Every day I see predictions about what marketing, sales and business will be like in 2022. In this article, I've written down a couple of my thoughts about marketing that possibly can be my predictions for 2022.
It's a safe bet that lead generation will continue influencing pipeline development, marketing attribution, and campaign measurement.
In B2B, more marketers will refine their approaches and adapt to the changing circumstances, but hopefully, they won't return to how they did things and how things were in 2019. And that's necessary because all fundamental changes in customer expectations and behaviour require new approaches, just as they always have.
Here are three thoughts that B2B marketers should consider.
B2B companies must evolve their tech stack
One of the defining and main drivers of marketing's transformation over the past ten years is the explosion of marketing technology. As a result, the number of available tech solutions is endless.
While many B2B marketers had to deal with budget cuts in 2020 as businesses adjusted to economic uncertainty, investments in tech generally remained strong into 2021. As a result, marketing tech will continue to expand; however, B2B marketers and companies must look for ways to simplify and consolidate their tech stacks and decrease their number of solutions.
In 2022, more B2B marketers will start to add in-person events back into their commercial mix while also relying on digital outreach to generate leads. As a result, they'll be looking for measurement solutions to compare digital and non-digital campaign performance on the same platform. I believe that all B2B companies need to provide solutions for potential and existing customers to book digital one-to-one meetings directly in the supplier's calendars.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is vital
Personalisation is the name of the game in B2B marketing. Still, it has been challenging for most companies to produce the highly targeted messaging and content required to personalise B2B marketing since its sales cycle is typically lengthier and outreach is more complex.
Some B2B marketers used ABM to personalise campaigns and ensure that the targeted decision-makers received the right messages five or six years ago. However, the technology wasn't available to make that work well at scale back then. ABM was only feasible for smaller, well-defined audiences but not affordable for expansive target campaigns.
Today, you have the technology to drive ABM at scale by using information such as intent data to personalise campaigns and outreach.
I expect ABM to evolve over the year as your marketers must take advantage of new capabilities, identify your ideal accounts, and pinpoint critical decision-makers for personalised messaging.
Your B2B marketers must also look for better ways to measure the success of ABM campaigns, including digital and non-digital outreach. This will be important since ideal customer profiles (buyers and companies) have changed over the last couple of years.
As your ABM evolves, it will become even more imperative for your B2B marketers to integrate data inside your CRM to create a single source of truth shared with their sales and other departments, including Business Operations. Therefore, you must be critical to generate reports and share data across departments and use credible data throughout your organisation.
Companies must get beyond engagement
Many B2B companies turned to digital outreach when the pandemic made in-person events impossible, and digital advertising platforms have out-of-the-box tools to measure engagement. However, B2B companies must go beyond engagement data and determine how engagement influences closed/won business at the bottom of the funnel.
Specifically, your marketers must strive for understanding precisely how a clicked email, digital ad, or SoMe post is reflected in your pipeline and how it affects your revenue. So, expect your B2B marketers to seek greater clarity with tools that shed light on campaign influence beyond clicks, shares and other shallow engagement.
When using more available insights, your B2B marketers will become better positioned to identify which programs, vendors, and channels drive revenue. Clicks and downloads are lovely, but the revenue is what matters.
No one knows what's in store for B2B marketers in 2022, but I know that many of the ongoing changes we have seen over the past 20 months are likely to be permanent. This means increased digital outreach, but not necessarily more technology added to the stack. Instead, streamline tools to focus on those that deliver the most value.
Look for more personalisation through ABM in 2022 and for marketers to find greater clarity through better insight into campaign performance. The B2B marketers who can compare results across digital and non-digital campaigns—using data that resonates throughout the organisation via the CRM—will be set up for success in the year to come.
If you're looking to prepare for the challenges of 2022, starting with our in-depth guide to digitalisation would be smart. You can take a look at it here or download it below.
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Asks a lot of questions, and knows what to do with the answers.