6 B2B Marketing Trends Your Business Can't Afford to Ignore
B2B marketing trends aren’t exactly stimulating conversation topics. No one in your office is going to sidle up to your desk (or slide into your DMs) to talk about quarterly budgets or search engine algorithms. But while they may not feel life-changing, staying on top of B2B marketing trends can mean the difference between success and failure for your team.
The pace of technological change is continually increasing — you can’t afford to fall behind. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the B2B marketing trends the team at TPM finds most intriguing. We’ll dive into some stats, touch on what experts are saying, and then give you our perspective as a B2B marketing agency that lives it every day.
Here we go!
1. Spending isn’t Slowing Down
B2B marketing spend is on track to continue increasing through 2024 — with US spend nearing $4 billion. There was a sharp jump in how much B2B organizations committed to digital marketing when the pandemic made gathering first-party data at live events all but impossible, but conferences and networking events are back in full swing, and growth continues.
The current economic climate isn’t making a significant dent in B2B marketing spend either. In fact, B2B marketers are boosting their budgets faster than their B2C counterparts and are less likely to cut marketing budgets because of inflation.
TPM’s Take: The pandemic only accelerated a trend that was already building — today’s customers (B2B included) prefer to educate themselves about their options before engaging with a sales team. As more and more of the buyer journey occurs online, it only makes sense that companies would allocate more funds to reaching audiences there.
2. Audio and Video are Stars
We’ve been offering video creation as a B2B marketing tool to our clients for more years than we’d like to admit. (We helped Nero Global create a yoga series for fleet drivers before Mother Trucker Yoga was a thing!) But clients that took us up on that offer used to be the exception, not the rule.
The rise of podcasting and streaming video has reached the B2B marketing world. 95% of buyers in the B2B space watch videos during their journey to conversion. Podcasting has also become a major medium for B2B companies looking to expand their reach — 43% of decision-makers cite podcasts as a source of business-related content.
TPM’s Take: The high engagement rates of video and the affordability of podcasting make these media obvious choices for B2B marketing campaigns. Bonus points for marketers who repurpose blog posts or ebooks as podcast topics to minimize costs and broaden their reach!
3. LinkedIn is Cool Again
While TikTok and Twitter battle it out for the title of coolest social media platform with a weird downside, LinkedIn has quietly made a comeback. LinkedIn always made sense for B2B networking and engagement — it’s a platform all about people’s professional lives, so they’re in “work mode” when they’re on it.
But LinkedIn has also seen seven consecutive quarters of growth (including a 73% increase in student accounts) and boasted 930 million active users in the first quarter of 2023.
TPM’s Take: High intent + lots of users = win. A record number of users are actively engaging with content on LinkedIn, and most of them are at least tangentially thinking about business while they do. We’ve always liked LinkedIn, and we’re seeing it consistently outperform Google when it comes to digital advertising for clients like Digibee.
4. The Robots Are Here for Our Jobs
You can’t go online without seeing stories about how automation and artificial intelligence are taking over — our own blog included. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad, but it’s definitely happening in the marketing world too.
Adobe researchers found that 98% of B2B marketers ranked automation as important or extremely important to their success. That includes the usual analytics tools, email and social media platforms, and CRMS, but it also covers AI-powered content engines and tools like Google’s Smart Bidding algorithm.
TPM’s Take: As a digital marketing agency, we — and our writing staff in particular — are seriously invested in seeing just how far AI and automation tools will make it into B2B marketing workflows. In fact, this post is the first in a series of human vs. robot experiments that we’ll use to compare the performance of AI-generated blog posts, social media posts, keywords, and images to those created by our internal team. Stay tuned!
5. Web 3.0 is Changing Things
We’ve come a long way, baby. Compared to the read-only or read-write versions of the internet that preceded it, Web 3.0 offers a more personal and interactive experience — and puts users in control of who can access their personal data.
Collecting user data has long been a vital component of B2B marketing strategies, and how and where organizations can gather or use personal data is about to change. The impending “cookiepocalypse” will force marketers to rethink how they track user behaviors, but it could also help them bypass the constraints of social media and reach users directly.
TPM’s Take: The best strategy for B2B marketing teams unsure about the impact of Web 3.0 is to be prepared. Pay attention, learn about changes, and give some thought to what they’ll mean for your tactics. Web 3.0 could just be a chance to get back to providing real value and engaging with users instead of fighting for likes on Facebook.
6. B2B Marketing Has Feelings Too
Leveraging emotion and appealing to buyer values (beyond the bottom line) emerged in marketing campaigns targeting consumers directly, but the B2B marketing world has caught up. A growing number of B2B brands are increasing focus on defining their purpose, and nearly all — 93% — have launched some form of purpose initiative.
B2B decision-makers are human. Their choices are not 100% based on logic and reason – there is emotion involved too. Consumers are prioritizing shared values when choosing who to reward with their loyalty, and that includes the businesses their preferred brands do business with.
TPM’s Take: The digital-first shift in the buyer journey we discussed earlier applies here too. Prospects aren’t just checking your site to download spec sheets on your offering; they’re also learning about who you are. Inclusive and value-driven marketing can make a huge difference if you approach it with care and authenticity.
TPM: Your B2B Marketing Experts
At TPM, we’re fully committed to delivering the best B2B marketing services around. We experiment, learn, and invest in training and resources so we can provide our partners with the services and expertise they need. If you’ve got B2B marketing questions, we’ve got answers. Contact our team today.