Three Trends That Will Dominate B2B Digital Marketing in 2021

By Tom O’Regan, CEO, Madison Logic

Our dynamic market creates opportunities for businesses to grow faster, but only if they’re ready to capitalize on our new market realities. The question for marketing leaders is how they’ll spot openings for accelerated growth and take fast action. In less than one year, customer journeys have transitioned to nearly 100 percent digital, and companies have gone all-in on digital transformation to support buyers and employees. Studies suggest in-person events won’t be back until 2022, and history shows when habits change based on a major event like the pandemic, they never go back to the old way. Data is the answer to more effective digital transformation.  It shows companies where to find opportunity, and what to do to win. Here are trends we see in B2B and how they guide marketing leaders to deliver their best results in 2021 and beyond.

Do More with Data You Have Now

Most companies have invested in extensive revenue tech stacks across sales, marketing and customer success. Each of those platforms, including CRM, marketing automation (MAP) and more, store its own 1st party data. This is your company’s secure data, and it can be used to understand customers and help your revenue team do the right things at the right time. Unfortunately, not all marketing teams have access to complete internal data. Also, often they cannot combine internal data with legally sourced 2nd and 3rd party data, like intent signals. To execute more effective campaigns and customer interactions, revenue teams must integrate data sources and make them available to marketers and sellers in the form of useful reporting and recommendations for actions.  Integrated, full-funnel data is the foundation for pipeline, revenue and retention impact. This is especially critical as we prepare for more widespread global privacy regulation and cookie elimination.

Deliver Transparent Performance Measurement and Smarter Buying Insights

Revenue leaders have shifted goals to focus on growing existing customers and maintaining digital marketing engagement through all buying stages. In this scenario, better results start with more transparent and complete measurement. Marketing leaders must transition to metrics and reporting that reflect full-funnel digital activity and influence, not just top-of-funnel demand sourcing. Marketing measurement needs to reflect the multi-stage, multi-touch digital journey, especially now that more touches are happening through marketing. Transparent measurement is the best way to prove marketing impact on customer growth and digital engagement through all buying stages.

It’s not just performance measurement that needs updating. Our digital reality also accelerates the need for a smart, multi-channel strategy that stands out in your market. Smarter strategy demands real-time inputs that go beyond static personas and buyer journey maps. Yes, it’s still essential to focus on what customers need and how and where they interact online with your company as they make buying decisions. The difference is now companies can access, analyze and act on that data in real-time. But companies can’t stop with just an internal view. it’s also essential to monitor what other companies are doing to reach your buyers. Insights on competitive marketing investment compared to the reality of how customers behave and what they consume can give your team the edge in choosing where to invest digital budget for maximum return. It’s also the best way to deliver campaigns that respect and reflect what buyers need from their digital journeys.

Develop a Multi-Channel Digital Presence

When you look at your data and how customers interact with your brand and others, it will be clear that there is no single digital channel that can cover the full-funnel buyer journey. That’s because, in B2B, we’re almost never trying to reach just one buyer persona. Decisions are made by diverse buying groups with different needs and engagement patterns, both for the digital channels and content assets. Madison Logic’s extensive data from across thousands of B2B buyers shows that campaigns where marketers combine content syndication, display advertising and LinkedIn advertising perform significantly better than single-channel programs do Marketers will be best served in 2021 not by chasing the newest social channel, but by creating a multi-channel strategy that covers everyone in your buying groups no matter where they want to engage and what types content they prefer. Spend time developing compelling messaging and content, then use your integrated data to make it available via the right channels. The results will speak for themselves.