10 Things B2B Marketing Leaders Are Excited About

Alexander Hipwell 10  mins read November 24th, 2022 (Updated: October 11th, 2023)

10 Things B2B Marketing Leaders Are Excited About

For too long, B2B marketing has lived in the shadow of its B2C counterpart. 

The most exciting thing about B2B

However, with recent changes in technology and buyer behaviour, B2B marketing has finally taken centre stage!

There's never been a more exciting time to be a B2B marketer. If you're seeking motivation and inspiration to continue being one, we've got you covered. 

In this article, we'll share:

  • What top marketing professionals find fascinating about the world of B2B
  • Where the field could go from here
  • What keeps them motivated to stay in the game

Let’s dive right into it!

#1 Do Good and Grow Profits with B2B Marketing

We're going to start with a concept that is both intriguing and non-obvious! As a B2B marketer, this may connect your activities to something greater than money, promotions, or career development (not implying they aren't vital).

Large businesses can play a crucial part in lowering carbon emissions and improving the environment. One way to accomplish this is by diverting a portion of their profits to environmental causes. There are marketing executives, such as Ray Kloss, who passionately believe that B2B marketing efforts made by them have a positive influence on their company's bottom line. 

This, in turn, acts as a catalyst for more investments from large organisations towards saving the planet. Being able to play a part in environmental conservation by leveraging his skills and experience keeps Ray excited about this space!

Ray Kloss

When we do a great job in B2B marketing, and we increase preference for the cool stuff that Cisco does that helps companies operate better, we create profit that allows us to take a leadership position in cleaning up the planet. Business can often do positive things in our communities, and our profits can be directed to making the world better; that ignites me as a B2B marketer. 

210430_P Ray Kloss - Headshot3

 

#2 You Can Now Personalise at Scale

As a B2B marketer, we are always looking for ways to better connect with your target account stakeholders. You want to reach them with efficacy and create experiences that are tailored specifically for them. 

While doing this has historically been a challenge, platforms today enable marketers to capture buyer activity data online and produce customised end-to-end journeys

These end-to-end customer journeys developed with the power of integrated marketing tools become the backbone of your personalisation attempts. 

For example, you can use retargeting to show ads specifically to people who have visited your website or interacted with your brand in some way. 

You can also use dynamic content personalisation to show different versions of your website or emails based on who the viewer is and their interests. It is possible to execute the above tactics using tightly knit marketing technology platforms that speak to each other via APIs and provide a single view of each customer. 

Leveraging contemporary martech can help you create a truly personalised experience at scale with a lean team. 

Here’s what Stephanie McCredie thinks about personalisation in the context of B2B marketing and account-based marketing.

Stephanie McCredie

What excites me is the ability for ABM to personalise at scale using integrated technology that provides a single view of each customer from multiple touch points—then using the real-time data, insights and AI to deliver highly relevant, customised and valued experiences for the customer across each stage of their relationship and purchasing journey.

Steph McCredie - Headshot2

 

#3 B2B Martech That Is Always Improving

Any marketer worth their salt has at least once been fascinated, excited, overwhelmed or confused by the newer and cooler martech being launched every day. 

To give some context on what I am talking about, here are some data points:

  • Business Insider Intelligence claims that in 2022, B2B martech expenditures will total $6.59 billion. 
    • The spending rate is expected to rise by more than 30% over the next two years.

The new martech being launched every day is one of the several factors that motivate Jade Meara to continue doing what she does in the B2B space. Read what she says about B2B martech and COVID-19’s effect on its evolution!

Jade Meara

As the buyer’s journey moves increasingly online, this puts B2B marketers in the front seat when it comes to building and maintaining interest in your brand. COVID compacted ten years of digital transformation into just a few. As buyers’ needs evolve, the B2B martech stack continues to evolve along with them, and now we see an explosion of new technology that adds smarts to what we do. It’s an extraordinarily exciting time to be a B2B marketer.

221102_P Jade Meara - Headshot

#4 Scope for Getting Creative

In terms of the conventional meaning of "creativity," your mind would most likely go to a B2C-specific ad on YouTube or a 3D billboard like WhatsApp's recent campaign. Sure, that's innovative and attractive. But there is a similar potential of being creative in the B2B space as well. 

