B2B marketing is already difficult in boom markets, but it’s infinitely more difficult in down markets. With rising costs and tougher competition, B2B marketers are faced with the challenge of bringing in qualified pipeline using fewer resources. As the vice president of marketing at a company that helps companies turn buyers’ job changes into revenue, I believe that using the same tactics that made sense during “boom time” may no longer be an option.
In the face of cost-cutting measures (paywall), layoffs and steep competition going into 2023, how can marketers stop relying on spray-and-pray tactics and start adopting sustainable, reliable strategies for generating new pipeline, and new revenue, for their companies?
Moving Away From Spray-And-Pray Marketing What is spray-and-pray marketing? In a nutshell, it’s the “old” way of doing things. It’s when marketing teams use tactics that cast a wide net without strategy or intention and hope for the best results.
Spray-and-pray marketing can look like:
• Sending marketing emails to purchased lead lists.
• Trying to generate leads without defining buyer personas.
• Running expensive advertising campaigns targeted at broad audiences.
This approach to marketing has worked pretty well in B2B marketing because we were essentially in a boom time, especially within B2B SaaS. Even though spray-and-pray isn’t necessarily efficient, many companies didn’t care much; they were still able to catch customers. Marketers didn’t have to worry as much about budgets, bad leads and untargeted campaigns—because either way, they could count on generating more leads than they had in the past.
Now, if they’re dealing with a down market, B2B marketers may need to step away from spray-and-pray tactics because of growing expenses, more cautious buyers and lower ROI on campaigns.
The result: more expensive marketing, less qualified lead generation, more pipeline anxiety and more stress for B2B marketing teams.
Marketers should consider these factors whether it’s a boom time or bust, but a market downturn could force more companies to move away from spray-and-pray tactics to more intentional, focused marketing tactics.
The B2B market is facing younger buying committees, shifts in expectations about the purchase process, overcomplicated tech stacks, and uncertain economic conditions. These factors are changing how marketers can reach, engage with, and retain business customers, according to our analyst Kelsey Voss. Here are five predictions for how these factors will impact your B2B marketing next year.
Digital self-service will dominate the B2B buyer journey. Who’s the B2B buyer in 2023?
Millennials and Gen Z make up the majority of B2B buying committees (65% of buyers are between the ages of 18 and 40, according to a recent American Marketing Association survey).
“These buyers grew up in a digital world and they also expect to manage their journey on their own terms,” Voss said. Buyers will do their own research (visiting a website or attending a webinar) before accepting a meeting with a salesperson. “These buyers want a self-serve and very personalized experience. B2B marketers need to meet buyers’ higher expectations in 2023 and provide experiences that mirror their consumer experiences.”
The buying committee is bigger and more diverse. There are more roles involved, which means many responsibilities and preferences (for example, the CFO wants marketing to be cost-effective). According to a Forrester Consulting and Outreach survey, 75% said there are more people in the decision-making process.
As people involved in the buying cycle expanded, so too did the time. That same Forrester survey found that 75% said the average buying cycle has increased in the last 24 months.
Marketers need to get tech integration right. The pandemic rush to implement marketing technology (martech) is moving to a new investment phase:
While martech spending will increase in the next two years, according to our forecasts, growth will drop from 2021’s 21.2% increase to 12.4% next year.
“The problem many B2B marketers currently face is their stacks are unwieldy and don’t align with tech and other teams,” Voss said. “Data integration and alignment between marketers and sales is crucial to achieve revenue growth expected from both teams and strategic collaboration with customer success teams drives customer retention and loyalty.”
As a digital marketing entrepreneur, you’ve always got to be looking ahead. Until 2026, the compound annual growth rate of the online marketing industry is 9%. Therefore, you’ve got to think in the long term if you want to succeed in a market that’s getting more crowded every year.
Now that 2023 is visible on the horizon, let’s go over the top industry trends that I think you’ve got to be on top of if you want to stand out in tomorrow’s digital marketing space:
GPT-4 and the rise of “smart” chatbots When Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) was released in 2020 by Silicon Valley-based OpenAI, its capacity to create human-like natural language shocked the world. As the most sophisticated AI language model in the world, GPT-3 is capable of writing convincing poetry, prose and dialogue using just a basic user prompt.
