Marketing Lessons From 2021 And Predictions For 2022
By Mary Schneeberger, Marketing Practice Lead at Avionos
To stay ahead, marketers will need to build off lessons from the past year as they embrace digital change and optimize the buyer experience in the year ahead.
Smart businesses regularly evaluate what’s working and what’s not. They look to the past to gain knowledge and look to the future to create a roadmap for success. As part of that, it’s crucial to consider the lessons marketers can learn from 2021 and the future of marketing that lies ahead in 2022.
A lot is evolving in the B2B landscape, and the most successful companies will be on the forefront of these changes. Here’s what marketers need to know about digital transformation, data, and analytics to set themselves up for success this year.
What marketers can learn from 2021
The ongoing digital transformation in the B2B space is here to stay. The demand to capture data and create optimized customer experiences is not only increasing but has already become the expectation of buyers.
Millennial buyers expect B2B sites to have the same functionality and experience as the B2C sites they use. B2B buyers are now doing more research and due diligence than before, tapping into digital platforms across multiple channels. And they are more likely to engage with brands that deliver content that is relevant and tailored to their needs than one-size-fits-all information.
Businesses are getting on board—and those that haven’t yet are already behind. Leading B2B companies see the benefit of optimizing the customer experience. They’ve already started leveraging the power of data and analytics, digital tools and integrations.
The results? Improved customer satisfaction, which enables them to deliver on growing marketing demand and achieve positive business outcomes. In 2021, B2B brands that leaned into digital transformation saw bottom-line improvements across the board.
As brands continue their digital transformation journey throughout the rest of 2022, it is becoming increasingly important for marketing, IT, and sales teams to work together. These teams need to have greater alignment on objectives and relevant KPIs, prioritize process improvements, and mature overall integrations and capabilities.
What are the top B2B marketing trends for 2022?
Leaders in the B2B space will use 2021 learnings to execute on 2022 marketing trends and accelerate business growth. Companies on the cutting edge are already focused on these key areas.
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Increased Partnership Between Marketing & Sales
More companies are discovering the power of a holistic partnership between marketing and sales. When these two teams are in alignment on lead generation and sales objectives, they can work together to push and pull leads through the full buyer’s journey. By using data-driven insights and real-time decisioning, these teams have what’s needed to produce an optimized buyer experience.
Increased Demand for Personalization at Scale
In the coming year, B2B companies will drill down to one-to-one personalization. This level of personalization allows them to deliver more relevant and tailored content at the right place and at the right time. Personalization is best done in B2B ecommerce when businesses use:
- a combination of high-quality data sources to build enriched buyer profiles (or segments)
- data-driven signals along the buyer’s journey to trigger when and where to deliver optimized experiences that drive the buyer forward
B2B brands that can streamline and automate this process will separate themselves from competitors.
Greater Demand for Automation
As B2B companies begin to stand up new platforms and employ new processes, automation will create efficiencies. Marketing and IT teams will look at where they can automate content creation, insights generation, and orchestration. This level of automation allows companies to deliver at scale and meet ever-growing resource demand on its teams.
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Seamless Integration Between Platforms
The demand for digital efficiency, seamless team workflows, and uninterrupted flow of data between platforms continues to grow. To deliver on that demand, CMOs, CTOs, and CIOs will need to reevaluate their tech stack to identify where they can enhance and consolidate integrations.
What is the future of data analysis for B2B businesses?
Data analysis plays an important role in implementing and executing on these 2022 trends. In order to do it right, B2B companies have to have data that is accurate, relevant, and drives meaningful change. Here’s where data will make a difference:
- Increase KPI Alignment Between Marketing & Sales: As marketing and sales align on objectives and specific KPIs to measure them, vanity and disparate metrics will continue to become less meaningful.
- Increase Focus on Attribution: With increasing pressure to measure the direct impact of marketing teams and prove ROI, CMOs will prioritize data that can attribute marketing activities to sales.
- Eliminate Disparate Data Source: To streamline marketing and IT resources into a Data and Analytics center of excellence, companies will eliminate siloed data sources and gaps within existing reporting.
- Automate Segmentation: To deliver data-driven optimized experiences, teams will focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). These tools streamline the process, automatically analyze data, create high-valued segments and deliver relevant experiences at the right time.
Along with this data, predictive analytics gives marketers information to optimize the buyer’s journey. From the start, predictive analytics improves lead quality, as it provides real-time signals that determine what and when a lead could buy.
Marketing and sales teams can then analyze what content an individual is consuming and deliver relevant next-best content to automate the nurturing process. As teams identify when to engage with the lead and understand when to bypass traditional manual sales tactics, they’re able to accelerate the buyer’s journey toward conversion.
But it’s important to remember leaders in B2B marketing are not following these trends—they are setting them. They’re already making changes to meet customer expectations and optimize the buyer journey.
To successfully embrace digital transformation and deliver on 2022 trends, marketers need to tap into data and analytics for support, insight, and measurement. They will have to align marketing and sales, increase personalization, drive automation, and improve integration to drive business growth in 2022.