3 Trends That Will Accelerate B2B Marketing Transformation in 2022
Rapidly changing customer behaviors and business models are transforming the B2B marketing landscape. Lori Wizdo, VP, principal analyst, Forrester, discusses a few trends that will accelerate B2B marketing transformation this year and how marketers should prepare themselves to succeed.
B2B marketers face a new mandate in 2022 — a mandate primarily driven by dramatic changes in buyers’ behaviors. According to Forrester’s 2021 Global Marketing Survey, 71% of respondents stated that buyers expect an experience personalized to their needs and preferences, and 74% agreed that buyers expect an immediate response to their questions. Additionally, digitally disruptive business models and the need to keep pace with technology evolution are disrupting the B2B marketing landscape.
Traditionally, in many B2B companies, marketing has been a supporting function, whereas sales, engineering, or product are given the corporate hero role. Even in companies where marketing has become a demonstrable revenue vector, however, CMOs struggle to establish the value of marketing. The survey mentioned above shows that only 32% of B2B CMOs report to the CEO, and just 54% contribute the marketing perspective to the corporate strategy.
The B2B marketer’s new destiny, according to us, is to be the driving force behind the company’s success. B2B marketing leaders must have a seat at the table and play an important role in transforming their organizations. They need to shift mindsets from being perceived as brand stewards, lead generation machines, and sales supporters to being the architects of organizational success.
In 2022, we predict these trends will accelerate B2B marketing transformation. These predictions provide a perspective on what B2B marketers can prepare for in the coming year and the changes they can make to begin their transformation.
1. Fragmented revenue marketing teams will consolidate in 20% of B2B firms
B2B CMOs must adopt a more strategic approach to campaigns and programs to prepare for this change. The average B2B organization gets 77% of its revenue from existing customers, but only 42% of B2B marketers employ demand marketing channels for the enrichment phase of the customer lifecycle. A redesign is overdue. Forrester predicts that in 2022 an emerging cadre of growth marketers will drive how success is defined, pursued, and measured.
2. For the first time, CMOs stake a claim on partner experience (PX)
As customer value chains are reinvented in the decade of the ecosystem, nearly half of CMOs rank improving partners’ experience as a top strategy for growth. Channel marketing leaders, under the CMO’s guidance, must orchestrate partner alignment across the entirety of the indirect customer lifecycle — from influence early in the buyer’s journey through the lifetime of customer success. In 2022, 50% will establish a PX function and elevate PX as a key metric of the executive dashboard, as the number of partners will explode by 10x through the next five years.
3. Three-quarters of personalized engagement strategies will not meet ROI goals
B2B marketing teams will need to inculcate the pivot to customer-centricity in planning and execution processes. As persistent digital engagement becomes the norm, 70% of marketers will adopt an always-on digital engagement strategy in 2022. The stakes are high: about three times as many B2B buyers (17%) said that the provider’s competence during the buying process was the most significant driver of their purchase choice as those who said that it was the relationship with the sales rep (5%) or customer references (6%). In 2022, 10% of B2B organizations will identify metrics to measure the value created for buyers during the buying process.
We know that B2B marketers are no strangers to disruptive change. Over the past two decades, B2B marketers have leveraged emerging technologies, built new organizational structures, and forged new processes to rediscover marketing’s seminal purpose: to win, serve, and retain customers. But now, forces are propelling B2B marketing to a new destiny and a higher purpose — one where they are a driver of success.