RevenueBase Blog

Navigating B2B Marketing in 2023: Strategies for Success

B2B marketing is always changing, and that means that what works one day may not be the best approach the next. In this ever-changing environment, it is essential that effective strategies are applied to deliver marketing efforts that will enable your organization to stay ahead of other businesses.

Over the past year technology, data, and financial climates have played a significant role in driving change in the world of B2B marketing. The pressures of a recession mean that when it comes to business to business interactions, there is a need for people at all levels of an organization to achieve more return with less investment, while the tech revolution applies additional pressure on resources, as there is desire to divert investments towards technology in order to harness the potential power of AI.

According to one LinkedIn Survey, 77% of CMOs globally feel under pressure to prove greater short-term ROI on their marketing campaigns.[1] Amid the imperative to achieve more, spend less, and get results fast, having a modern B2B marketing strategy is key to any organization’s success; Failure to develop robust short and long-term strategies could mean that longer term gains are at risk. In this article, we look at some winning strategies that need to be adopted by marketers in order to implement effective B2B marketing in 2024 and beyond.

The fundamentals of business to business marketing

Demand generation is the first phase of the sales funnel, and one of the most crucial. It is the first step towards reaching individual consumers so that both the sales team and marketing team can hit their goals and objectives. B2B marketers know that in order to drive sales, they need to deploy marketing efforts that will build an authentic connection with target customers by providing the right people with the right message at the right time. We are all on the receiving end of B2C – business to consumer- marketing every single day; often without even realizing it. While business to consumer and business to business marketing clearly differ, both intend to engage potential customers and build trust by developing a two-way conversation which will, eventually, result in drawing the customer to you. As such, your B2B marketing strategy should hold the following goals at its core:

·         Reaching the right decision makers

·         Creating meaningful engagement through content

·         Building trust

Reaching the right decision makers – The importance of ICP

For business to business marketers, the challenge is to reach potential customers with a compelling message in a way that feels natural, personalized and authentic. When considering the sales process, 95% of decision-makers state that, even before contacting a provider, feeling a sense of connection to a provider’s brand is as important as feeling confident about what they do.[2] Which is why reaching the right decision makers is the most important – and one of the most challenging – elements of B2B marketing. Success is achieved when the right message is heard above those of other businesses, so that you are able to reach, engage, and create a relationship with high-quality prospects.

We all talk about ideal customers constantly in a business to business context, but it always helps to take the time to reacquaint yourself with yours. Consider who they really are, and what you have to offer them. You should always know who your potential customers are, what they need and what their pain points are before they do. RevenueBase’s unique data sets do just that: once you’ve defined your ICP, we can provide you with a complete ICP database that can fuel your entire Go-to-Market team and CRM.

Creating meaningful engagement through content

Content marketing is about creating a conversation between your ideal customers and your brand. There is little benefit to throwing content out there and seeing what comes back when a meaningful, tailored approach can yield infinitely higher results with just a little more foundation work. This means creating relevant engagement across a range of marketing channels and platforms, including social media, email and communities. Social media, community marketing and influencer marketing needs to be targeted and carefully considered; among social media channels, Linkedin is a social hotspot for marketers, with most B2B marketers yielding better results on Linkedin than any other social channels[3].

Personalization provides potential buyers with a contextual, individual experience. It’s not about knowing a decision-maker’s first name or their favorite drink (a fine line to tread – although that can help in some cases, being over-familiar can also be detrimental); it’s more about demonstrating that you have a genuine understanding of their industry and challenges, which makes you best placed to provide them with a product or a service. Marketing automation can also be a hugely valuable tool, but if it is used to the extent that you lose authenticity, it could do more harm than good.

In a survey of more than 250 business to business customers by Gartner, 77% said that their latest purchase experience was extremely complex or difficult.[4] Casting a wide net via a one-size-fits-all sales approach may loosely apply to a wider audience, but your engagement will be much lower. With your ICP clearly defined and your strategic account targets well defined, you can identify a specific segment in which you excel.  Demonstrating your expertise in this niche sector will promote trust with your ICP while giving you a head start in the creation of specialized content.

Building trust

Building trust and brand loyalty with business clients extends beyond gaining recognition within your industry. Your prospective buyers will want to trust you to recommend the right products and services for their specific needs. If you market to them with irrelevant information in an effort to cast a wide net, you risk your target customers disengaging. Just as misplaced content can disengage your target audience, well executed marketing activities can help to build that trust; most B2B buyers are more likely to notice ads of providers that they have engaged with before or that they evaluated during their research phase[5].

Achieving B2B marketing goals

In order to achieve these goals, it is important for marketing and sales professionals to consider a range of targeted activities throughout the sales cycle, including:

  • Aligning their digital marketing strategy
  • Aligning their sales strategy
  • Leveraging data for ICP and segmentation

Aligning your digital marketing strategy

Generating content to support your digital marketing strategy can also be incredibly effective for building brand awareness and trust, a critical part of your overall sales and marketing strategy. Working on SEO – search engine optimization – and content marketing will allow your organization, brand or service to be listed highly in SERPs – search engine results pages – which can help improve visibility and trust. Industry-specific content surrounding pain points, innovations and industry best practice allow you to pitch your organization as an authority to be trusted, which will drive more traffic to your site and boost lead generation. Your digital marketing strategy can certainly be a critical part of building trust and credibility – just make sure it’s aligned with your overall marketing and sales strategy.

