B2B marketing is undergoing a quiet but powerful revolution: advancements in AI and machine learning are accelerating the speed at which marketers can generate content and reach audiences.
At the same time, economic uncertainty is making organizations more cautious about where they allocate their marketing dollars.
Those that succeed in the year ahead will be the ones that can deliver rich, tailored omnichannel customer experiences.
Here are the top B2B marketing trends to know about in 2023.
Technology integration is integral
Ascend research shows that 48% of data-driven marketing departments are focusing on acquiring new clients and demand generation. While many marketing teams are sitting on a wealth of valuable data, turning this information into insights is proving difficult.
The underlying reason? Inefficient, cumbersome tech stacks that inhibit information sharing and alignment. And not enough focus given to engage buyers adequately on every channel and stage of their journeys. Not only do these unwieldy systems make marketers’ jobs harder, but they also impede growth. Commercial teams often miss vital insights that could supercharge the buying experience.
To win big in 2023, marketing teams must embrace data integration. They must break down the digital walls between channels and teams to create a unified, real-time view of customers and prospects. Analytics and omnichannel engagement are the real challenges for today’s marketers.
Doing this doesn’t mean consolidating existing tools. Rather, it’s about building connections between the solutions you have – or getting rid of the ones that don’t provide consistent value.
Platforms like the Pitcher seamlessly connect marketing and sales systems across customer relationship management (CRMs), digital asset management (DAMs), and more. This empowers marketing teams to build an end-to-end buyer journey that spurs sales.
The personalization priority
By embracing technology integration, marketing teams will harness the power of data analytics and machine learning to create individualized customer journeys. Sales reps in 2023 will leverage content automation and multichannel engagement more than ever, sending personalized messages to prospects at the right time and, most importantly, with the right content through the right channel.
Far beyond being a “nice to have,” this tailored approach is intrinsic to success. Two-thirds of B2B customers and prospects would discontinue their relationship with sellers that don’t personalize their outreach. Conversely, McKinsey data highlights that organizations accelerating in customer intimacy grow much faster than competitors.
To realize the benefits of personalization at scale, marketing leaders need to infuse data and analytics into the customer life cycle.
AI-powered solutions can provide customers and buyers with highly personalized and engaging experiences. AI can help marketers make better decisions because it relies on real-time data to determine who is most likely to convert and offer the right content through the right channel at the right time.
The siloing of sales and marketing is reduced
Understanding the customer and how they buy is key: Who are they? Where are they on their path-to-purchase? How does the buying process work?
Marketing and sales need to accommodate the needs and requirements of different personas; therefore, data is key.
The marketing team is responsible for generating and nurturing demand across digital channels. Then the sales team swoops in to go after the most promising leads. While this approach was fit for purpose twenty years ago, the fundamental nature of B2B buying has changed.
Most B2B buyers don’t buy sequentially anymore. Instead, they navigate between tech-based and in-person interactions in parallel. This means the notion of handing over a prospect from marketing to sales is no longer relevant.
Leading marketing and sales organizations understand that their relationship is symbiotic. They must work together, sharing and collaborating with unified tools to build a complete view of customers and prospects.
For organizations yet to embrace this way of working, bridging the gap is best achieved by uniting teams through a shared digital platform. Once a shared data warehouse has been created, marketing can use data analytics to gather actionable insights relevant across business functions and teams.
In addition to empowering teams with the tools to succeed, organizations must also think carefully about strategy. Marketing and sales teams must agree on common terms, personas, communications assets, and success metrics so they are both geared for success.
The B2B buyer journey gets a consumer makeover
Three-quarters of organizations have more people involved in buying than ever before.
On top of this, 65% of buyers are between the ages of 18 and 40. Many of today’s prospects are digital natives. They are wholly comfortable and expect to use technology to place orders – both in their personal and professional lives.
In line with this, 70% of B2B buyers cover most of their buying journey online. For marketing teams, this shift underscores the need for highly personalized, seamless digital experiences.
As prospects willingly take to the internet to learn about new products and services, the marketing function must deliver exceptional, frictionless experiences every time, or they’ll lose out.
Approaching this transformation will require the right tools for the job. Namely, marketing and sales must evolve to become agile and data-driven. Platforms like Pitcher are equipped with guided selling capabilities, which make it easy to deliver content tailored to unique audiences.
Customer experience becomes a key revenue driver
Attracting new customers will always be a pivotal aspect of the marketing function’s role. However, leading companies understand that marketing must play a role throughout the customer lifecycle for long-term success.
“Customer retention is the most effective strategy to ensure profitability.”
– Tom Caporaso, Digital Commerce 360
Driving customer loyalty, advocacy, and upping retention rates requires a cross-functional approach. Marketing teams must work with customer support and sales teams to create a unified customer experience. They must focus on consistently delivering an excellent customer experience, while maximizing the opportunities for upselling and brand advocacy.
Dedicated technology platforms can work wonders to build this alignment, helping teams across the business enhance visibility, access timely insights, and better anticipate customer needs.
To leap ahead of competitors, today’s marketing leaders must detangle the complexity of siloed technology systems, nuanced buying journeys, and emerging technologies. While the task ahead might seem significant, the rewards to be won are even greater.
Organizations that meet B2B buyers’ expectations for personalization and digitalization will win and retain more customers, spurring long-term revenue growth.
The key to success lies in embracing a data-driven platform that equips marketing and sales teams with the insights, collaboration capabilities, and personalized content they need for success and to close the marketing loop.
Discover how Pitcher can help with your marketing transformation.
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