In 2023, we could see the long-awaited GPT-4 released. Although AI-based language processing has come a long way in recent years, there are still some hiccups. Chatbots that are powered by GPT-3 still don’t pass the Turing test, and many consumers loathe having their support queries handled by a bot.
With GPT-4 on the horizon, chatbots are about to see a quantum leap in their development. Once chatbots can produce language indistinguishable from humans — with all our emotional nuance and subtle interpretations — chatbots are going to take over. We may even see GPT-4 chatbots replace human support agents altogether. Savvy entrepreneurs will keep their eye on new chatbot developments based on GPT-4 and embrace them when the time comes.
In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is now recessionary talk taking place, and there are varying opinions on economic stability and how everything is going to unfold. Factor in high interest rates and talk of real estate bubbles, and there’s plenty for B2B marketers to be wary of financially as they attempt to grow their businesses and generate new sales opportunities.
When facing a wobbly economy, I believe the single most important thing that businesses can do is focus on client retention. And that starts with communications, digital marketing and a focus on customer success initiatives.
In 2020, Gartner forecast that “by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.” In 2023, I believe that identifying the right marketing channels and areas to devote resources and spending will be more critical. These are some of the areas that I anticipate seeing a greater focus on in the year ahead:
Customer success could gain greater traction. One marketing trend that has gained critical importance over the past several years is an increased emphasis on customer success and prioritizing retention. Strengthening and further developing existing client relationships—as opposed to always seeking out new customers—can lead to business growth.
A well-planned marketing strategy is the foundation of any successful marketing effort. More than half of the brands either lack a well-defined digital marketing strategy or haven’t adopted one yet. A digital marketing strategy is essential because it gives you a sense of direction, outlines the objectives you want to achieve, and outlines the steps you must take to get there.
By combining the correct digital business techniques, you can design powerful digital marketing campaigns for your company that get the best results at the lowest cost. This article outlines the major components of a successful digital marketing strategy. PaydayChampion can provide funding for your company’s digital marketing strategy.
Building A Digital Marketing Strategy: Your marketing strategy gives a broad overview of the factors influencing the resources, actions, and goals. It must include the particular steps you’ll take to implement that strategy. By informing, entertaining, and persuading people, digital media offers various options to generate leads, convert consumers, and increase brand awareness. The plan enables a company to take advantage of the numerous online contact points that are potentially available.
Since creating a digital marketing strategy can be complicated, contacting a marketing agency, such as Denver Digital Marketing Agency, or any other organization that operates locally in your region is advisable. However, if you wish to work independently, here are some steps to undertake when making a digital strategy.
Create Buyer Persona: A buyer persona is a profile of the perfect client. Buyer personas contain vital demographic and psychological data that aid in identifying, understanding, and engaging with your target market.
Identify Your Goals: The objectives of your marketing plan should align with those of your company, build brand recognition, and provide high-quality leads.
Select The Right Tools: Ensure you have the appropriate tools to gauge your goals’ success once you’ve identified them. Online tools like social media schedulers provide analytics that can be used to monitor your audience’s preferences.
Choose Appropriate Platforms: Collect your materials across all your media types and determine which platform would bring the highest results.
Key Components: To effectively communicate your brand message, critical components of a customer-driven marketing plan should be streamlined. Most of the components of digital marketing function best in combination with some or all of the other components. Some of the common components that every marketing strategy must have are:
There’s no denying that consumers are practically a staple of every business, hence it’s of huge importance for every business owner to nurture a solid relationship with them.
If you’re wondering how you can accomplish it, the answer is simple.
With the help of CRM software. But what does it represent? Namely, it’s a system that helps firms nurture better relationships with their customers. This is just a short definition of it, but below, we’ll offer more detailed information regarding this tool. So let’s check it out!
Huge Benefits Of CRM Software For Your Company Enhances Productivity By Almost Fifty Percent This software is capable of executing various activities. One of its biggest virtues is the fact that it’s able to automate demanding, time-consuming tasks by leveraging workflows. With its assistance, you will have a lot more free time on your hands to dedicate yourself to your clients and create an experience with them that will make them happy.
