6 B2B Marketing Trends to Stand Out For All the Right Reasons [2023]

6 B2B Marketing Trends to Stand Out For All the Right Reasons [2023]

JK Sparks 7 min

A new era of B2B marketing is about to unfold, and now is the time to embrace it. The changes in the B2B space have been catalyzed by the latest AI developments, data privacy laws, and economic downturn, but mostly the ever-changing customer expectations.

As a result, businesses became more aware of the importance of owning their audience and providing personalized customer experiences.

This begs the question: How can brands prepare for the next chapter of B2B marketing to future proof their business? The short answer: Keep a pulse on the latest B2B marketing trends.

Brands that will fail to pivot and falter under unmet customer expectations risk being left behind.

B2B Marketing Trends in 2023

The digital transformation had a profound impact on B2B businesses. As a result, a new B2B marketing playbook is emerging. Let’s look at B2B marketing trends set to redefine business as we know it.

1. Personalization

When it comes to B2B marketing, a “one size fits all” is a fallacy. Today’s customers have sky-high expectations, and generic messaging might hurt your bottom line.

According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer Report, almost three-quarters (73%) of business buyers say selling relationships feel transactional, lacking desired depth and personalization.

The question is: How can B2B brands introduce personalization? Here’s the thing: Personalization is half science, half art. You need to collect and analyze customer data, and based on that, create targeted content and personalized messaging that resonates with your audience.

The first step towards creating personalized customer experiences is understanding the importance of having access to customer data and permission to collect it. To achieve this, you need to prioritize first-party data collection. While social media is important for audience building, social media platforms don’t give you the information you need for the most effective B2B marketing.

By establishing your niche and building your community through owned channels, you’ll be able to gather first-party data, create targeted content, and personalize customer experiences—thus creating a perpetuum mobile model that improves as you feed it with more data.

2. Harnessing AI-powered experiences

If there’s one thing keeping B2B CMOs up at night, it’s artificial intelligence (AI). AI is gaining traction in every segment of our lives, urging B2B businesses to harness its power to provide delightful customer experiences.

Using AI, companies can optimize targeting, increase lead quality, improve chatbots, predict future behavior, and create personalized customer experiences. However, ethical use and transparency about personal data collection and usage are crucial.

So B2B businesses are facing a good-news, bad-news dilemma. While AI can help with marketing automation, businesses have to remain careful and keep in mind all the potential risks and challenges associated with AI.

According to Forrester, more than two-thirds (67%) of B2B organizations already use AI in marketing, while over 70% plan to moderately or significantly increase their use of it. One of the big-name brands investing heavily in AI is Salesforce, with the introduction of Einstein. Salesforce Einstein is a generative AI for CRM that can generate personalized sales emails, offer specific customer responses, or provide targeted content for marketers to increase campaign response rates.

And while we have yet to discover the potential of AI and its impact, one thing is for sure — AI will become an integral part of B2B marketing.

3. Prioritizing first-party data

B2B marketers have access to more data than ever before, but quantity does not equate to quality. The biggest issue in data collection in the past was the overreliance on third-party data. However, the announced death of third-party cookies brought a lot of headaches to marketers. The reason? Businesses that rely on third-party data will lose valuable insights about their target audiences, including demographic information and browsing habits.

The cookie apocalypse is the forerunner of the new approach to data. B2B marketers have finally realized that succeeding in the long run means having a solid marketing data strategy based on first-party data.

According to Think with Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), companies using first-party data for key marketing functions achieved up to a 2.9X revenue uplift and a 1.5X increase in cost savings.

But customers are also increasingly aware of the importance of privacy. As a result, many choose not to share their data while interacting with a brand. To overcome this challenge, brands have to listen to customer feedback, be more transparent in their efforts to collect customer data, and better articulate the benefits customers get by exchanging information.

The good news is that the need for first-party data will force B2B marketers to rethink their approach to data and come up with creative ways to gather insights while offering even more value for the customers.

4. Diversifying content formats

B2B brands can completely change their businesses by shifting their focus from selling to educating. The essence of B2B marketing is understanding customer pain points and offering resources to overcome them.

B2B buyers can’t afford to make impulse decisions. They need resources, evidence, and social proof to make data-driven purchasing decisions. Your job is to provide all the pieces of the puzzle and help the buyer see the bigger picture. To do that, you need a different marketing approach, putting education at the core of everything you do.

Using a variety of content formats to educate B2B buyers can attract qualified leads who understand your product and are interested in purchasing. Looking at some of the biggest B2B names, such as Shopify, Salesforce, Zuora, Gainsight, and many others, we can see that educational content is at the forefront of their marketing efforts.

Prioritizing content marketing through owned media instead of paid and social media puts you on a level playing field with top B2B brands. From there, the quality of your content makes all the difference. If you provide world-class resources that solve customers’ pain points and dilemmas, you no longer need to worry about lead generation anymore.

5. Improving SEO

The rise of AI-generated content makes it tempting for B2B brands to ramp up content production using tools like ChatGPT. But without a unique voice and point of view, you risk becoming yet another brand that doesn’t understand the role of AI in content marketing.

