It seems like marketing — particularly in the B2B space — is sort of a “dog-eat-dog” world, in a sense. The narrative is like that of the sales world: the better you do, the less share your direct competitors have. But we designed this website knowing that narrative isn’t necessarily true; that we can help each other grow and still have plenty of the proverbial pie for ourselves.
That’s the spirt of this article, where other B2B marketers have shared their thoughts on what to look for in 2022. Their predictions may not apply specifically to your company, but they will affect the marketing space at large.
We hope these predictions B2B marketers have made for 2022 give you the ability to start the new year off feeling prepared and thinking differently about how you reach your customers.
How you create & use content needs rethinking
Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO and Co-founder of Casted, says most marketers are overproducing new content without making the most of it.
Those important assets — expert conversations, podcast recordings, customer stories, webinars and product videos — all have potential to be atomized into high-quality, polished content.
“We’ll see a move toward marketing teams repurposing and amplifying that content across channels, extracting more value from their work,” Tjepkema says.
Chris Tompkins, CEO and Head Strategist at The Go! Agency, says video will see a surge in 2022.
“B2B companies struggle with rationalizing the value of voice and video in terms of their marketing on social, but the proof is out there.
“Those that have cracked the code are seeing exponential growth in visibility and engagement, while having to expend much less effort than other B2B companies who are not using these features.”
The proliferation of software-as-a-service (SaaS) has played a key role in providing creators with the tools that they need to produce attractive content, and Anthony Welgemoed, CEO at Ziflow, says this trend will continue on into 2022.
“Creative Tech builds off of the evolution of MarTech and AdTech platforms. In this way, purpose-built tooling for the creator will arise to support them as they navigate increasingly visual campaigns, along with more streamlined integrations that better connect applications to one another for a more seamless and holistic creative experience.”
Chris Savage, CEO and co-founder at Wistia, says audiences will want more control over the content they consume.
“People want to consume content in different ways, and brands that don’t give consumers this option will be missing out on a big fraction of their audience. While many major media publications let users pick how they’d like to engage with content – usually through reading, listening and watching – B2B companies need to understand and get on board with their audiences craving this same type of experience and control,” Savage says.
“If B2B can create content that allows individuals to choose how they consume content – watch, listen and read – then they’ll be able to cast a wider net and give more power to the audiences that they’re trying to reach.”
Who’s following up on those content campaigns may also change, according to Bob Venero, CEO of Future Tech Enterprise Inc.
Venero says the pandemic has accelerated the pace of how companies operate, thanks in large part to digital transformation.
“The C-suite no longer has the time to map out a five-year plan to pivot their organization because change is happening daily, which leaves no choice but to think and act differently while embracing new paths to innovation.”
Learn about more trends for tech marketers in our recent webinar
As a result, companies are bringing talents like AI and data science in-house which has led to a war for talent. In fact, according to recruiting firm Burtch Works, 81% of US companies were planning to expand their data science, analytic, and engineering teams in the third quarter and fourth quarter of the year.
Josh Wetzel, chief revenue officer of OneSignal, agrees, adding that businesses must become more unified and less siloed in the way they operate to support a shift towards omnichannel user experiences.
“Facilitating collaboration between product, marketing, and engineering will be more critical than ever in order to create the unified and polished experience customers crave,” Wetzel says.
“That principle also extends to business technology — to succeed, companies will need a more unified tech stack that provides ample integrations and data sharing possibilities.”
The critical nature of compliance
Welgemoed says that with the growing demand for more content on more channels than ever before, the future will be ruled by compliance, which can refer to both brand compliance and governmental/regulatory compliance.
“There have already been a few “best practices in these areas, such as Facebook’s design, text and technical regulations for ads, or brands defining color palettes for logos, Welgemoed says.
“But these types of restrictions on creators will increase, and it isn’t a bad thing, it just means that creative projects will be more complex to manage since they will have to pass a lot of check marks to get out the door.”
With the democratization of content creation and production, broad quality control will become a necessity for all creative professionals working on local or international campaigns.
“For these reasons, solutions will be aimed at simplifying compliance for the creator, managing and tracking it throughout the lifecycle of each piece of content that is created. As more companies embrace tooling that does this, the documentation aspect will even support audits and recording issues in real-time.”
Prioritizing customer experience
Kyle Lacy, SVP Marketing at Seismic, says whether global economies continue to bounce back in 2022, or we’re hit by another pandemic (let’s hope not!), you can’t go too far wrong if you’re delivering an amazing experience to customers.
“When you design your demand generation strategy for the year, focus on CX above all else – whether it’s your website, digital content strategy, or field marketing events. Given that we’ve spent the majority of the past two years trapped indoors, I think we’ll see a resurgence in offline experiences in 2022.
“However, the world has changed, and the skew towards digital marketing is certainly here to stay. Also, I expect that we’ll see businesses continuing to invest heavily in technology that aligns sales and marketing towards one vision – creating an amazing prospect and customer experience.”
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Wetzel says there will be increased customer interactions on the digital side of things.
“The past year has spurred rapid-fire adoption of digital customer and supply chain interactions. A global survey of C-suite executives across industries and company sizes revealed that the share of digital or digitally enabled products in companies’ portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years, and respondents were three times likelier than before the crisis to say that at least 80 percent of their customer interactions are digital in nature.
“These leaps in digitization contribute to the growing importance of apps and omnichannel experiences.”
Peter Mahoney, CEO of Plannuh, provided these “quick tips” for B2B marketers planning ahead for 2022:
- The digital shift continues. Not surprisingly, marketers are continuing to invest heavily in digital channels for their marketing efforts. With more and more competition for the same prospects, it is important that your team continue to refine their skills in digital optimization to make sure that you get your fair share of the performance from your digital investments.
- Virtual and hybrid events. With new variants of the virus making their way around the planet, you need to be ready to go virtual on your events at a moment’s notice. And since your prospects and customers are less likely to be willing to endure business travel, every event should have a virtual component if possible.
- Develop your first party data strategy. Since it is becoming increasingly difficult to leverage third party data for tracking and targeting your prospects, you need to find new ways to engage your customers and build your own first party data assets.
- Build a discipline of agile planning. Given the continued uncertainty in many sectors, marketers need to build more agile plans that can be adapted rapidly as market factors change. Agile planning will allow marketing teams to shift their investments to higher performing campaigns, and reduce or suspend investments in campaigns that are not delivering to expectations. The lack of agile planning in 2020 cost some marketing teams more than half of their annual budgets if they were heavily dependent on physical events.