Now that the annual holiday malaise is passing, B2B marketers are facing some new challenges ahead in 2023. The uncertainty of economic, geopolitical events, and declining consumer confidence are presenting some formidable obstacles for businesses that do business with other businesses. B2B marketing is all about leveraging digital, brand, and content effectively to reach clients with the power to act, driving engagement with those audiences, and building trust. The digital space will continue to exercise its formidable muscles over other types of media and print advertising in the coming year, which may complicate many B2B companies that have not yet made a significant shift to the new digital marketing arena.
The pandemic of 2020 and 2021 exposed weaknesses in 56 percent of B2B brands’ digital infrastructure causing a shortfall to expected digital campaigns. 70% of B2B firms feel they are disoriented in the transition to digital marketing. The digital transition is becoming more critical as the new year opens. Only 10% of B2B buyers buy online, but the digital social media platforms are where the buyers are listening.
LinkedIn has become the go-to platform for B2B marketers. Brands actively participating on the platform are experiencing a 33 percent increase in purchase connections from advertisements on LinkedIn. With 58 million companies participating in the digital channel, a reported 93 percent of B2B marketers are turning to LinkedIn for organic social marketing campaigns. Responsible for more than half of social traffic on B2B websites and blogs, the most successful company pages on the platform utilize organic, native documents, videos, images, and text-only posts, according to a study conducted by Socialinsider & Cloud. So, what are some other trends in B2B marketing strategies and tactics in the year ahead?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to have a significant impact on industries that need to better understand a target audience by utilizing AI data models, algorithms, and machine learning. The lessons learned can have a significant impact on developing effective strategies and optimizing marketing spend. With the increased influence of Generation Zers on the marketplace, social responsibility and sustainability will remain an important conversation between customers and brands.
While chatbots will remain part of the digital landscape in 2023, personal, person-to-person conversations will take center stage in the arena this year. Personalizing the brand message to reflect the interest of the customer’s wants and needs and placing it where it is easily accessible and timely is essential to optimizing the experience. Valuable and tailored content can translate into significant commercial benefits for marketers that deliver an effective personalized experience. Customers place a higher value on authenticity, transparency, privacy, and inclusivity today than ever before.
One universal challenge of the digital era is the ability to manage and make sense of all the data it produces. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about what information is most important to evaluating the true value of a marketing effort, so carefully establishing goals and objectives at the outset of the mission is essential to the value of the outcome. It is important to remember that all things change with the passing of time and savvy, experienced B2B consumers are no exception to that rule. Meaningful digital marketing campaigns are finely tuned and specifically targeted, personal, and authentic. The goals and objectives of campaigns should be routinely reviewed and modified to reflect the dynamics of a competitive marketplace.
The regulations governing consumers’ private data are set to go into effect in early 2023 and the elimination of third-party cookies has begun. Google announced Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies by 2023 and Apple has already launched a pop-up on iPhones that asks users for permission to be tracked by apps. Facebook is currently working on a workaround to serve relevant ads to users without leveraging personal data. Additional platforms are expected to institute changes in the coming year in response to the early 2023 deadline. The moves will challenge digital advertisers to develop successful responses to the limitations imposed by the regulations.
As the year progresses, the list of challenges and risks to businesses will perpetuate the need to be agile and responsive. The digital marketing space offers the best opportunities to meet and address the ever-changing dynamic of a competitive marketplace. Data analysis can take the guesswork out of marketing and help increase the value of a marketing budget, improve customer experience, and understand what channels, touchpoints, strategies, and tactics are working best.