B2B marketing in uncertain times: Our B2B marketing tips for 2023

Kai Wermer
Kai Wermer

Times are uncertain, so are previous planning bases and the pressure on marketing departments to achieve short-term goals rather than strategic ones is increasing. Unfortunately, the danger of risking long-term unforeseeable effects on customer relationships, employees, partners and the brand also increases.

One of the key findings of a Forrester's Marketing Survey 2022 is that companies that continue to grow during the crisis are creating a new and better balancing act between short-term and strategic long-term measures. They are not simply cutting their budgets and focusing on measures for short-term target achievement, but are also defining long-term and profitable growth opportunities in marketing. 

Post-purchase customer relationship - CX design of delightful post-purchase experiences.

One of the most important priorities of successful companies in the crisis is to develop an even better understanding of customers, to focus on customer loyalty and to develop and expand post-purchase relationships. As part of customer experience (CX) projects and in both service and marketing design, more relevant customer data is being collected and systematically measured to identify and reinforce success factors. Customer centricity even after the purchase promises companies to get through uncertain times better and faster on a growth course.

Expansion of digital approaches, not only in marketing.

According to Forrester's State Of Customer Obsession Survey, companies that are successful during the crisis invest 3.4 times more in digital transformation than less successful B2B companies.

Think carefully about where you can become stronger through better digitization. Collect and use sufficient data in marketing to drive more effective programs and analyze the right KPIs precisely. Dovetail your marketing and sales sufficiently to better leverage synergies.

One of the biggest challenges cited by the companies surveyed is collecting customer data from indirect channels when implementing marketing programs/campaigns. 

Invest in normalizing customer data from disparate sources.

Gathering data from different platforms, programs and systems is important for a complete picture of your customer needs and becomes even more important in uncertain times. Put your marketing dashboards into question. Identifying and normalizing data from across the marketing technology stack can be challenging. Data from marketing automation, CRM platforms, social media communities or your corporate website gives you valuable insights into customer behavior and interests. This is how marketing teams achieve better results and make investment-safe decisions. 

Analyze exactly which tools are already in use for what, which data you are collecting, and whether and what you are learning from the data to develop marketing and customer understanding.

Optimal customer experiences (CX) are important. Optimal employee experiences (EX) as well.

Finding and retaining good talent and employees will remain one of the most important challenges in the future. And only with good employees can companies implement good customer experiences. Not surprisingly, 90% of B2B companies say that improving employee experience and satisfaction will be one of their top priorities in 2023. 

Brand values that are supported by genuine corporate action. 

It is not only B2C customers who are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. B2B customers and, above all, employees also want to work with companies that live their values. Ultimately, however, investors will also pay more attention to the fact that companies fulfill the important ESG strategies such as sustainability.

Check how your brand can align communication and action with strong values. 

The balance between brand awareness and demand generation

B2B marketing, especially in Germany, is often associated with pure lead acquisition. However, countless studies show that in most cases the actual buyer is part of a group. On average, decisions in B2B are made by more than five stakeholders. 

So don't just reinforce the acquisition of new leads, but strive to allocate marketing investments that additionally identify and qualify opportunities within target companies. Who influences buying decisions and how can marketing help target and qualify these customer personas? 

The right balance between spending in awareness and demand generation across different contact opportunities becomes more important. 

Prioritize internationalization and localization. 

If your company is or wants to become internationally active, you should stick to central strategic marketing directions, especially in Western-influenced countries, and not elaborately develop your own strategies and tactics in each case. Identify more precisely for which content it is worthwhile to localize in a high-quality manner and when and where which channels are actually used differently in the different markets. Successful localization is a great differentiator and always a key success factor. So don't treat all markets the same. Focus first on the markets with the highest growth opportunities and collect relevant data that will give you guidance on the right programs, metrics and tonalities. 

Comparison: landing pages localized by Uhura for one and the same topic

In summary, don't succumb to the temptation to throw strategic considerations that were previously correct and important overboard in favor of short-term supposedly simple goals. Invest in adjusting your marketing activities and programs and take advantage of the opportunity to align your marketing organization in a smarter, more creative and ultimately more efficient way. 

From brand building to activation – solutions and services by Uhura Digital

How can Uhura Digital help B2B companies optimize marketing? 

In strategy processes, Uhura Digital can support not only in brand design. With our Customer Centric Framework, we help to optimize the effectiveness of brand, communication and marketing investments. To do this, we use data tools to better understand and reach customer personas and their needs. 

Creation is critical to impact success not only in designing great content, websites and campaigns. Uhura strategically creates and connects technology capabilities into new and more impactful applications everywhere B2B brands live. And we have won several awards.

We help evaluate, define and implement appropriate technology stacks to collect and interpret data along the entire customer journey. Uhura implements relevant tools and measures into your digital ecosystem. Let's talk about how we can support you in your B2B marketing.

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