Planning Your 2023 Strategies? Read These Key Takeaways from Our Latest Webinar: Why Full-Funnel, Always-on ABM is Essential in 2023
2023 will pose challenges to B2B marketers as they navigate global economic uncertainty and a push to maximize their marketing spend and ROI on account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns. While companies will be tempted to scale back during tough economic times, experts agree that this is not the time to step on the brakes. Now—more than ever—marketers must focus on the buyer experience and leverage data to create full-funnel, always-on strategies to engage and convert their best accounts.
Our latest ABM Success Series virtual event, “Why Full-Funnel, Always-on ABM is Essential in 2023” brought together industry experts to share their insights and first-hand experiences building successful ABM strategies. Guest speaker Nora Conklin, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, shared the latest research revealing the issues concerning B2B marketers and trends for 2023, while Josephine Durbin, Assistant Vice President, Marketing at Lifepoint Health and our own COO and Co-Founder, Vin Turk, provided insights into the importance of positioning strategically for maximum impact and how to seize an advantage as the market conditions evolve.
Listen to the on-demand recording and read on to learn about three key takeaways from the discussion.
2023 will be a year of enhancing the customer experience
With supply-side inflation, continued international conflict, and tough decisions like budget cuts and layoffs disrupting day-to-day operations, organizations will require a more strategic marketing approach in 2023. Marketers need to be more resourceful and purposeful with their marketing budgets by focusing on strategies that bring them more ROI and customer revenue.
Furthermore, according to the 2022 Forrester Marketing Survey, CMOs cited “addressing changing buyer behaviors” and “understanding buyer preferences” as their top areas of focus in 2023.
This tells us something important: the focus of 2023 will be on the customer and enhancing the customer experience.
When B2B marketers meet customers where they are in the buyer’s journey with a relevant and personalized experience, they’ll see better ROI and higher engagement. This is the cornerstone for enhancing the customer experience.
Additionally, Forrester cautions on heavily focusing on customer acquisition, and instead expanding investment toward the later stages of the customer lifecycle. Customer marketing will be critical in 2023. “It can be tempting to think short-term, but our ultimate recommendation for demand and account-based marketers is to take a long-term view,” says Nora Conklin.
This approach is also more cost-efficient because it allows you to focus on retaining customers with the value you already provide them, and you can do this with content, strategies, and campaigns that expand on the value to cross-sell and up-sell the relationship.
B2B marketers will need to be more strategic in working with audience privacy
Buyers are more concerned with privacy and anonymity than ever before. These concerns, coupled with the looming elimination of third-party cookies and increase in data privacy laws, have placed additional pressure on B2B marketers to get better at collecting, protecting, and using their first-party data.
Two tactics gaining in popularity, data pseudonymization and data anonymization, not only secure personal data but also help companies achieve compliance with privacy laws (like GDPR). By Forrester’s definition, pseudonymous data is personal data that has the personal identifiable information (PII) of an individual overwritten with a false identifier. Anonymous data is data that has been completely de-identified from the original data subject.
When and if an anonymous or pseudonymous buyer reveals themselves through engagement like form-fill downloads, you can enhance the picture using account-level data and your own persona-specific data to analyze the performance of your engagement campaigns and optimize as needed.
The rise in privacy concerns also forces B2B marketers to ask more questions about their audiences, their target buying groups, and their target buying personas to amplify the customer experience. Leveraging data to find out these answers helps them fit together like pieces of a puzzle and guides content planning that is more personalized and relevant to the buying group for a full-funnel, always-on campaign.
In the virtual event, Nora lays out several questions to ask about audiences, such as:
- What are the business drivers and challenges?
- What are their motivations for researching a solution?
- What are they being tasked with in their position?
B2B marketers should diagnose the most salient points to build out what makes a particular audience, buying group, or persona different from others. When B2B marketers make these distinctions and take stock of their existing data and content gaps to reach these profiles, they can allocate budgets more efficiently and maximize the effect of great full-funnel content that delivers results.
B2B marketers need to generate content that delivers results and enhances the customer experience
A large part of this full-funnel approach is delivering content that buyers need to progress to the next stage of the customer journey. More importantly, buyers desire specific content according to their needs and goals and marketers need to adapt to give them what they want to positively affect the buyer’s experience.
For example, Nora highlights findings from Forrester’s 2021 Content Preferences Survey:
- In the early stage of learning about a solution, buyers require bite-sized information that will not overwhelm them or assume that they know more about the solution and a vendor, short-form content performs best here.
- In short-listing vendors, buyers find short-form video and long-form written content helpful because they require a bit more information in understanding how a solution works to solve a problem.
- In choosing one vendor, buyers need more in-depth information via long-form content because they need to accurately understand the differences and benefits of choosing one vendor over the other.
- In the post-sales relationship, interactive tools bring more utility from a buyer’s investment in a solution to give them more value.
These findings tell us that interactive tools and video stand out as preferred content forms, but the length and nature of these forms change throughout different parts of the buyer’s journey.
It’s important for B2B marketers to marry up the audiences’ expectations and content planning going forward into 2023 and beyond.
2023 will be an exciting time for B2B marketers
While the economic uncertainty and looming recession may seem intimidating, marketers must instead forge ahead with a stronger focus on the customer experience. We are in a golden age where data takes away the guessing game of your most important customers and prospects and leaves room for a full-funnel, always-on strategy. By using the technology and best practices we’ve listed here, you can maximize your marketing investments while providing that game-changing customer experience.
If you need a little help getting started, read our new 2023 Full-Funnel ABM Playbook so you can:
- Maximize your marketing budget by targeting the accounts and buying committees most likely to convert now.
- Save time and effort with a persistent presence in the market that delivers a personalized experience and drives engagement with the accounts that matter the most.
- Demonstrate pipeline impact and deliver superior ROI through real-time measurement across channels and every state of the sales cycle.