B2B Marketing Trends for the Innovative CMO

CMOs are made, not born. Some say it’s the hardest marketing job to get and the easiest job to lose. That’s why innovation in the modern CMO role is critical. We’re previewing a list of four B2B marketing trends to help CMOs stay innovative — or get you promoted to the role instead.

Bigger Marketing Technology Investments

According to MarTech Alliance, 23% of the B2B marketing budget is allocated to marketing technology. Marketing technology budgets continue to increase year over year. Our research found that over 60% of B2B CMOs are increasing the technology budget for marketing in the next 12 months. But where is the innovative CMO investing?

Where Marketing Leaders Invest in Technology

Here are the three most significant areas to invest in new tech:

  1. Identity reconciliation
  2. Analytics
  3. Advertising

As CMOs embark on major digital transformations and the strategy shifts to satisfy the new B2B consumer, these technology investments will grow. This year, B2B CMOs are demanding larger technology budgets to solve the ever-growing measurement challenges and explore new customer targeting strategies.

HubSpot reports 30% of marketers marked “measuring ROI of marketing activities” as the number one challenge they anticipate in 2022. It comes as no surprise with the identity changes to tracking and fragmented customer experiences. While measuring within each channel is possible, the cross-channel attribution for ROI presents another priority for marketing leaders to fix with 2022 investments.

Account-Based Experiences

Innovative CMOs are embracing account-based marketing (ABM) as a pillar in the B2B marketing plan. ABM itself is not a new digital marketing trend for leading B2B brands. But expanding to an organization-wide account-based experience (ABX) is only for the most audacious marketing leaders.

ABM has widespread adoption among modern marketing teams and continues to increase in popularity. But the strategy is more attractive for brands that want to leverage their robust first-party data and AI-driven audience aggregators to produce high-value marketing campaigns. Why? Because rising identity and audience targeting makes effectively marketing to a target audience across channels costly. According to RollWorks, 91% of marketing teams applying ABM indicated larger deal sizes. 67% of companies using ABM have better sales and marketing collaboration with improved close rates and reduction in resource waste.

Where Leading CMOs Are Investing for ABM

Data is the key to starting a strong account-based marketing program. Companies are looking at ABM tech stack investment in these key areas:

  1. Intent monitoring
  2. Programmatic advertising
  3. Personalization

These three areas represent the most significant challenge areas in building and scaling an ABM program.

Mobile-First Marketing Strategies

Traditional B2B marketing skirted mobile priorities because buyers were predictably engaging on static digital channels: company devices in company offices. Enter the globalization of remote work. Now the mobile-first movement is hitting B2B marketing departments. Around 70% of B2B buyers and decision-makers prefer remote or digital interactions with vendors – it’s predicted this percentage will continue to increase over the next three years to 2025.

Advertising will see the biggest shift (and budget changes) this year. According to new research, mobile ads will account for $4.82 billion of U.S. B2B digital ad spending this year, with the growth rate doubling nonmobile investments. This means an increase in channel saturation not being used or optimized for B2B marketing teams. Our teams predict the rising competition in these spaces will cause digital advertising costs to steadily incline — even with identity challenges.

With iOS 15 and other privacy changes, B2B email marketing will also likely shift this year. But marketing leaders who leverage this channel will incorporate a smarter mobile-optimized approach with added layers of personalization to scale.

Digital Marketing Innovations for Modern Marketers

According to Salesforce, 84% of B2B marketers say their customer expectations are changing their digital strategies. So digital media budgets get a projected increase as CMOs strive for a greater media mix to meet these shifting customer demands. This year we’ll see three areas take a bigger piece of the budget:

  1. Digital ads (think: display, paid search, etc.)
  2. Social media
  3. Online content

Digital Ads

In another report from 2021, Salesforce indicates 56% of B2B marketers are using AI for media buying and programmatic advertising. The ability to leverage audience building and machine learning to create efficient campaign execution is “revolutionizing media buying” for businesses. CMOs in B2B organizations may leave programmatic to the B2C brands. But it would be a mistake. The trick to making it work? ABM.

Online Content

Programmatic advertising has a significant role to play in digital media for B2B marketing leaders. But if you’re looking for an edge, go with video.

Research shows video takes center stage for more B2B CMOs every year. And 75% of B2B marketing leaders expect to increase online video and display advertising this year. But the novel channel — which some may assume is risky for B2B — for innovative CMOs is connected television (CTV). Traditionally, the CTV advertising channel is reserved for the biggest B2B brands doing high-budget brand awareness. Making a strategic play for hyper-targeted CTV audiences will transform the top-of-the-funnel playbook for the modern marketing team in 2022.

B2B marketing has never been easy. But it’s always been an exciting challenge for those leaders bold enough to take the risks. Want to learn more about today’s top digital media trends, topics and strategies? Watch our new 2022 B2B marketing trends video, read our blog or get the expertise you need now.