Significant disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted B2B marketers worldwide to refocus on strategic recovery and digital marketing tactics. Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) and Green Hat’s B2B Marketing Research Report 2021 provides an extensive review of the major B2B marketing industry trends from 2020’s unpredictable business landscape. This blog article addresses the key insights from the report and explores their impact on digital marketing strategy in 2021.
Power of Digital: COVID-19 Impacts & Recovery Strategy
COVID-19 delivered a devasting blow to many businesses worldwide, prompting marketers to quickly review previous plans and pivot to work in a challenging market. The B2B Marketing Research Report highlighted a heavy reliance on digital tactics and channels to achieve responsive and inexpensive recovery strategies. AMI and Green Hat’s study found 77% of marketers preferred digital and self-serving engagement over in-person interaction due to the increased speed of execution, convenience and cost. This increase in digital engagement also showcased unique value in reduced timelines, shortened sales cycles, and improvements to foundational marketing processes and technologies (i.e. CRM, lead management, content delivery).
Digital-First Marketing Strategy: Long-Term Success
Learnings from the past year indicate that a digital-first approach provides a strong foundation for long-term success. Unlike traditional marketing, a digital-first strategy works to deliver a seamless customer experience for an ideal consumer online. Research by Gartner predicted by 2025, B2B marketers will almost entirely engage with their target audience via digital channels. With this in mind, it is vital that marketers proactively adapt messaging and channel selection to clearly and concisely engage consumers across digital (social media, SEO, content marketing) to achieve successful outcomes.
Marketing Intelligence: Measurement & ROI Attribution
The report highlighted a large percentage of B2B marketers consistently struggle with accurate and concise reporting. The report identified success to be critically reliant on the integration of marketing technology to accurately track, measure, and attribute ROI. The application of this marketing intelligence guides the design of strategic digital marketing to efficiently target ideal consumers whilst meeting short-term and long-term business goals.
Lead Generation: Sales & Marketing Alignment
The report highlighted Sales and Marketing team collaboration as a persistent challenge; however, the past year has seen great improvement in unified lead generation. Harnessing market and company-specific data informs strategic lead management processes (CRM) to effectively target and engage appropriate audiences. The effective implementation of these internal processes also helps solidify brand purpose and proposition in the market. Combining this with accurate tracking and measurement tools, marketers can effectively manage and perfect messaging, channel selection, touchpoints and frequency.
Future of Strategic B2B Marketing: Adaptability, Agility & Personalisation
Adaptability is a critical element in strategic marketing. The prioritisation of user data collection, storage, and analysis notifies marketers of dramatic market changes for adaptable and agile business operation. Although the future of strategic marketing is largely unknown, the report reveals a need for tailored and targeted tactics. The report identified personalisation as the key differentiator and revenue driver of strong ROI; however, it is heavily reliant on the implementation of first-party data collection and automation martech. Implementing these advanced technologies paves the way for efficient review and reflection providing data-driven foresight for future strategy.
The B2B Marketing Report emphasised the success of a digitally-focused and data-driven approach as a mechanism for successful and adaptable marketing strategy. Even though the future of business is uncertain, digital marketing strategy provides flexibility and success in challenging environments.
Access AMI and Green Hat’s full B2B Marketing Research Report 2021 here.