Speaking of CRM, there are a lot of companies that rely on the effectiveness of salesforce, which is an omnipotent software that offers CRM services. If you’ve never heard of it before, then just visit here to provide yourself with some additional information. Its main goal is to help businesses all over the world with sales, marketing, commerce, and many other aspects.
It Simplifies The Sales Process In order for the sales process to be efficient, it cannot be too complex. In fact, the simpler, the better. A simplified sales process is most efficiently found when there’s success in obtaining leads and turning them into consumers.
Now, if your goal is to streamline this whole process as much as possible, then it would be advisable to consider implementing this tool. With it, no sale opportunity is going to be ignored and every single opportunity that comes your way is going to be properly nurtured so it can become useful to your business. The best way to simplify this process (along with employing a CRM system) is by doing these steps below:
Map out all relevant steps in the consumer buying journey
As part of the continuing Small Biz in :15 on Location interviews, the trip to Austin, Texas for ZohoDay 2022 has resulted in yet another conversation small businesses will be able to appreciate.
This time around it is, “Doing Surprising Things With CRM.” with Vibhav Vankayala, Product Marketing, Zoho Corporation and Dilip Nagarjaran, product manager of Zoho CRM, who point out surprising things you can do with CRM.
A single digital application can provide a wide range of solutions for a small business. However, not everyone knows everything there is to know about the application or what they can do with it. And whether the tool is simple or complex, there are options that are not always used by the business purchasing the application. Vibhav Vankayala will share what some of those options are when it comes to CRM
Check out the full interview with Gopal Sripada above on YouTube or listen on SoundCloud using the player at the bottom of the page.
The first part of the conversation is between Shawn Hessinger, the Executive Editor of Small Biz Trends and Vibhav Vankayala, followed by Dilip Nagrajaran.
Shawn: If you were to think of one thing that small businesses might not initially think they can do with CRM, what would that be or might not realize?
Vibhav: It is to compete with a much bigger player. For example, you have a neighborhood mom-and-pop store. Maybe they’re always thinking 7-Eleven is big, I’m never gonna get to that level of service; they have AWS they have this, they have that.
However, Vibhav says these small businesses can because the eCommerce revolution has brought in the power for smaller businesses to compete with large companies, even Amazon. He adds:
“Set up a competent CRM, eCommerce, and customer service and you don’t even need agents, for example, you could always start with self-service,” he says.
According to Vibhav, you don’t need to hire 20 people, a contact center, and a large space to get a customer service operation going.
He adds, “It doesn’t have to be all that, all you need is a self-service park to start, and having that is still better than nothing and customers not being able to reach you. So yeah, it’s the ability to actually punch above their weight.”
Shawn: There’s something you said that also spurs another question which I think fits into the other idea that we were talking about with surprising things you might not know about CRMs. So let me ask you, how does CRM help you predict what a customer wants before you have any way of knowing that they want it?
Short for customer relationship management, CRM is an amalgam of tools and tactics under marketing technology (MarTech). It enables companies to organize and exploit their customers’ data strategically. By analyzing this data, marketers can better understand their customer’s needs and suggest ways for businesses to refine their strategies for better market performance and customer relationships.
If this is the first time you’ve learned about CRM, read on to find out what the technology is and its applications.
Introducing three types of CRM systems Picking the best CRM system that meets your business’s needs can be overwhelming because CRM comes in numerous forms, and each serves a specific purpose. That said, CRM systems can essentially be put under three categories. Let’s thumb through each of them below:
Collaborative CRM systems With more companies keeping a distributed team since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, collaboration tools, such as Google Workspace and Notion, have become increasingly indispensable. They enable asynchronous work where team members are free to work on their own time without staying online simultaneously. Yet, you need more than those tools to manage your customers and understand their behaviors.
When considering customer service, companies (especially large enterprises) need collaborative CRM systems to give all their teams real-time access to updated customer data. This can ensure that all clients can enjoy personalized services with the data they provide to the companies.
Analytical CRM systems As mentioned, companies collect and analyze customer data to optimize their marketing strategies and boost their market performance. To make the most of the data compiled, some marketers will draw on analytical CRM systems to analyze and identify patterns in the collected data.
For instance, if a company values client communication, responsible teams can use channel analytics—one of the components of an analytical CRM system—to identify the best way to get in touch with their customers (e.g., email, social media, phone). Communicating effectively with clients can maintain trust between them and the business, which in the long run, helps nurture loyal customers.
