Personalized, reliable content continues to be the king according to the fundamental B2B marketing principles of recent years. Still, there are now more ways than ever to achieve that objective in the eyes of your audience. Here are the B2B marketing trends that we believe will endure through 2023.
B2B Marketing Landscape for 2023
1. Bolster your marketing plan for the recession
It won’t be prudent to ignore the economic issue as we anticipate 2023.
Yes, a recession is in the discussion.
It’s crucial for marketing (and sales) organizations to concentrate on budgets and plans for weathering the storm when downturns are imminent. Of course, there is no magic solution.
But our marketing specialists do have some knowledge that could be useful. Look at them down below!
Understand buyer’s behavior.
Alice de Courcy, CMO of Cognism, offers some sound advice on incorporating the most recent B2B marketing trends into your strategy for the coming year when it comes to addressing customer behavior in uncertain times:
You must embrace the following fundamentals:
- The purchasing process is not linear.
- A buyer cannot be moved in the market by one person or organization; they must move independently.
- Most of your buyers aren’t actively looking.
- As purchasers attempt to consolidate, budgets will become more restricted.
This implies that CMOs who haven’t yet switched from lead generation to demand generation will find things growing more complex. The focus should be on consistently providing value to our customers frictionlessly at the locations where they choose to consume it.
In times of economic uncertainty, consumers will be more likely to turn to indirect sources when purchasing. As a result, the buyer journey will continue to be impacted. Customers appreciate professional networks more than direct marketing.
To adjust to this trend, B2B marketers must prioritize establishing and keeping solid relationships with these indirect sources. This can entail starting referral programs or collaborating with influential people and organizations.
Reaching out to current customers and generating meaningful material from their experiences using your product can help businesses increase their credibility.
2. Content diversification
It should be no surprise that demand creation is a favorite topic at Cognism. The dispute between lead generation and demand generation may appear old news, but our team begs to differ.
Two crucial areas, content diversification and the development of best practices, are where early adopters will continue to advance this marketing trend.
The lead generation vs. demand generation argument may be over, which is regrettably not the case. Many companies still need to start using outdated lead-generation strategies.
The idea of a demand-gen playbook is still in its infancy. There are many unknowns and no strict operating rules, which is a big reason why it hasn’t been more widely adopted. The demand generation playbook is still in its infancy, though. There are numerous unknowns and no set procedures. This, in my opinion, is a significant factor in why it hasn’t yet gained broader acceptance.
Keep making continuous process iterations.
We’ve learned from the events of 2022 that we don’t have to do things the same way we always have.
For instance, you can establish specific procedures for your demand gen campaigns. When you conduct a live webinar, you can separate it into six segments and share it on social media. As a result, you can have several procedures to feed your content engine and be value-led. You need to revisit such strategies frequently and revise them.
Moving beyond just developing repeatable and scalable procedures is necessary to build best practices for a demand-gen marketing organization. To stack growth, you should instead rely on iterating those processes.
You may be good at making processes repeatable and scalable. But stacking growth is the component that you should emphasize for 2023. How can you strengthen the existing procedures and make them better? Is there a way to gain access to new channels? How can you develop new procedures and projects to support your continued expansion?
Remember – the most important lesson is that the benefits will wane no matter how well you do something.
3. Building long-lasting relationships with Subject Matter Experts
Throughout 2022, subject matter experts (SMEs) were a key B2B marketing trend. Some marketing executives have already invested their funds in this area.
However, not all SMEs are created equal, and 2023 is the year to forge lasting strategic alliances with your sector experts.
It will become more difficult to separate from the crowd as more marketers engage in SMEs. As a result, you must invest in your SMEs to help you create a longer-term plan that will enable you to accomplish those three crucial goals: raising brand awareness, establishing credibility, and educating your audience.
A demand generation engine’s success depends on its capacity to let your audience read, enjoy, and benefit from your content.
