Business-to-business (B2B) marketers now face challenges that simply didn’t exist a few years ago. Business buyers are savvier and more connected than ever, and they expect always-on, highly personalized buying experiences.
To help B2B marketers understand the trends shaping the industry today, we are excited to introduce our e-book B2B Marketing Trends: Insights from the Frontlines of B2B Marketing.
To build this one-of-a-kind resource, we collected B2B-specific data and insights from the latest “State of Marketing,” “State of Sales,” and “State of the Connected Customer” reports from Salesforce Research, the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) 2018 ABM Benchmark Study, and the “Predictions 2019: B2B Marketing And Sales” and “Virtual And Augmented Reality For B2B Marketers” report from Forrester Research.
The findings give B2B marketers a set of clear benchmarks for how to succeed today, as well as new ideas for how to prepare for future changes coming to the industry.
As the lines between B2B and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing continue to blur, the majority of business buyers now expect brands to anticipate their needs and deliver personalized experiences on par with what they’ve received as consumers. Customer data is the key to this level of personalization, but only 46% of B2B marketers say they currently have a completely unified view of customer data sources.
More than half of B2B marketing teams feel empowered to collaborate on projects, meet common goals and metrics, and share customer data with their sales team. Most business buyers also say sales teams’ awareness of marketing initiatives is a factor in winning their business.
There’s a proven reward for collaboration: high-performing B2B sales teams are more likely to work with marketing to understand leads.
Among B2B marketers using such programs, account-based marketing (ABM) now accounts for more than a quarter of total marketing budget. This expense is worth it, as ABM consistently delivers higher ROI than any other marketing method. Plus, the best may be yet to come, as the majority of marketers using ABM have only had the program in place for less than a year.
B2B marketers are swiftly adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to power the “Amazon-like” personalized customer experiences now expected by business buyers. In the past year, AI usage has seen 23% growth over the past year amongst B2B marketers, who are increasingly using the technology from within their marketing platforms to optimize mid-cycle engagement.
Data enables personalized customer experiences through AI, informs creative messaging, and allows organizations to measure their performance. It’s what drives intelligent decision-making in marketing, at every level. Approximately half of B2B marketers currently measure their success using analytics — but there are many more opportunities for B2B marketers to leverage data.
To learn more about the trends influencing the B2B marketing industry today, download our latest ebook, B2B Marketing Trends: Insights from the Frontlines of B2B Marketing.