It's never boring in the world of B2B marketing. Since the beginning of the pandemic at the very latest, lots of marketers have been forced to break the mold and to reflect on alternative methods for lead generation. No more trade fairs or on-site meetings—but what should you do to compensate for the fallout? Over the past two years there has been many different online B2B marketing trends. Yet one trend that has remained is digitalization in B2B marketing.
Working with big data, intent data or data-driven marketing continue to be current marketing trends in B2B which are probably not going to come to an end anytime soon.
In this article, we will explore five B2B marketing trends which will lead you and your team on the path to success in 2023 and the following years.
B2B Marketing Trend #1: Ensure Sales and Marketing are Working in Tandem
This first B2B marketing trend in 2022 is not necessarily new, but it's more important than ever. Talk to your sales department: Ask your colleagues in sales for their input, experience, and their opinion—they're close to customers and even closer to your target audience, and often know exactly what will land well.
Create task forces, go-to-market teams, or individual revenue teams where you can brainstorm ideas together and devise new ideas. In the end, both parties benefit from collaborating. It's only by working together that you will be able to suitably react to the current challenges of the B2B sector.
You can discuss topics such as hybrid selling, digital sales or social selling via platforms like LinkedIn together and find out areas to build on. This can guarantee you sustainable success and bring about more accounts within the sales department. Why? The more fine-tuned your B2B marketing campaigns are—for example in terms of Account Based Marketing—the easier it is for your sales team at the point of sale as the companies you've attracted will be perfectly suited to your product. Et voila!
You can also collaborate to thrive on LinkedIn: Consider where you want to place your focus and discuss with one another so that you can coordinate and establish who will create what type of content and when, and where you can build on each other. This B2B marketing trend is all about agility and flexibility.
B2B Marketing Trend #2: Account Based Marketing is a Winner
Another B2B marketing trend which will carry on into 2023 is Account Based Marketing (ABM). Are you trying to reach all the people in your target audience in the same way? As you can imagine, if you're using the exact same advertisement for sectors such as mechanical engineering as for medicine, it's not exactly ideal.
An Account Based Marketing strategy is essentially about rotating the funnel to really and exclusively address those companies in your target audiences that correspond to your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). The image of a big fishing net vs. a small fishing rod is often used here—but with the small fishing rod and the right bait, you can fish for exactly the customers you want, instead of fishing for dull by-catch whose interests and needs you can't cover at all. In this way you can efficiently minimize scatter loss and save cash.
Your sales team benefits when your marketing strategy is as individualized and personalized as possible. If you only target recruiting services with your campaign and you have a sales manager who only focuses on this area, it's a win-win-win situation—for you, your sales manager, and the prospect. Why? If your sales team totally understands the needs of the target audience you're addressing through your campaigns, selling becomes more like advising and adds value to your prospective customer. This paves the way to closing a deal!
B2B Marketing Trend #3: Use Artificial Intelligence for Better Insights
At first glance, Artificial intelligence (AI) sounds impressive—and it is! You probably want to know how AI is related to B2B marketing, and it's really simple. In order to feed your marketing machinery, you need data. And not just any data such as company or contact details which only allow for a generic chat without personalized marketing strategies—you need good data.
Sales Intelligence Tools (SI tools) are perfectly suited to this purpose! These tools are mostly based off of AI, meaning they provide you with the best B2B data available. Especially for your ABM campaigns, Sales Intelligence adds an arrow to your quiver! By using an SI software, you can carefully select companies from the masses which match your ICP, and you can therefore pinpoint your marketing campaign in B2B.
Pro Tipp: When choosing a Sales Intelligence Software, make sure that the provider is GDPR-compliant! There's nothing worse than contravening a law.
Another plus point: Some SI tools (for example Echobot) offer a feature where you can feed in your existing customers and other strong leads, and the engine of the tool then displays similar companies—so-called B2B lookalikes—on this basis. You can then persuade these lookalikes with the same use case and content along their customer journey.
You can also work excellently well with B2B lookalikes on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Via LinkedIn and Facebook, you can create custom audiences or lookalike audiences, refining your targeting strategies. AI is a definite trend in B2B marketing for 2023.
B2B lookalikes are extremely versatile. You can utilize them either directly for your LinkedIn Ad campaigns, or to simply find out more about your target audience. By "cloning" your existing customers, you can distinguish immediately which companies you need to make interact with you.
Head of Marketing & PreSales @ Echobot
B2B Marketing Trend #4: Cater SEO More Towards Your Users
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEA (Search Engine Advertising) remain fascinating in the field of B2B marketing and should therefore definitely be counted as a 2023 marketing trend. SEO, for example, doesn't just help you to rank your content better on Google, helping you to be more relevant to your target audience, but it also shows you exactly what the pain points of your future customers are. Your website is often the first touchpoint in the customer journey of a client. They have a problem, search online, and they hopefully then will discover your solution and then visit your website.
With a well-thought-out SEO and SEA strategy, you can find out what moves your target audience. You can then plan your next content pieces for your website and ads in the respective search engine. Make sure to always keep yourself up-to-date! Only recently, Google announced an update to its Page Experience algorithm. From Spring 2023, the algorithm will also be applied to desktop search results, just as is currently the case for mobile searches. Companies therefore need to prepare for this change appropriately.
Think holistically about your SEO and SEA strategies! It's important to analyze your strategies across the whole company, and always put your activities to the test. So, that’s definitely a long-lasting B2B marketing trend.
B2B Marketing Trend #5: Invest in Useful Tech Stacks in Marketing
How many tools and which software do you use in your marketing strategy daily? Are you processes aligned? And do your tools work together like clockwork? Lots of B2B marketing teams invest in digital solutions in order to broaden their tech stack. However, they often don't think about how they are all going to work together. A well-thought-out tech stack is another trend in B2B marketing in 2023 that probably never gets too old.
Ultimately, an outdated tech stack only makes your work more ineffective as it slows down processes which should actually be accelerated. If the horse has already bolted, you need to think about how to optimize your tech stack in B2B. Otherwise, you should think carefully beforehand which software tools to integrate before blindly buying something. If you choose your B2B marketing tools sensibly, you'll be saving your company time and money.
Smart offers such as SaaS (Software as a Service) reduce your effort in terms of installation and upkeep. What's more, you'll often receive support and individual consultation included in the service. This is a B2B marketing trend which is completely worth it.
Conclusion: These B2B Marketing Trends Pack a Punch
Of course, we hope that trade fairs will become more and more "normal" again, just as before the pandemic. Personal contacts are not only extremely important in B2B sales but are just as important in B2B marketing. Online networking does work, but the charm of an offline exchange is not to be underestimated.
In any case, it is impossible to imagine B2B marketing without digital components, and these components are always found in B2B marketing trends too, so make sure to think about which strategies you want to take with regard to your digital tools and strategy. Grab your colleagues from sales, product management and IT so that you can holistically plan your strategy and make sure to not overlook a marketing trend in B2B.