We here at xGrowth did a podcast on this topic, but for the purposes of this article, check out Neil Berry’s description of all the exciting and creative decisions he makes every day in B2B marketing.

Neil Berry

I think B2B is by far the most creative industry for marketers. We have to think so differently and deal with so much complexity. With ABM, we can be focused on one specific person all the way through to a huge variety of accounts, each needing its own varied approach. We simply have to think creatively to be able to find the answers that cut through the noise. You’ve got to be able to think outside the box and intrinsically know your customer; that’s why I love B2B.

220210_P Neil Berry - Headshot

#5 From VR to AI: The New-Generation Tech Trends

We talked about marketing automation software, data and personalisation at scale in our previous sections. 

What really takes B2B marketing up a notch is how it’s keeping up with the latest technology trends—from AI and Machine Learning to hyper-personalisation to hybrid events. 

Don’t believe me? Here’s what the industry reports are saying:

  • 29% of B2B marketing departments used AI automation in 2018, according to the Salesforce State of Marketing Report. 
  • Artificial intelligence has been used by a staggering 65% of marketers to make sales forecasts.

Julia Merrick sees the speed B2B marketing is adopting these innovative technologies as a highly promising trend!

Julia Merrick

Just how fast it’s changing. I remember when content marketing was in its infancy, and that was not even ten years ago. Look at the growth maturity of that function, and that’s just one part of B2B marketing overall. I can’t wait to see what’s next; I’m looking at content hyper-personalisation, ABM, hybrid events and the rise of full-service creative teams in-house. I think we’re going to really move away from the corporate-like spiel and the traditional way of doing things and really move into more of that fun flex of brands, which I just can’t wait for.

220309_P Julia Merrick - headshot_v02

#6 Data Privacy in B2B Marketing

B2B marketers have long relied on first-party and third-party data to target account stakeholders. The personalisation aspect of account-based marketing can, in some situations, be highly dependent on having insights into a buyer’s online behaviour. 

However, recent regulations such as GDPR can make things tricky for marketers in general. 

Furthermore, in 2020, Google announced that it would end third-party cookies on Chrome by 2022. Cookies are a piece of software that help capture data on a user’s interactions on a website; this can include things like which sections the user visited, their downloads, time spent etc. 

While Google delayed the project to 2024, according to a recent study by Epsilon, about 80% of marketers depend on third-party cookie data, and 70% believe that the move will hurt marketing technology. 

Don’t get me wrong, all the above are steps in the right direction for protecting people’s data rights. 

But the question remains: How can we ensure user privacy and maintain the same level of efficacy in ad targeting? For B2B marketing leaders like Karina Guerra, finding the right balance between the two is the next exciting challenge.

Karina Guerra

The recent privacy changes excite me. Our data has not been protected, and as a user, I really don’t like that. I don’t like that everyone can have access to my personal information. Now that we’re transitioning into a “trust” stage, as marketers, we need to do our very best to take care of our customers’ data; we need to add value if we want to communicate with our people of interest. With the changes in privacy legislation, we will no longer be able to use third-party data. So, what would you do? What will you offer to get that permission and stay compliant?

220810_P Karina Guerra - Headshot

#7 Diversity in B2B with an Attitude to Learn from B2C

B2B marketers can come from diverse professional backgrounds. They each have their unique journey and are not afraid to try new things with their campaigns. As a result, we see a lot more experimentation in B2B. 

Another trend that’s been catching up is B2B marketers opening up to their counterparts in B2C and taking inspiration from them.

Case in point: IBM Watson's trailer for the movie Morgan

In 2016, IBM used Watson, its artificial intelligence engine that leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP) and other sophisticated techniques, to develop a 90-second trailer for an entire movie named Morgan! 

While the movie itself may not have been an enormous success, the campaign generated a lot of buzz for Watson AI, both in the business world and among consumers. For Kelly Harvey, this level of diversity and experimentation keeps her glued to the B2B space.

