Customer expectations are changing. Business buyers now expect personalized, real-time marketing that’s just as seamless as what they experience as regular consumers. This means B2B marketers must keep on the cutting edge of marketing trends. Luckily, there are innovative tools, tactics, and measurements B2B marketers can use to keep up with what today’s buyers want.
We’ve gathered some key insights from Salesforce’s Trends and Tactics Driving Marketing ROI report to identify four ways marketers can see success and drive greater ROI than ever.
1. Let customer expectations guide priorities
Customer expectations should be your guiding light when it comes to setting priorities for your B2B marketing program. The most successful marketers base their strategies and tactics on their customers’ priorities.
Real-time engagement has become par for the course in successful B2B marketing, as 71% of customers now expect real-time communication from brands according to the latest State of the Connected Customer report. To keep up with expectations, marketers are focusing their efforts accordingly — 89% of marketers identify real-time engagement as a priority.
Success goes beyond just goal-setting: marketers are modernizing their toolboxes to execute personalization and other in-demand strategies. In fact, 89% of marketers list modernizing their tools and technology as a priority, and 88% have prioritized unifying their customer data sources.
Your B2B marketing program is only as good as the tools and the data that feeds it. Be sure to keep your technology stack on the cutting edge.
2. Collaborate across teams
Full-funnel marketing is in, and business silos are out. 78% of customers, including business buyers, now expect consistent interactions across departments. That means your marketing, sales, and service teams can no longer operate in their own separate universes.
Ninety-three percent of high performing marketing teams have integrated their marketing and advertising stacks to ensure all communications are synced across all departments. Kiss silos goodbye — marketing, sales, commerce, and service teams must share common goals and metrics to ensure B2B marketing success.
3. Use channels strategically across the customer journey
In B2B marketing, channels aren’t one-size-fits-all. Buyers in the consideration phase have different preferences for communication than longtime customers engaged in upsell. According to the Trends & Tactics Driving Marketing ROI report, B2B marketers fine-tune their marketing mix to play to each channel’s strength at different points in the complex customer journey.
Social advertising is a great customer acquisition channel for B2C brands with impulse-driven consumers, but social ads aren’t as effective in targeting business buyers who tend to be more deliberate with their purchases. Instead, affiliate marketing has helped B2B marketers drive ROI because business buyers value strategic partnerships.
4. Harness the power of artificial intelligence
As marketers refine their technology tools, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise. AI use among marketers has grown 44% since 2017, and has a projected growth rate of 157% over the next two years.
Marketers have been quick to adopt AI because it drives ROI throughout the entire customer lifecycle. From data analysis to personalization, marketers are creating better, more satisfying customer experiences in just a few clicks with AI. Among marketers surveyed, 88% report major or moderate ROI from analyzing and applying customer data with AI, and 82% report the same from digital advertising personalization. With AI, the possibilities — and your potential ROI — are endless.
To learn more about how today’s marketers are driving more return than ever, check out Trends and Tactics Driving Marketing ROI from Salesforce Research.