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Predictions Series 2022: 2022 B2B Marketing and Sales Trends to Prepare For

B2B Marketing and Sales continue to evolve. The last two years have shown us that things, both personally and professionally, can quickly change drastically. As CEO of JumpCrew, a company focused on B2B marketing and sales, we’ve seen the effects ripple throughout nearly every industry.

It makes 2022 and beyond an uncertain time for many in B2B-focused companies.

Past marketing methods that nearly guaranteed results might return nothing now. Sales contacts that you were almost positive would pick up the phone are going straight to voicemail. It’s tough out there and 2022 will be a year of change and transitions.

These changes make it that much more important to look towards the future and consider what B2B marketers could expect in 2022 and beyond. By using data and personal experience to sift through the noise, here are the four main B2B marketing and sales trends I expect to see in the year ahead.

Recommended: Adopting a Search-First Mindset for Digital Marketing Success

B2B Sales Will Become More Digital-First Lead Driven (Watch out, Salespeople)

This is a trend that has been happening for years now but gains more relevance each year. Studies show that 67 percent of the buying journey is now done online, and that is going to continue to be a trend throughout the year.

The massive shift to work-from-home lends itself to the benefit of digital marketing. Buyers are doing more of their research through the internet as opposed to more traditional methods of speaking with peers or using referrals.

With that increased focus on digital-first, automation will also play an important role in things like PPC advertising. Being able to quickly test ads, pull them when ineffective, and adjust is critical. Automation, when done properly, will streamline things and give you more time to focus on other tasks.

While the current trend shifts the focus to more digital marketing, it’s still important to diversify your efforts. Buyers use a combination of first and third-party content during the buying journey, so it’s crucial that you take advantage of all marketing avenues.

Data Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Data has become one of the most valuable resources in the world, but it continues to become less and less reliable every day.

And, that trend will most likely continue throughout this year and even the next.

Already, 30 percent of office phone lines will lead to nowhere. Another 25 percent of executives will have switched jobs during 2021, leaving us with 55 percent of our overall data being bad.

The problem now doesn’t actually have much to do with the collection of data. That process is generally sound. Instead, the issue now resides in identifying and verifying the mass amount of collected data, which continues to become increasingly difficult.

Because of this, it’s likely that we will see a small shift away from the paid advertising that has become popular in recent years in favor of more organic marketing efforts.

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Apple’s New Privacy Policies Will Make the Cost of a Lead Skyrocket

Apple’s recent privacy changes will have a major effect on the cost of a lead in today’s environment, and we’ll start to really feel those effects throughout 2022. Major social platforms like Facebook and YouTube are already losing out on revenue due to the changes.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief of Operations said late last year that “the accuracy of our ads targeting decreased, which increased the cost of driving outcomes for our advertisers. And…measuring those outcomes became more difficult.”

Apple’s changes have crippled the ability of these platforms to gather accurate data for ad-targeting and, in turn, the cost for a lead on the same platforms is going to continue to rise.

Additionally, Apple also became the smartphone market leader recently in the US and the gap between Android and Apple may widen in 2022, making things that much more difficult.

We can’t expect the same success rate and cost-effectiveness from these platforms as we saw before Apple’s changes went into effect.

Organic is back!

We predict that with the recent Apple privacy changes and the overall disdain around the bullying that big media has been doing over the last few years, now is the time for a return to organic marketing.

Whether through blog posts, guest posts, or organic social media content like unpaid tweets and Facebook posts, organic marketing helps generate leads that will hopefully convert to paying customers by keeping your business in a buyer’s mind throughout the entire buying process.

You don’t need to be an “edgy” social media account like we’ve seen in recent years from some brands. But your social presence should be one that provides benefits to your audience through industry insights and other valuable information.

The best way to optimize organic marketing is still through SEO, however. While social media can be an effective means of organic marketing, SEO reigns supreme, so it’s important that you dedicate a portion of your marketing strategy around search.

As you can see, 2022 might see a “return to normal” in some parts of our lives, but the B2B marketing and sales tactics have morphed from past expectations and 2022 will be a year focused on innovation and adaptability.

Keeping these four things in mind on your journey should help you navigate the tricky waters ahead.

Top Data Science Blog of 2021: Why Your BI Dashboard is Causing an Insights Gap—and How to Fix It

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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