You will never succeed here if the content isn’t from a real subject matter expert. In 2023, we’ll see more organizations hiring SMEs or developing systems that allow organizations to work with SMEs consistently.
4. Not compromising human connection for human data
Many businesses will balance their budgets as they become more constrained and teams concentrate on what’s most crucial—driving revenue. Weighing the need to preserve that vital personal connection against when to utilize statistics to guide decision-making.
Marketing teams should focus on data to make wise judgments as organizations aim to save costs.
This is where data from AI-driven analytics is useful. It will help with more effective client targeting, needs analysis, and behavior predictions. The creation of a B2B marketing landscape strategy will require consideration of these essential findings.
Before examining the data, marketers should engage with consumers and prospects more frequently.
Many marketers have distanced themselves and were only interested in attribution tools. And that was because so much technology was available, and everyone felt it was wonderful.
Similarly, if you solely talk to customers, you might make bad choices because your CRM data on customer purchase motivations will always provide you with the appropriate response. But it’s kind of like a mixture of both.
But does your team already have the necessary tech stack and solid digital literacy?
According to the Marketing Profs study, 61% of respondents lacked the necessary technology or weren’t using it best to manage content. This implies that many businesses are creating IT stacks without a clear plan, which makes things much more difficult in unstable economic times.
5. Growing reliance on No-Code Martech tools
Imagine a world where everyone could construct websites, analyze complex data, handle vast amounts of material, develop automation logic, combine many apps to function together, and more. Because “no code” is changing marketing technology, you don’t need to imagine.
Even though the name is self-explanatory, let’s first define “no code.” The recent trend of “no code” capabilities in apps and software allows users with little to no coding experience to access functions that would often require some technical knowledge. Building websites, designing, blogging, and analyzing data from many sources—things that were formerly challenging — have all become as simple as signing up for software and connecting it all.
With the proliferation of no-code apps, it is now simpler than ever for marketers to delve into uncharted waters. People who have never even touched a website, for instance, may use it to post blogs, construct stunning landing pages, and even complete SEO plans.
Website design and development, data analysis, and automation are three essential marketing areas where no coding has been applied. These components of the business, which are typically among the most complex, have been made simple enough for most individuals to use them efficiently without having significant back-end coding skills.
Nothing appears more complex than building up internal workflows and automated marketing campaigns. Applications that require “no code” have made it simple to create automated marketing and sales actions. To set up a fluid workflow creation process, these apps will help you link and integrate a variety of products that you use.
6. Enhancing the quality of SEO
The most considerable upgrade, the Spam update, which Google tested in October 2022, was one of several new ones related to content and linkages. Algorithm engineers are actively addressing the problem of AI-generated content.
B2B marketers must produce original content that benefits their target audience. SEO Over the past six months, Twitter has been highly vocal about losing all of its SEO traffic. Deprioritizing websites that provide mediocre content and low-quality links is a skill at which Google’s machine-learning algorithm constantly improves.
Voice Search is another B2B marketing trend that grew in popularity in 2022 and will continue to grow.
SEO needs to be optimized for various mediums to be relevant in 2023. It’s important to address text, voice, and image searches.
For instance, voice search improves your site’s usability and functionality, making it accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
It’s not just about adhering to the ADA, ethical web design, and CSR goals; it’s also beneficial to the business’s cash line by reaching a larger audience. Enhancing SEO doesn’t have to be expensive.
7. The growing significance of user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is becoming increasingly prevalent among B2B marketers as they continue to draw ideas from the B2C playbook.
It is logical. In a cutthroat industry, peer-to-peer recommendations are essential for fostering transparency and authenticity.
User-generated content for B2B is becoming more reputable and well-liked, much like influencer marketing. More and more companies are incorporating it into their strategy, and so far, it appears they are doing the right thing.
User-generated content” refers to legitimate and pertinent information from users, i.e., users whom the target audience may trust since they have similar traits.
