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3 key B2B Marketing trends in 2023

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2023 is shaping up to be a busy year for B2B marketers as we emerge from a challenging few years that forced marketers to largely switch their integrated marketing plans to digital strategies. In 2022, businesses started to slowly readjust to a new normal, and 2023 will see that accelerate.

While digital marketing will still, of course, play an extremely important role in the marketing mix going forward, 2023 will no longer be just a digital play. Companies need to get ready to embrace once again the full marketing mix and reconsider integrated marketing strategies given where the world is now at.

Further, with even more economic uncertainty looming, companies shouldn’t be taking their foot off the pedal when it comes to marketing. In our opinion, the winners in 2023 will be companies that effectively ramp up their efforts with targeted, purposeful and relevant marketing strategies that are centred around demand generation, integrated marketing, and personalisation.

Here we outline three key trends we predict for 2023.

1. A shift from lead generation to demand generation

This is a major trend that will dominate the B2B marketing agenda in 2023. A shift from lead generation to demand generation means B2B companies need to focus on creating demand for their products/services themselves by using the entire marketing mix and be prepared to give, give and give – rather than give and take.

To move towards a demand generation strategy, you need to create demand and need for your services/solutions, by:

  • Educating the market through quality thought leadership
  • Earning the trust of customers. Customers are now much savvier about privacy and warier about giving away their information, so it isn’t just about collecting information anymore. Today, we need to generate interest – attract more eyeballs and earn customers’ trust through content that they can consume.
  • Driving quality content more than ever so that you are visible and stand out

2. Return to an integrated marketing strategy – away from a purely digital one

There is no question – we’re seeing digital fatigue with digital channels being overused during the pandemic. Marketing in 2023 needs to be more than paid campaigns with Google, for example. To embrace a more integrated marketing strategy, companies need to:

  • Consider the full marketing mix, especially media and PR. We predict that engaging the media to further profile and create demand for B2B companies is going to be more important than in previous years. This means that media should be part of any marketing mix going into 2023.
  • Physical events and networking at conferences is once again something that needs to be considered. Relationships needed to be nurtured – and not just via digital means. So corporate hospitality, and meaningful and relevant events will be back on.
  • Every component of your marketing mix must be guided by a robust overarching marketing strategy, to ensure that your marketing is purposeful and aligned across all channels.

3. Personalisation makes a comeback

Personalised marketing is greatly in demand as over the past two to three years companies have largely gone generic, and for volume, via digital channels. However, customers are now tired of this; they want the personal touch and relevant messages crafted for them.

This means for companies in 2023:

  • Take the time to go direct and go that extra mile with more personalised eDMs to nurture your prospects and clients through the funnel with tailored content and messages.
  • Consider personalised sponsored campaigns rather than Google Ads or Sponsored posts on LinkedIn. An ad format that is more personalised, such as Conversation Ads on LinkedIn, will be more impactful.
  • Explore well-crafted account-based marketing (ABM) approaches, i.e. use data to find out more about prospects and how to engage them in a highly targeted way that can lead to sales.

For more insights and advice on how to craft a 2023 marketing strategy that encompasses the full marketing mix and gets your B2B brand noticed in the new year, reach out to hello@manningandcogroup.com.