Kelly Harvey

I think more people out there are doing things that are creative and different, and unique in the B2B space, and it’s really exciting to see that unfold and to see people pushing the limits and taking experimentation to new levels. I feel really excited about that. I love watching what’s happening in the industry, and I love B2B so much. It’s nice to see that everyone’s sort of going on that journey now, and everyone’s getting really excited about the potential. 

220826_P Kelly Harvey - Headshot_v02

#8 The People and Productivity

It is no secret that people are the key to any organisation's success. In a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive landscape, it is essential to have a workforce willing to continuously learn and adapt to stay ahead of the curve. This is especially true for those in the ever-complicated world of B2B marketing. 

Successful B2B marketing requires making complex decisions daily regarding things like which channels to use, what ABM platform to leverage, or even deciding among different content formats. With so much to consider, it is crucial for B2B marketers to be constantly learning and finding ways to be more productive. Fortunately, they are up for the challenge, and that’s what Scott Combes admires about this space!

Scott Combes

Definitely the people. The output of today's marketer is mind-blowing compared to even 5-10 years ago. So, I think that with the complexity of what we have to do, and the multiple channels in which you have to take a campaign to market, the multiple stakeholders, local sales, global marketing, et cetera, and the ability to constantly stay ahead of the game. So, I think the people and the way that they continually do what they do and just get better. That’s the most exciting thing. 

220902_P Scott Combes - Headshot

#9 The Competition

If I haven’t said this before, the B2B marketing space is constantly evolving. So far in this article, we have talked about people, processes and technology.

We will now move to the “competition”. Some would want to live in a world without it, but that’s not the case the majority of the time. 

Competition is good; it keeps us on our toes and triggers us to develop and work harder. Like everything else, this is also true in the B2B world. Here’s what Kylie Wing says about competing in the B2B marketing space!

Kylie Wing

The competition is fierce and it heats up every year. It always feels like you’re at the peak of competition, but it's never really the case as there are always new things to contend with each year. As the ecosystem gets bigger, your marketing team has to work ten times harder/smarter to stay at the top. That’s the thing that excites me the most on a personal level – adopting a 10x mentality around marketing performance and improvements.

220914_P Kylie Wing - Headshot

#10 Human-To-Human Marketing

All right, we are almost at the end of this article. I hope you got insights into where B2B marketing is headed and what some key leaders in the industry are excited about.

This concluding section will remind you of something that we, as B2B marketers, forget, which is that at the end of the day, we're not just marketing to businesses or corporations – we're marketing to people. 

Your buyers, accounts stakeholders or whatever you call them, are people who are complex and often don't fit into neat little boxes. As marketers, it's our job to understand them and connect with them on a human level. Fortunately, it seems like an increasing number of B2B marketers are starting to see the value in doing so. That's something Nick Flude is excited to see more of in this space!

Nick Flude

I think the element of humanism that’s coming to it. I think we’ve realised that just because someone is B2B and just because someone might work in a large organisation, they’re not humans. To be quirky, to be slightly left of centre, to throw in pop culture references, all those kinds of things, because ultimately, our user gets it but so does our buyer. Don’t forget that they’re humans too, and I think that’s where the biggest changes are coming from the B2B side of things because you should recognise that your buyer is a person too. So, appeal to them on that level. 

220826_P Nick Flude - Headshot


Related Resources

How to Create a Successful B2B Go-to-Market Strategy thumbnail
How to Create a Successful B2B Go-to-Market Strategy

A well-crafted B2B go-to-market strategy is key to a successful product or service launch. Learn how to create an effective GTM strategy.

Full Article
Strategic Account Planning Guide and Best Practices - thumbnail
The Ultimate Strategic Account Planning Guide and Best Practices

Ever wondered how top firms master strategic account planning? Uncover tactics to transform your B2B client management and fuel growth.

Full Article
quatation
xGrowth brings a very structured approach to ABM. It’s been amazing working with you.

michele clarke
Michele Clarke
Head of Marketing, APAC Secure Code Warrior
quatation
When I think ABM, I think xGrowth. xGrowth were 100% committed, the whole team was just like our business partner. I would say you are not a business vendor; you are our business partner.
reena misra
Reena Misra
ANZ Marketing Leader
OutSystems