B2B Marketers struggled in 2020 with canceled in-person events, shifting priorities, and a frantic rush to digital. They are now being tasked to define new pathways to recovery and growth. I believe now is the best time to be a B2B marketer. 2021 represents an unprecedented opportunity to go all-in on digital marketing and selling, build a great customer experience, and become a proven revenue growth driver.
Adapt to the new B2B buyer
B2B buying has changed forever. We are talking about profound changes in buyer behavior that threaten legacy lead generation marketing tactics. 2020 helped Marketers and Salespeople realize that B2B buyers now control most of their buying journeys, creating a new power dynamic.
- B2B Buyers conduct most of their research anonymously.
- Vendor claims have become less valuable.
- B2B Buyers aren’t fillings in webforms or taking cold calls.
- Buying teams are expanding.
Design your plan around accounts and buying groups
Organizing by product line, marketing channel, or industry segment has been the norm for most program teams. But buyers now expect a fundamentally different relationship with your company. Turning it upside down with a plan that puts the customer (or target account) first will provide a competitive advantage because, according to Forrester, only 26% of global B2B marketers strongly agree that their marketing leaders model customer-first behavior. The discipline of account-based marketing is now recognized as the best way to build a better buying experience.
Prepare for the end of 3rd party cookies
We have written about the end of third-party cookies and what this means for B2B advertising. We advise against using advertising technology and data providers that rely heavily on third-party data because they are bound to become less and less effective. New first-party and IP based technologies offer a powerful GDPR compliant way of advertising to your target accounts.
Choose the right technology platform
As digital marketing complexity increases, marketers must rely more on new technology platforms to build target account lists, target, execute, automate and measure ROI. Forrester Research recently released The Tech Tide™: B2B Marketing Technologies, Q4 2020 Report, to help companies evaluate which B2B Marketing Technologies have the greatest business value. Forrester rates ABM Platforms as the highest business value category where B2B organizations can confidently invest. 75% of B2B marketers indicated their ABM Platforms deliver positive ROI.