
“We’re seeing a growing interest in granular measurement of these efforts. Although the term “ideal customer profile” (ICP) often refers to individual personas, it can mean an organization in the ABM context. In ABM 2.0, B2B marketers identify ICP organizations, generate lists of people with the appropriate titles inside the CRM and track leads as new prospects emerge and others fall off.”
“With the CRM as a single source of data truth, marketing can accurately measure how their ABM campaigns are working and coordinate more closely with the sales team. Just as with other types of marketing strategies, this enables more efficient campaign investments by showing what works best and improves process efficiency by highlighting sales-marketing bottlenecks.”
- Events will be hybrid
As the pandemic banned in-person social gatherings, B2B marketers were left with no choice but to opt for virtual events. While it initially felt that this way of engagement would not work, the reality showed a different story. Today, virtual events have become a mainstay for engaging with customers and leads. An increase in expenditure on social media as well as other digital platforms helped organizations to make this event successful. However, as the pandemic recedes, the urge to gather again is gaining momentum, while some seem to embrace the immediacy of live events from their comfort. Thus, to cater to both audiences, B2B marketers will need to craft hybrid events.
The interest of B2B marketers in tools to connect clicks to closed/won business will continue to reflect and grow in 2022. “During the pandemic, when it was no longer possible to hold the live events many B2B companies depended on for leads, marketers got better at digital marketing out of necessity. Now they’re ready to take the next step.” said Bonnie Carter.
Today marketers are keen to understand how a click on a digital ad, social media and other platforms connects to pipeline and revenue. “Digital ad platforms provide some insight in terms of engagement (i.e., downloads, etc.), but only up to the point where the prospect completes an online form. Marketers need to get beyond that and understand how digital ads influence and drive revenue,” adds Bonnie Carter.
- Taking ownership
Many sales and marketing firms are increasingly taking ownership in the products services they help to sell. This shift makes it able to sell somebody’s product and bring in substantial revenue, increasing the value of the organization behind the product. Having an ownership stake also motivates them to close the deal.
- Tech stack consolidation
As per Scott Brinker’s annual marketing technology landscape roundup, there are more than 8,000 martech solutions available today, up from about 150 when he started tracking them in 2011. That’s a significant jump. However, even though martech is essential, some marketers are now finding that relying on it too much can cause a few problems.
“In 2022, look for B2B marketers to consolidate their tech stacks,” stated Bonnie Carter.“The pandemic has changed the way marketers do their jobs in a permanent way, but 2022 will surely be the year that B2B companies will start adding in-person events back into the mix in greater numbers. That means marketers will need a way to easily capture and analyze metrics for digital and non-digital campaigns.”
“As marketing strategies get more focused, that may inspire consolidation too, as B2B marketers realize that sometimes less is more. That’s especially true if a streamlined toolkit enables better focus and facilitates clearer measurement,” added Bonnie Carter.
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