5 B2B Marketing Trends to Know for 2024
This time last year, marketers planning their 2023 budgets were bracing for a recession. A common motto might have been: â€œFasten your seatbelts, folks, weâ€™re going to be in for a bumpy ride.â€
Now? Survival is no longer the operating principle in B2B marketing. More than half of marketers say their companies plan to take risks when it comes to business strategy, according to a recent Adage survey. That might entail an aggressive growth strategy, like a big purchase to broaden their organizationâ€™s capabilities. Maybe it means pushing a new product, emphasizing something different in their portfolio, or expanding their brand to new parts of the globe.
5 MARKETING TRENDS TO KNOW FOR 2024
- Harness AI and data analytics.
- Adapt the sales and marketing relationship to the new buyerâ€™s journey.
- Embrace hybrid selling
- Rethink client retention
- Secure data privacy and security compliance.
Sometimes, aggressive business tactics and survival tactics present similarly. ContinuedÂ volatilityÂ in the healthcare sector could lead to more mergers and acquisitions, whileÂ aggressive spendingÂ in the tech sector could yield the same strategy. Both approaches operate on the same principle: If you arenâ€™t growing youâ€™re dying. So figure out a way to stay profitable through some form of expansion.
Below are the topÂ marketingÂ trends for 2024 that emphasize agility and aggressiveness in its many forms.
1. Harness AI and Data Analytics
Marketers are constantly gaining new ways of collectingÂ data on their customersÂ and clients. Sorting through data to form an actionable strategy is a persistent challenge,Â especially in an aggressive strategic environment.
One-third of marketersÂ believe decisions take too long at their company, according to Adage. Obsessing over a decision wonâ€™t allow you to make any progress.Â Business operationsÂ must be able to make decisions and adjustments as close to real time as possible to stay ahead. Using data to uncover what works and why is essential to speeding up decisions and demonstrating impact.
Historically, when manpower was the key differentiator in speed, larger businesses had a tremendous advantage over small- and medium-sized businesses. Now,Â AI and other digital toolsÂ make a more level playing field possible. Harnessing these technologies will be imperative for businesses looking to quickly identify the most actionable data.
2. Adapt the Sales and Marketing Relationship to the New Buyerâ€™s Journey
Customers want a personalized, â€œself-serveâ€Â experienceÂ that doesnâ€™t require speaking to a salesperson every step of the way. Itâ€™s a lasting, if unintended, consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, when organizations figured out how to operate electronically or remotely.
For marketers, an important question persists: Do we really need a salesperson meeting with the customer or client at every step of their journey? Or should we wait, let the customer use our digital tools to do her research, then meet with her when she has a question?
Buyers are becoming increasingly accustomed to doing their own research before they engage with a salesperson. This presents an opportunity for selling organizations to adapt the relationship between sales and marketing that could create a more efficient sales cycle.
Deciding how to adapt that strategy for an organization can lead to growth in sales, managing a travel budget better (instead of chasing every lead), and managingÂ customer relationshipsÂ further down theÂ sales funnel. This should come as good news for salespeople who formerly had to memorize complicated scripts, but now might only need to answer a few questions specific to a prospective clientâ€™s business.
3. EmbraceÂ Hybrid Selling
Hybrid selling requires finding the right mix of in-person interaction, remote contact, and e-commerce tools. To achieve this, some organizations are taking deep dives into behavioral science, predicting probabilistic outcomes based on the digital behavior of customers. A rudimentary example: â€œWhen someone tapsÂ xÂ on our mobile app, itâ€™s best to doÂ y.â€
A completely automated decision tree facilitates this thought process, but ultimately, a human salesperson will need to execute when called upon. That way, the buyer feels like someone is responding to their every need, even if itâ€™s an educated guess based on an algorithm. It requires a rudimentary working knowledge of digital tools to anticipate scenarios where, for example, a potential customer is at â€œStep 1+xâ€ in their process, but the payoff is tangible. Organizations can optimize their sales cycles by identifying what parts of the process can effectively be done remotely and which are best completed in person.
A McKinseyÂ studyÂ found when salespeople are working remotely, they can interact with four times as many accounts in a given period. Anticipate hybrid selling practices to become the norm in B2B environments.
4.Â Rethink Client Retention
Most revenues come from repeat customers and clients. The ability toÂ retain a clientÂ is a more cost-effective way to grow revenue compared to finding new ones. According toÂ one estimateÂ from CustomerGauge, improving the customer experience can widen the gap betweenÂ customer acquisitionÂ costs and customer lifetime value by up to eight times.
Retention affords you the ability to maintain revenue, upsell, and gain referrals all from the same client. Converting the first-time buyer into a loyal, trusting customer makes practical sense as a sustainable business strategy. For those customers who have already advanced through the sales funnel and discovered what a company is about, a more personal touch may be necessary â€• but worth the extra effort.
5. Focus onÂ Data Privacy and Security Compliance
While focusing on customer success and retention, organizations must consider the central role of establishing trust. Clients and customers need to trust any potential businessâ€™ ability to limit their risk by safeguarding theirÂ private data.
Of course, thatâ€™s easier said than done. Providing visitors to your website the opt-out of data collection is increasingly necessary. According to theÂ International Association of Privacy Professionals, state-level momentum for comprehensive privacy bills is at an all-time high, with six states getting newÂ privacy lawsÂ on the books in 2024 or 2025.
This article was written by Builtin and originally published here.