4 B2B Marketing Resolutions for the New Year
Studies show that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by Valentine’s Day, due in large part to the lofty and often unachievable promises people tend to make as the clock strikes midnight. Experts agree that the key to successful resolutions is setting small goals that help you achieve big results.
The same mindset can be applied to your 2024 marketing strategy. At a time marked by an uncertain economic climate, evolving buyer behaviors, and significant technological developments, you need to make changes and improvements to your business approach to yield higher gains. But, instead of completely abandoning your previous marketing strategies and changing your approach entirely, focus on making small shifts that provide the highest return.
During our most recent virtual event, Senior Vice President of Product, Liz Ronco and Senior Marketing Manager, Johanna Shirman discussed the key market trends and predictions taking hold of ABM in 2024, and how you can commit to leveraging them the right way—without completely overhauling your ABM strategy entirely.
View the on-demand recording of our “New Year’s Resolutions: What’s In and What’s Out” webinar and keep reading for actionable tips to start (and keep) the ABM resolutions that will generate better results.
Resolution #1: Leverage AI the Right Way
Generative AI (genAI) has completely changed the game by offering B2B marketers opportunities to enhance their strategies and streamline time-intensive tasks such as campaign design, audience or competitor research, and content ideation. However, it’s important to view the technology as more of a tool for inspiration rather than a replacement for the human element.
Delivering personalized experiences is paramount to customer engagement. And while genAI is only expected to grow more sophisticated, solely relying on it to produce customized content will lead to a generic and irrelevant story that won’t resonate with your audience. Forrester Research predicts that poorly personalized content will degrade the purchase experience for 70% of buyers over its failure to demonstrate an understanding of their business needs. If the story about your brand is going to be produced by AI, how different will that story be, and will it be enough to stand out from your competitors?
Get the most out of genAI by using it to help you generate content ideas and provide a basic outline for your content—but lean on human and data insights to ensure you’re creating a true connection with buyers. You must leverage your first- and third-party intent data to identify target audiences and personalize your content. Once the AI generates copy for an article, for example, you can refine the content using data to dig deeper into buyer pain points and change the tone to ensure it matches with other assets and brand messaging.
Resolution #2: Balance Personalization with Privacy
Longer buying cycles and larger buying committees have increased buyer expectations around relevant and customized experiences. Personalization is no longer a nice touch—it’s a buyer demand. But how do you deliver the level of personalization that buyers expect while balancing increased data privacy and security requirements?
Privacy should not limit your scale, personalization, or impact. It is something that must live cohesively with your personalization efforts and factor into making your content and messaging more relevant. More importantly, your privacy efforts make your brand more trustworthy because customers and buyers see that you understand how to leverage and use data in a way that is best for them.
Here’s how you can balance your personalization and privacy efforts:
- Place stronger guardrails around your data security and seek out partners and vendors that take data privacy seriously.
- Leverage both first-party data collection strategies and other partnerships with transparent third-party data providers.
- Respect customer privacy by integrating personalized messaging strategically and be sure to avoid going overboard.
Resolution #3: Implement a Full-Funnel Strategy
More marketing leaders are recognizing the need for a cohesive link between their brand and demand activities. A multi-channel, brand-to-demand strategy maximizes your exposure to buyers so that your brand stays top-of-mind throughout the decision-making process.
The problem with focusing too much on demand generation efforts and not on brand building is that you risk losing out on buyers who don’t yet know they have a problem that needs solving or who aren’t ready to buy now but will be soon. According to LinkedIn’s 95-5 Rule, at any given time only 5% of potential buyers are in-market for your solution right now. The other 95% are “out-market” today but will be “in-market” sometime in the future. What this rule illustrates is the need for a cohesive strategy that builds brand trust and familiarity with the larger group of buyers not currently in-market, so that they consider you when they are ready to make a decision.
To get started with a brand-to-demand strategy:
- Lean heavily on your intent data, firmographic data, technographic data, and buyer personas to create consistent messaging throughout your brand and demand efforts.
- Leverage emerging channels, like Connected TV, to build brand awareness and deliver more introductory materials and messaging about your brand and solution.
- Create content that bridges brand awareness and problem-solving from the very top of the funnel to gain buyers’ attention before they know they even know they have a problem and build brand affinity so you’re the name they think of when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Resolution #4: Build Trust with Your Audience
B2B marketing is not just about selling a product or service. It’s about building positive brand recognition and strong relationships throughout the entire customer lifecycle. This not only helps you retain customers but guarantees long-term revenue and opens the doors to cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
Having a positive brand reputation will grow increasingly more important as we see buying committee members evolve and more millennials move into decision-making roles. According to Forrester, buyers aged 25-44 will make up three-fourths of business buying teams in 2024. Not only do these buyers care about whether a brand has integrity and reflects their values, but also whether a brand will serve them in a way that drives their business forward.
At the same time, simply telling these buyers that they can trust your brand won’t work anymore either. Where brands could be more transactional in their approach before, they now need to shift toward more innovative and personalized approaches to build that trust. One effective way to do this is through influencer marketing. While traditionally associated with the B2C industry, B2B marketers are increasingly recognizing the immense potential of influencer marketing to reach millennial decision-makers and drive more meaningful engagement.
An easy way to experiment with influencer marketing and build consumer trust is by empowering your employees and C-suite members to share personal content and experiences on social media to give your brand a human element. You can also use LinkedIn’s new Thought Leader Ads to promote posts from your executives or employees to reach a larger audience. Not only does this boost their unique opinion and positioning, but it helps generate brand trust and fuel audiences toward analyzing your brand’s thought leader opinions against competitors. You can then measure the post’s impressions, engagement, and click-through rate for any links that return to your website.
How to Approach Your 2024 ABM Strategy
Don’t change things for the sake of change. Review how you already approach your ABM efforts and determine what works, what doesn’t, and how you can amplify those efforts for 2024. Success in today’s complex and crowded market requires you to be more flexible to pivot your approach based on how your audience responds to your efforts. As with any New Year’s resolution, you must focus on the small changes instead of overhauling your approach completely.
Want to take the first step toward seeing more success from your ABM strategy? Request a demo to learn how we can help.
And don’t forget to download our 2024 B2B Marketing Predictions eBook for more information about the developing trends shaping 2024 and what they mean for your marketing strategy.