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Adapt Or Persist? Analyzing 5 B2B Marketing Trends In 2023

The marketing landscape is undergoing a significant shake-up—from a laser focus on data privacy to widespread layoffs in tech to the game-changing impact of generative AI. When it comes to marketing strategies, it’s crucial to understand what’s shifted and what’s remained constant.

Recently, my company surveyed more than 300 B2B marketing professionals with the goal of understanding their priorities and budgets, as well as how they’re using AI. Based on our findings, I’ve identified five trends and strategies for business leaders and marketers as we venture further into the back half of 2023.

1. There’s Room To Optimize The Middle And Bottom-Of-Funnel

One thing we’re trending positively toward is meeting and exceeding our lead targets for the top-of-funnel: 77% of B2B marketers were on target in terms of generating basic contact information from new leads. However, nearly a quarter of organizations fell well below their conversion rate targets when it came to qualifying leads and ultimately acquiring customers. A staggering 25% of organizations were under targets in generating meetings for sales, and 24% fell below targets in generating marketing-sourced revenue. In other words, there’s a lot of work to be done regarding the entire sales funnel, particularly the middle and bottom-of-funnel.

While data aggregation and web crawling tools have simplified lead generation near the top of the funnel, teams now face the challenge of optimizing conversions. You can do this by enhancing targeted lead nurturing, utilizing account-based marketing and remarketing strategies and focusing on generating more qualified leads (more on this in a minute).

2. You Can Do More With Less To Maximize Your Content’s Impact

We found that 53% of marketers are focused on repurposing content this year as a smart resource allocation strategy. By efficiently utilizing existing content, whether through revising older pieces or condensing long-form copy into bite-sized blogs, videos or other formats, marketers can create content for multiple channels from a single source.

Repurposing content isn’t a novel concept but, the way I see it, it’s a trend that aligns seamlessly with our current macroeconomic climate. Repurposing content not only saves time and effort in content creation but also allows marketers to adapt their messaging to different formats, catering to the preferences of their audience or platform. Creating a standard operating procedure for this process can help simplify and standardize your content repurposing strategy, while also improving your efficiency.

3. Embrace Generative AI With Caution

When it comes to the latest newcomer—generative artificial intelligence—adaptation is crucial. Of the marketers we talked to, 85% see AI as having a positive impact on B2B marketing in the next 12 months, with generative AI having the most impact on content marketing. Yet, only 38% of marketers have formalized plans to use AI within the next 12 months.

The most striking thing about these findings is that marketers see both the massive potential and the high risks involved: 59% of B2B marketers are concerned about the quality of AI-generated materials. Other concerns include data privacy and security, as well as AI bias, ethics and discrimination.

This is new territory we’re traversing, so I recommend embracing it but doing so carefully. If you can improve efficiency without putting out poor-quality, brand-damaging content or losing sight of the fundamentals, there’s definitely room to maximize the capabilities of generative AI right now ahead of your competitors.

4. Brand Awareness Has Never Been More Important

In surveying B2B marketers, we gave them a list of marketing priorities and asked them to choose three. A notable 51% of marketers chose “Brand Awareness” as a top priority in 2023. In other words, branding cannot be taken lightly or considered an afterthought.

To me, investing in brand building has incredible spillover effects on every tenet of your business—market differentiation, customer trust and loyalty and resilience in times of uncertainty. I believe being persistent with strategic brand building, even if it doesn’t always have direct ROI, is key for sustainable success in the years to come.

5. Don’t Forget The Basics Of Lead Generation

Lead generation stood out as a significant theme. The top challenges reported by marketers were enhancing lead quality and conversion rates (54%) and increasing lead volume (41%). Interestingly, the key marketing priorities aligned with these challenges, with 49% emphasizing generating more leads and 46% focusing on improving lead quality and conversion rates.

Here’s the thing: The basics never change, and they should never be forgotten in light of more advanced marketing tactics. The fundamentals are still about having a clearly defined target audience, a compelling value proposition and an effective lead capture and conversion process, to name a few. Whether you’re newer to B2B marketing or highly experienced, there’s nothing better than revisiting the fundamentals to lay a solid foundation for success.

Staying Ahead Of The Curve In 2023

We’re just getting started on a transformative journey, and now is an opportune moment to reassess strategies and embrace innovative approaches. The key is to do so without forgetting the fundamentals, ensuring you stay ahead of the curve in this ever-evolving B2B marketing landscape. With the right strategies in place, success awaits in the dynamic world of B2B marketing in 2023 and beyond.


This article was written by Forbes and originally published here.



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