2021 has been marked by rapid change, expansion and the unknown. To avoid being lost in a sea of confusion, here are eight areas marketing needs to be on the lookout for to ensure they remain successful in 2022.
1. Speed to Lead remains paramount
Academic research backs up what many B2B sales and marketing teams know: the quicker a salesperson can respond to a new customer inquiry, the higher chance it has of converting to a sale. At Moneypenny, we will continue to focus on tools and technologies that help us and our customers reduce the speed to lead: from live chat sent directly to sales people as quickly as possible to call back widgets such as ResponseIQ to increase the number of real conversations our sales people have with potential customers. Systems need to be set up with hybrid working in mind with queues for sales team leads set fairly and divided equally between home and office workers without interfering with the time it takes to respond.
2. Making hybrid working work
I love new ideas to help sales and marketing manage the office/WFH challenge efficiently. The company Reachdesk caught my eye as it warehouses your branded merchandise or sources it directly for you and then sends it out based on your instruction given via CRM integration. No wonder it’s one of the UK’s fastest growing businesses!
3. Data, AI and intent
I have always loved the promise of these tools for B2B targeting: what marketer wouldn’t want new ways of reaching in-market buyers beyond paid search or prospect amongst like-minded business as our existing customer base? However, at Moneypenny we have found the exact mechanics and pricing structure difficult to navigate. We have high hopes for our upcoming tests with the data platform Cognism which links compliant data to intent databases.
ABM continues to gather pace. We’ve found that ABM isn’t the catch all panacea as is sometimes promoted as by vendors, but it can add another useful string to the bow of an enterprise focused B2B marketing team. It needs thought, creativity and resources to make it work with an interesting mix of content, data and campaigning skills required to execute.
5. Brand, emotion and future buyer targeting
I love the work LinkedIn are doing in this area and agree the route to marketing driving business growth isn’t always a rigorous focus on what’s immediately measurable, despite this being the easiest way to gain board approval for marketing investment . We’ve been working with radio as our B2B branding medium of choice over the last 18 months. Read our case study here – we found lead quality was greatly improves when we switched part of our marketing budget to a branding medium and it helps drive volume of branded search leads.
6. Realtime insights
With the potential for further disruption to the business world in 2022, we need an immediate finger on the pulse of what our prospects and customers are thinking and wanting from our service. A good example is Google Analytics’ robust quantitative view of how organisations are performing. Live transcripts also provide an immediate understanding of changing customer needs.
7. Beyond keyword optimisation
Improvements in bidding automation for B2B moves us away from keyword targeting to audience-based bidding with CRM and first party data feedback loops providing search engines data on which audiences to optimise for.
8. The rise of in-person events and direct mail
Finally, I’m hoping to see a return of in-person events in direct mail in the B2B marketing mix following an 18-month break during the pandemic. We find in-person events so valuable as it enables our amazing sales team to engage all stakeholders at events – not just attendees but panellists and other partners – and direct mail provides a hugely useful and highly targeted medium when people return to offices.