Operational CRM systems The last type of CRM system focuses on automation. Before the advent of operational CRM, workers had to deal with every single business-related matter on their own. That limited the time they could spend on tasks of greater importance or that only humans could carry out, such as client meetings.
Now, with operational CRM systems, the said tasks are automated to a large extent. For example, once a complaint is settled, the system can automatically send a follow-up email containing a survey to ensure the client is satisfied with the outcome.
Humans have utilized advertising for as long as we have had a need to communicate information and engage in commerce. From commercial and political messages in the ruins of Pompeii to the colorful banners that hung from merchant stalls in the Song Dynasty of ancient China, marketing has been a part of the human experience. We know where marketing has been. But where is digital marketing going, and what does that mean for your business now?
SEO has been a part of the internet for as long as we’ve had search engines to help us locate information. However, SEO has changed drastically in the past 30 years. Once upon a time, keyword packing in the metadata of websites was key to ranking in searches, as this was the most efficient way for search engines to locate information about a page. Now, metadata has fallen to the wayside, and search engines compare keywords to the context around them to rank the site for relevancy.
This keyword/context relationship will become even more nuanced as algorithms advance. These more advanced algorithms and AIs will be able to better evaluate images (with and without alt text) and videos for keyword and contextual relevancy. For digital marketing agencies, this will mean adjusting strategy to utilize original images and videos with greater relevancy to the content of a particular page.
Assuming AI programs don’t become self-aware and take over the world, they will become an integral part of advertising. While many digital marketing companies look to the future of AI-generated ad content, I want to consider the other side: user-initiated AI.
In 30 years, children growing up now with “Hi Alexa” may not simply ask for a search query. Instead, they will rely on their smart devices to help them handle daily tasks in real time. In other words, instead of “Hey Alexa” or “Hey Google, can you look up this book?” a consumer may ask, “Hey Google, can you purchase a birthday present for Michael?” and their phone will do just that.
What does this mean for digital marketing companies? Staying ahead of developments in AI is important. Familiarize yourself with what companies are working on and continue to optimize sites for voice search. Prepare for consumers to browse your site by voice rather than clicks and screen touches.
Online marketing is more important than ever for tech businesses. A well-executed marketing strategy can distinguish between success and failure in a highly competitive marketplace. There are many different aspects to marketing, but here are five of the most important ways to incorporate it into your tech business:
Search engine optimization (SEO) SEO is one of the essential elements of digital marketing. This involves optimizing your website and content to rank as high as possible on search engine results pages.
Improve your SEO by starting with keyword research to identify the appropriate keywords to target. Then make sure your website and content are well-optimized for those keywords.
Content marketing If you’re running a tech business, it’s essential to ensure you’re using all of the available online marketing strategies. One strategy that you shouldn’t overlook is content marketing. This involves creating and promoting high-quality content relevant to your target audience. Content marketing can help attract more website visitors and convert them into customers or clients. To be successful with content marketing, you need to create valuable and engaging content that will appeal to your target audience. If you can do this, you’ll be well on achieving your marketing goals.
Content marketing is creating and sharing valuable content with your target audience to attract and keep them interested. This content should be relevant to your audience and consistent in terms of quality and frequency. Ultimately, you want this content to lead to profitable customer action. To succeed with content marketing, businesses must create high-quality content targeted at their desired audience. Once they have made this content, they must promote it through various channels such as social media, email marketing, and their website. Finally, businesses must ensure their website is set up to convert visitors into leads or customers. By following these steps, companies can effectively use content marketing to achieve their marketing goals.
Social media marketing Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can help businesses reach a larger audience. Social media can help enterprises build brand awareness, generate leads, and even close sales.
To start with social media marketing, businesses should create profiles on the most popular platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Then, they should start sharing high-quality content that is relevant to their target audience. Additionally, businesses can use paid advertising to reach an even larger audience.
By leveraging the power of social media, businesses can achieve their marketing goals and boost their bottom line.
With over 20 years of business, sales, and consulting experience SMS is capable of serving many market sectors. We provide the field level support needed to generate results and grow your business. Other companies may provide appointment setting services; whereas SMS will partner with you to grow revenue.