Aligning your marketing and sales strategies, goals and teams

The time when B2B sales teams and B2B marketing teams operated separately is long behind us. Sales reps and marketers work for one business united with the aim of generating revenue and optimizing the buying process. In order to achieve B2B success, therefore, it is essential that the marketing and sales strategies, goals and teams are aligned. By having your marketing and sales teams work together, you have the best chance at delighting and converting your ideal customers during their buying process, creating an improved buyer journey.

Improved Buyer Journey: Througha collaborative approach from marketing and sales professionals, it is possible to deliver a cohesive message across marketing channels and every stage of the buyer’s journey. By ensuring that the sales playbook encourages the same messaging as the marketing team, a sales rep can reinforce the marketing message, increasing trust, and boosting sales opportunities.

Data driven ICP and segmentation to achieve results

The rise of digital has made B2B marketing more challenging, while simultaneously offering a wealth of marketing opportunities. In one sense, digital has brought a host of different platforms and media, so breaking through the noise can be harder than ever. On the other hand, with digital comes a wealth of data and if that data is used correctly, it can help marketers to know who they need to contact, and how they can do that most effectively.

The sooner organizations realize that their B2B database is a vital strategic asset for revenue growth, the sooner they will yield results in their B2B marketing.

Although the data is out there, the overabundance of organization information and data sources can make it challenging for marketers to create a laser-focused campaign. The traditional model of defining ICPs via generic dropdown filters means that the resulting data pool is oftentimes less relevant, as well as up to 80% smaller than the true ICP base.[6]

Our detailed revenue database will enable you to easily engage with relevant, high priority prospects by using generative AI to create complete, accurate revenue database, at scale. Our product can offer you a highly detailed, tailored database containing market-specific data for the people that you need to reach. By investing in high-quality data such as this, you can make sure that your finely tuned marketing activities hit the right spots as you prevent the risk of wasted time and resources as a result of data decay, dramatically reduce bounce rate and see a huge rise in open rates.

B2B Marketing in 2024 and beyond

Experienced marketers know that it does not pay to stand still. A first-class marketing plan delivered in 2022 or 2023 may not hit the mark in 2024 and beyond; in order to achieve success, it is essential to assess the significant current and future industry events and predicted changes and react accordingly, modifying your marketing plan across marketing channels, without skipping a beat. Here are some trends to watch:

Ever-decreasing budgets

The financial climate is likely to get worse before it gets better, so a B2B marketing strategy in 2024 should take account of the impending financial pressures, not just on your organization, but your customers’. This means recognizing that your B2B endeavors are going to have to achieve more with a smaller budget, and that your target audience will be looking at the bottom line more than ever. 

Building brand awareness is key

According to one survey, 67% of marketers globally planned to maintain or increase spend on brand building in 2023 [7]. The same survey found that 78% of marketers surveyed believed that organizations that maintain or increase marketing spend in uncertain times will recover more quickly. This is not surprising; when making purchasing decisions in uncertain times, customer loyalty goes a long way – buyers will often be inclined to stick with what they know works rather than risk alternatives, even if they are cheaper. In a time where finances are short, more investment in marketing and brand stand is required, not less.

It is essential to get more, for less

There is increasing pressure on marketers to improve ROI. With existing marketing strategies exhausted, it makes sense for marketers to examine not what they are doing, or even who the ICP is, but how – and when – the ICP is reached for optimal results. Customer evidence shows that a revenue database can cut bounce rates and increase open rates; there is potential to achieve double the sales on half the budget.[8] According to CMO and Co-Founder of Plannuh (now Planful), Scott Todaro, RevenueBase’s data empowered his team to reduce the average cost per lead from $52 to $5 simply by enabling them to reach their specific ICP organically, without additional waste.

The importance of accurate data: avoiding data decay

Basing your B2B marketing strategy around inaccurate data is like checking the weather in last week’s news. Your intentions might be good, but the information is likely to be wildly inaccurate. Data as a service companies such as RevenueBase utilize a variety of techniques to ensure your B2B database contains the highest quality organization and contact data. This can save on resources – the time taken updating or deleting outdated data is time wasted, enable you to target your ICP and help you to optimize ROI by engaging relevant leads without wasting time on uninterested ones, as well as facilitate personalized outreach, allowing you to tailor marketing content to make it more engaging.

When it comes to B2B marketing one thing is clear: it is not just what you say, it is who you say it to and when. After all, you may have the best product or service in the market, but if you don’t tell the right people about it, other businesses will win, even if their offering is inferior to yours. By ensuring that you can reach your ICP, you will optimize your ROI and be on a solid path to building valuable relationships with high-value decision makers.