The economic situation is stormy, the forecasts for 2023 are bleak – and the marketing budgets of B2B companies are suffering as a result. The goal in this case: to keep a handle on the costs while gaining a competitive edge at the same time. This overview of various trends and differentiation options aims to show which measures companies should leverage in 2023 to grab attention.
The top trends in B2B marketing in 2023
The following 5 trends stand out:
1. Existing customers first
As the old saying goes: existing customers bring in money, new customers cost money. The finances needed to win over new customers are five times higher on average than the costs for intensifying relationships with existing customers. The survey “Predictions 2023: B2B Marketing and Sales” from the US market research company Forrester suggests that the significance of existing customers will continue to rise. Accordingly, every B2B company could profit from focusing on the satisfaction of their customers and their customer engagement, in other words loyalty and their interaction with their customers. Customer-based key figures will also become more important. The survey’s authors have coined this trend “customer health”.
2. Lead generation before brand awareness
The focus on existing customers, however, does not mean that the generation of new leads will not play a role anymore. On the contrary – compared to marketing measures aiming at brand awareness, lead generation for 77 per cent of those questioned as part of a survey by the online marketing agency eMinded (German) will continue to be an eminently important goal. Measures for increasing brand awareness, in contrast, are seen as relevant by only just one-thirds of those surveyed – a downfall of nearly 30 per cent compared to the previous year.
3. Smarketing: interconnecting of marketing and sales
Smarketing, in other words the close collaboration and communication between the sales and the marketing teams, has many advantages for B2B companies. According to the participants of the “Sales Strategy & Trends Report 2023”, smarketing provides a better customer experience, boosts sales and allows for the use of a joint strategy. At the same time, just 8 per cent confirm that these two departments work closely together. This suggests that companies can gain an edge by breaking through these silos in future and interconnecting both teams. As the results of the survey show, they mainly have to work on their cross-departmental communication and on improving their CRM software.
4. A good B2B website
Although the relevance of informative and user-friendly websites for B2B business has been well-known for some time now, this aspect of marketing is often neglected, as the survey “B2B Website Report” (German) by the digital agency Schoene Neue Kinder shows. Where many competitors need to catch up is where there is a good chance to differentiate your company with a strongly performing website. The user experience (77 per cent) and convincing sales arguments (70 per cent) above all have room for improvement amongst a majority of the B2B websites reviewed. So, those who work on these factors, refreshing their website to be clearer and more emotional, with a consistent story throughout, will have a good chance at making an impression with their website.
5. Personalisation and marketing automation
The survey by the agency eMinded on the top trends for the year 2023 showed that the two top trends from the year 2022 will continue to be at the top: personalisation (62 per cent) and marketing automation (61 per cent). Nearly two-thirds of those questioned also see these as being (very) significant in 2023 – similar percentages to last year. As a result, the segmentation of B2B buyers and the offering of an individual experience for each customer have taken an important place within marketing strategies. Marketing automation aims for the same goal: developing tailored offers and presenting them to the target group. Currently, just around one-fourth of the B2B companies surveyed actually use marketing automation, but 43 per cent are planning for this in future, according to the current “B2B-E-Commerce-Konjunkturindex” (German) from ECC KÖLN.