Digitisation, data protection and personalisation were just a few of the B2B marketing trends that there was no way around in 2021. But trends don’t disappear in one fell swoop at the end of the year. Some have come to stay and change the marketing cosmos permanently. That’s why we’ve put the trends from 2021 to the test and updated them for 2022. Learn more about the Top 10 B2B Marketing Trends 2022!
B2B Marketing Trends 2022 – The Top 10
Trend #1: Digitalisation
Trend #2: Data protection
Trend #3: Team Empowerment
Trend #4: Hyperpersonalisation
Trend #5: Platform strategy
Trend #6: Collaboration between marketing and sales
Trend #7: Customer Centricity
Trend #8: Lead generation with content marketing
Trend #9: Account-based marketing
Trend #10: AI and Machine Learning
B2B Marketing Trend #1: Digitalisation
The year 2021 has also seen further digitisation. Digitised marketing and sales processes, virtual collaboration, online and hybrid events, but also rapid communication via digital channels have once again shown the benefits that digitisation holds. The acceptance of what is digitally possible will continue to increase. Even if it is unclear how the Corona situation will develop in the coming year. This much is certain: there is always a way online. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to position themselves as well as possible digitally so that contact with their stakeholders and target groups is not lost at any time, but maintained.
B2B Marketing Trend #2: Data Protection
The topic of data protection continues to be a perennial issue – also in marketing. Only in December 2021, the Telecommunications Telemedia Data Protection Act (TTDSG) set a new milestone in data protection and privacy. According to this law, users must expressly agree to the setting of cookies that are not absolutely necessary (opt-in). In plain language, this means that companies are not allowed to collect data without opt-in, build up address lists and create detailed user profiles. If they do not obtain the consent of users for email tracking and similar data processing, they are liable to prosecution. Furthermore, data processing outside the European Union or the European Economic Area remains critical. Marketers who still rely on common US tools or providers who transfer their data to the US or have their headquarters in the US must find legally compliant alternatives. These already exist: many German and European software manufacturers offer server locations within the EU, legally compliant consent management as well as privacy by design and privacy by default standards. At the same time, they can provide evidence of certificates for data protection and security – all aspects that are more relevant than ever for companies in 2022 when using marketing tools.
B2B Marketing Trend #3: Team Empowerment
Successful companies are those that inspire their customers – and do so continuously. To achieve this, employees with customer contact, i.e. especially the marketing and sales team, need the appropriate tools and skills. And one rarely works without the other. Especially with regard to the digitalisation and automation of marketing and sales processes through software solutions, employees need to be empowered. This includes know-how transfer and the teaching of IT skills in order to understand supporting technologies such as marketing and sales automation solutions and to be able to use them effectively. By digitally collecting, automatically consolidating and evaluating data about their customers, B2B companies gradually get closer to the wishes and needs of their customers and can develop tailor-made measures. Without the necessary understanding of how the technology works, the potential cannot be fully exploited.
B2B Marketing Trend #4: Hyperpersonalisation
Experts expect around 319.6 billion emails to be sent and received daily in 2021 (source: Statista). For companies, it is no longer sufficient to merely adapt mailings and newsletters thematically to specific needs and to rely on a personal salutation. If companies want to stand out in this email jungle and inspire their target groups, the teased landing pages – as soon as the mail recipient clicks on the corresponding link – must also output a personalised variant that is optimally tailored to the user. With the help of a marketing automation tool, such hyper-personalisation becomes possible, as it automates the processes as much as possible. At the same time, it allows personalised content to be played out to finely segmented target groups, thus significantly increasing the success of mailings and newsletters. The basis is professional data management. Only if the database is up-to-date, well-maintained and error-free can B2B companies, for example, create realistic buyer personas with data support and thus ensure that their message actually reaches the right target group.
B2B Marketing Trend #5: Platform Strategy
B2B Marketing Trends 2021Sales have been using CRM systems for many years to provide professional customer care. Today, they are joined by marketing automation software. However, both systems can only show their strengths in new customer acquisition and existing customer care if they are not only integrated with each other, but also with other tools. A platform strategy, also called best of breed, is best suited for this. Such a software ecosystem combines different specialised software solutions via bidirectional interfaces, including those of third-party providers, to form an individual overall system that optimally maps the existing processes of a B2B company. Only through a system network tailored to the area of application can B2B companies obtain a 360-degree view of their customers and successfully align their communication with their target groups.
B2B Marketing Trend #6: Collaboration between marketing and sales
Collaboration between marketing and sales is essential for successful customer relationships. In order to obtain a 360-degree view of the customers and to be able to derive suitable marketing measures from this, companies must break down existing data silos and consolidate relevant information. This can be achieved by linking their existing CRM and marketing automation systems on the one hand and dissolving existing departmental boundaries on the other. In this way, companies establish a professional and holistic Customer Experience Management (CXM) – for more long-term loyal customers. Sales staff in particular will learn to appreciate the power of marketing automation – for example, with regard to their sales funnel management or the design of their sales pipeline.
B2B Marketing Trend #7: Customer Intelligence
Our everyday life is increasingly digital. This is accompanied by a new understanding that customers have developed of themselves. They are self-confident, demanding and well-informed, but also a little fickle. After all, they are now used to receiving all information and solutions within a few clicks. That’s why companies are challenged to create perfect experiences for their customers. However, this can only succeed if companies make good use of the existing information about their customers by connecting the corresponding source systems and carrying out overarching data analyses. Customer experience also extends to the pre-sales environment – expect to see far more integration of lead management software this year to improve conversion rates and the level of service provided to new customers.
B2B Marketing Trend #8: Lead generation through content marketing
The change in information behaviour has long been reflected in B2B as well. Potential customers research on the internet, read product reviews and compare prices. This means that the buying process begins before the first contact is made – long before a company even knows the prospective customer. This is exactly where content marketing comes in. Through useful content that companies offer at various touchpoints along the prospect’s customer journey, they can enter into a dialogue with him and thus gradually convince him of themselves and their products and services – and not only through textual content, but also via video. In this way, B2B lead generation starts where potential customers begin their search.
B2B Marketing Trend #9: Account-based Marketing
Account-based marketing, or ABM for short, is also still on the B2B marketing trend radar and can effectively support companies in terms of personalised addressing. Only on an account basis is it possible to address customers and prospects on a truly individual basis. ABM turns the usual sales funnel on its head, as selected target contacts are part of a personalised marketing campaign that is precisely tailored to the specific needs of the person in question. That’s why the success of account-based marketing is usually very high – especially in terms of generating high-quality leads.
B2B Marketing Trend #10: AI and Machine Learning
Intelligent algorithms will make marketing processes even easier and more efficient in the future. Even if it still sounds a bit like the future, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will provide more personalisation and more accurate messages. In this context, predictive analytics is only one of the many possibilities. This Big Data method makes it possible to predict the behaviour and needs of the target group. Based on this, suitable content and offers can be created. As a trend in email marketing 2021, smart mechanisms will soon be able to refine the recipient segmentation and optimise the sending time individually. In this way, potential customers receive the right information for their purchase decision at exactly the right time.