Working actively on user-generated content improves brand recognition, enhances the brand’s image, aids in customer loyalty, and fosters consumer advocacy. For B2B, 2023 will be the year of user-generated content.
Cognism uses user-generated content in several ways, including customer case studies, social proof reviews, video testimonials, and G2 reviews.
Additionally, you must urge marketers in your team to develop their online personas. By becoming SMEs, you can reach more consumers outside of the owned media format.
8. Making B2B PR sales-enabled
B2B PR in 2023 can be anything from a New York Times story to a Product Hunt campaign.
Any PR campaign’s main objective is to increase awareness of your brand and develop a solid, sincere reputation. Your brand, your PR team or B2B PR agency, and your immediate aims will influence how you do this.
Like other recent trends, the increasing relevance of PR may be traced back to trust. Your potential customers seek the main quality of trust, and they’re more inclined to purchase from a company they dislike than one they like.
One of the best ways to establish trust is through an intelligent PR effort, enabling prospective customers to relate to your leadership, become familiar with your service, and develop a sound understanding of your brand.
Think leadership is your brand’s tremendous long-term PR investment, so don’t undervalue its influence.
Earned media aren’t cheap. For many, it’s the price; for others, it does not understand how PR is connected to sales and money. Others have suffered the consequences of PR teams with a communications foundation that doesn’t link their PR initiatives to marketing and sales objectives.
The answer to this is sales-supportive PR
Working with PR experts that understand how to link media coverage to sales targets will show you that PR is unquestionably a significant element of:
- Accelerating the sales process
- Increasing sales
9. The rise of virtual marketing partners
The number of fractional executives, virtual CMOs, and even virtual marketing practitioners at lower levels of an organization has increased over the last few years. The year of the virtual marketing partner, however, is this one.
A virtual CMO oversees your marketing division; a virtual marketing practitioner is often any non-executive member of the marketing division. However, a virtual marketing partner is an organization like Zen that takes a different approach to working with clients. Compared to a standard marketing firm, which is more “set it and forget it,” this collaboration is far more involved and collaborative.
A company may hire a virtual CMO connected to a virtual marketing partner. By doing so, you have access to additional marketing experts.
Hiring a partner entails a team of marketing professionals assisting your company with various tasks, such as researching your target market, analyzing the insights, identifying key strategies and messaging, and ultimately putting marketing tactics into practice to help you achieve your business objectives.
10. Dark social
Dark social is hard to follow. It’s the personal interactions people have on social media that the general public cannot see or follow, such as when coworkers chat about a potential new vendor over instant messaging or an HR representative inquires about a communications platform on a private Discord server. Fortunately, businesses may still impact the environment by being visible and going into the shadows themselves.
People will discuss your brand on dark social if it is visible—on social media, in the media, or as part of the important discussions in your sector. By joining shady social sites and communities, brands can forge close bonds with their customers (like Discord, Reddit, Facebook Groups, etc.)
Then, rather than just dispensing material for consumption, brands can interact with their target market—ask questions, pay attention to customer comments, and gather knowledge through social listening. People will pay attention if you hear their problems and thoughts, and your impact on dark social will increase.
Buyers today are pickier than ever. They conduct the study, consult with colleagues about the advantages and disadvantages, and only occasionally, typically after they have made up their minds, do they turn to salespeople. In the current sales funnel, the marketer’s close deals before the customer contacts a salesperson.
Because of this, businesses must be there and provide the details that customers want right where they are (hint: Social media).
You can influence the debates on dark social by participating in social media discussions and reaching out to your audience through paid advertisements. Your audience will trust you more if you interact with them frequently and sincerely handle their worries and inquiries.
Reduce the sales talk and instead provide clear, understandable information. Because they don’t trust salespeople or slick marketing materials, marketers must integrate themselves into the daily discussions that their customers are already having.
Some marketing trends are never-ending. The above list showcases the evolution of these over-time.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Kindel Media; Pexels; Thank you!