The new world of B2B marketing: time for reinvention

PHOTO: Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

There has never been a better time to be a B2B marketer – that seems to be the prevailing sentiment these days. The pandemic has accelerated innovation and digital adoption, creating opportunities for marketers to seize the opportunity, convert leads and accounts to revenue faster, and demonstrate marketing ROI. But the data shows a much different side of the story.

The reality is that marketers are exhausted, stretched to the breaking point, and are currently considering the right time to submit their resignations. How bad is it? According to Sitecore, nearly 80% of marketers described 2020 as “the most difficult time in their career history.” This year.

While much of this stress is environmental, old ways of working contribute to these problems. To be a marketer today is to be on an endless roller coaster. New platforms and approaches put marketers in a constant state of flux, and they rarely have a fundamental understanding of what is expected of them and how their work aligns with company goals. business.

In a recent study by Heinz Marketing on “The Future of Marketing Work”, nearly 60% of B2B marketers are not fully convinced that their marketing strategy, technology and team structure effectively support their marketing goals . And another breakdown of that data reveals that number jumps to 87% for ABM teams and 74% for revenue marketing teams.

B2B marketers suffer from the internal issues that have plagued marketing departments for years unresolved: siled organizational structures, tangled tech stacks, and outdated strategies that ignore how customers shop today.

However, there are steps organizations can take to ease the burden on marketers and create more positive experiences for them. So how is that done? By redefining dated marketing organizational structures, broken processes and messes in the tech stack to align with the core principles of effective, buyer-centric omnichannel B2B marketing.

Only by reassessing their teams through a clear, mature, omnichannel lens – by optimizing organizational structures, integrated technology, and connected strategies – can organizations regain meaningful direction while motivating their employees.

Step 1: Rethink the structure of the marketing organization

One of the most basic steps B2B marketers can take is to carefully examine their existing organizational structures. Many marketing departments remain in outdated organizational charts where individuals are siled into individual channels. Meanwhile, we now live in a robust omnichannel world where teams must work together and share best practices to engage their most valuable customers wherever they consume information.

Gone are the days when you knew the five or so places you were most likely to reach and capture the attention of buyers. The advent of social media, apps, programmatic advertising and the disruption forced by the event marketing pandemic means customers are reachable in more places, but it’s harder to connect.

Additionally, the world is changing so rapidly that static structures can never adapt quickly enough to gain first-mover advantage by reaching customers through new channels or opportunities.

The world is embracing agility – it’s high time marketers were doing it too. But they will only be successful if they exist within a new structure that allows for better information sharing and flexibility of individual roles, which in turn allows marketers to create cross-channel shopping experiences. for their buyers.

Related Article: What You Need To Activate And Maintain Marketing Agility

Step 2: Connect your Martech stack

As reaching customers has become more complex, companies that fail to equip their marketers with innovative tools to identify, target and monetize customers will quickly fall behind the competition. While a bad structure often results in the many organizational silos that hinder success, it is exacerbated when marketers lack a technology stack that securely stores valuable customer data to provide a single view.

The technology that connects your data across channels and systems ensures that you are measuring the right indicators of success across the department. This will free your employees from manual data collection and tedious, error-ridden analysis processes.

By making this data immediately accessible and linked to targeting and outreach tools, marketers can identify and send messages to buyers in the marketplace ahead of the competition. The right technology stack, which connects data, channels, and campaigns, makes it easier for marketing teams to reach the organization’s buyers at every stage of the customer journey.

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Step 3: Adopt a buyer-centric omnichannel strategy

Connecting channels, breaking silos within organizations, and meeting buyers where they are in their journey enables a more precise, agile, and buyer-centric approach. Here are the five principles of a redefined marketing strategy to benefit and empower your employees:

  1. Target: Identify and target the right buyers, accounts and buying committees with precision, using intent data and data intelligence to inform your cross-channel campaigns, including display advertising, content syndication, marketing events, digital events and social media marketing programs.
  2. Activate: Set up and enable cross-channel demand campaigns to scale your on-demand marketing programs and orchestrate personalized experiences for buyers and accounts. Activation should be done across multiple channels to better serve your customers.
  3. Connect: Connect your martech stack through programmatic integrations to amplify your reach, increase pipeline generation, and increase real-time conversion opportunities with unparalleled access to thousands of ready buyers.
  4. Measure: Get real-time visibility into your demand channels to understand and optimize program performance, refine account-based tactics, monitor budget, track ROI, and defend your marketing spend. Use every interaction with your customer as an opportunity to learn and optimize.
  5. Governs: Make sure your data is protected, compliant, and ready for use across all of your marketing programs with a tight governance envelope. Remember that unless your data is accurate and consistent, it is extremely difficult to execute marketing campaigns.

Related article: How COVID-19 Changed Marketing

Put it all together

Marketers must evolve to survive and thrive in today’s environment. We traders have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and in doing so meet the needs of our buyers.

This precise approach to on-demand marketing enables marketers to maintain successful and long-lasting teams, strengthen connections with advanced B2B buyers, and accelerate lead-to-revenue conversions.

But marketers can’t change if their outdated strategies, technology stacks, and organizational structures stay the same. This requires a rewrite of the rules of engagement with new B2B buyers, their partners, and above all, their talents.

In this new era, marketers need to master these basic functions to build and retain high-performing and sustainable teams, strengthen relationships with advanced B2B buyers, and accelerate lead-to-revenue conversions to meet demanding business goals. .

The old ways will not come back just because the pandemic is over. B2B marketers are overwhelmingly asking for a new way of doing things. They just need a map. Thinking about your approach, where you are in the journey, and putting your customer at the center of everything you do can be the very thing to free B2B marketers. Free to align their work with achievable and meaningful goals and to minimize or eliminate the stress that plagues many B2B marketers looking for other opportunities.

Colby Cavanaugh is Vice President of Product Marketing at Integrate, where he is responsible for leading the strategy and execution of product launches in go-to-market, messaging and positioning, pricing and packaging, sales activation and competitive analysis. Prior to leading Product Marketing at Integrate, Cavanaugh was Vice President of Business Development and Alliances at Integrate, where he led the creation of the Demand Acceleration Platform ecosystem of hundreds of partnerships. with marketing technology companies, data partners, service companies and agencies. .

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