If you want to improve your SEO, you have to avoid relying on AI-generated content and stay abreast of changes in organic search. Search engine algorithms have always prioritized authenticity and content quality, which will likely remain the same in the years to come.

Google uses the E-E-A-T framework to evaluate whether its search ranking systems provide helpful and relevant information. E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Based on these requirements, AI can’t meet the quality threshold for certain kinds of content, especially those requiring Experience.

So, if you want to future proof your content marketing strategy, use AI to help you speed up the content creation process, but never underestimate the power of natural content that meets search engine quality standards.

6. Recruiting industry-specific influencers

Influencer marketing has proven to be beneficial for B2B brands. Research shows that 95% of brands using B2B influencer marketing report that it has helped them achieve at least one of their marketing goals.

Including subject matter experts as part of your overall marketing strategy can help you differentiate from the competition. B2B influencer marketing provides original thought leadership and credibility. On top of that, it gives you access to the influencer’s network.

The long B2B sales cycles pose a significant challenge for B2B brands. Business buyers have a slow, well-researched journey that allows them to make informed decisions. Because of the specificity of the B2B buyer’s journey, brands that include subject matter experts in the marketing mix gain a significant advantage.

But here’s the tricky part: how to find the right influencers?

B2B companies often sell niche products to a small number of high-value clients. As a result, brands need to pinpoint their target market and create more focused marketing campaigns. So, next time you want to include B2B influencers in the mix, find the ones that your audience trusts and follows.

Enhance Your B2B Marketing Strategies with Owned Media

The confluence of rising customer acquisition costs, the demise of third-party cookies, and ever-changing data privacy law made the old B2B marketing blueprint obsolete. Winning in the new B2B landscape requires ownership.

Owning your audience, channels, and media will allow you to establish a self-reliant business model that won’t be at the mercy of social media algorithms and third-party data. Your audience, and the data you gather, are your most valuable asset—you can’t afford to keep renting your audience.

Without ownership, customer information remains a black box that third-party providers keep to themselves. And without data, you can’t act on any of the latest B2B marketing trends, including personalization, AI-powered customer experiences, and diversifying content.

There’s no doubt that growth-focused brands will prioritize owned media to help them achieve the most important goals:

  • Building a community

  • Collecting and analyzing first-party data

  • Personalizing customer experiences

  • Building credibility and trust

  • Creating brand awareness

  • Educating the audience to establish authority

The next chapter of B2B marketing will reward forward-thinking brands that put customer experience at the heart of everything they do. Serving dynamic, personalized content based on first-party data will become the benchmark for next-gen content marketing for B2B brands.

Transform Your B2B Business With Owned Media

B2B brands that fail to transform their content marketing strategy with owned media are missing out on an important opportunity to get the first-mover advantage. Establishing owned media real estate now will give you a headstart, putting you at the head of B2B marketing trends.

Instead of standing on the sidelines, start exploring the benefits of owned media today and how it can help you future proof your business. Ready to own the relationship with your audience? Request a demo today to get a tailored walkthrough.


How is B2B marketing different from B2C marketing?

B2B and B2C marketing differ in their target audience and communication methods. B2B marketing focuses on data and evidence-driven purchasing decisions, while B2C marketing focuses on emotion-driven purchasing decisions.

The B2B buying cycle is often much longer than the B2C decision-making process and requires educational content and an ROI track record.

B2B marketers can learn from B2C marketing strategies and tactics. After all, companies are made up of humans who are making the purchasing decisions. Building brand affinity is critical in standing out from your competition and bringing awareness to your product or solution.

What are some examples of companies with strong B2B marketing?

The B2B space is packed with great examples of B2B marketing strategies that bring results. From HubSpot’s short video content, Zendesk’s client testimonials, and Klaviyo’s academy to Zuora’s premium content hub and SupportLogic’s in-person and virtual events—these are all examples of next-level B2B marketing strategies that raise the bar for customer experiences.

Lavender recently launched LavenderLand. They’ve taken an episodic approach to educating, inspiring, and entertaining their audience of sales professionals. This has allowed them to stand out in an incredibly competitive and crowded marketplace.

What kind of marketing content should B2B marketing focus on?

B2B brands should focus on creating educational, engaging, and exclusive content to capture their audiences’ attention and equip them with the necessary resources to make an informed purchasing decision.


JK Sparks | About the Author

Head of Marketing, AudiencePlus

JK is allergic to the words “guru, ninja, and hack” when used to describe anything marketing related. Instead of chasing the latest “growth hack,” he’s focused on building sustainable and predictable levers that fuel long term success. By implementing this approach over the last decade, JK has helped organizations in both bootstrapped and well-funded environments scale from <$100K to more than $100M in revenue. You can follow him here.

JK Sparks 7 min

6 B2B Marketing Trends to Stand Out For All the Right Reasons [2023]

In today's B2B marketing landscape, audience attention is at a premium. Here are the top trends for 2023 that you should stay on top of.

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