How an omnichannel B2B marketing strategy can spur growth in 2023
Let’s face it, 2023 hasn’t been the easiest of years for B2B Marketers. But it’s not all doom and gloom.
While the past two years have been a time of immense change, Sales and Marketing leaders are turning to increased efficiency and closer collaboration to meet their revenue goals. With 2023 being a year in which B2B brands learn to do more with less, an omnichannel strategy could be just what we need to lay the foundations for stable, scalable growth.
Personalise the customer journey
B2B buyers are settling back into using an evenly divided mix of traditional, remote, and self-service channels, leaving vendors and sales teams with less access to their time than ever before. Put into numbers, potential suppliers only have access to 17% of a customer’s time in the purchase process, while sales reps have to get by with a meagre 5%. Ouch.
We live in a ten-channel world now. B2B brands need to meet audiences with the right message at the right stage of the buying cycle if they want to market themselves effectively. And the only way to do that is to become ‘journey orchestrators’ who craft seamless and contextual interactions across channels.
What does that mean in non-B2B-jargonese? Essentially, using an omnichannel approach to create a unified campaign message, voice, and brand across several channels by joining the teams and processes that keep your complex buyer journey running. Connecting sales insights to messaging strategy, customer data to content production, and intent signals to activation for marketing that clearly addresses your prospects’ pain points. You get the idea.
Do that and you’ll end up with messaging that’s tailored to your audience’s needs – reaching them wherever they are, on whatever channels they prefer, however far they are in the buying cycle. And before you ask: no, it isn’t the same as a multi-channel strategy, but we get why you’d think that.
The keen-eyed among you (and those of you who pre-skimmed this piece) may already know where we're going with this. But for those that don't, one of the biggest differences lies in how Sales and Marketing work together.
Integrate your B2B sales and marketing function
Addressing the siloes between your customer-facing teams remains a challenge as old as time (maybe not but you get the point). Our CEO & Founder, Chris Bagnall has talked about it, HubSpot has written about it, and even Forbes has got in on the action.
Most B2B brands today will already have an active multi-channel sales and marketing strategy. It’s a great way to bridge the gaps between sales conversations – keeping you top of mind over the buying cycle through channel-specific messaging and some form of an always-on media presence. The trouble is, disconnected cross-channel experiences just don’t cut it anymore.
Buyer expectations have changed, and organisations need to take a birds-eye view of the customer journey if they want to positively impact purchase decisions. Your sales team will always know the messaging territories needed to directly address audience challenges. And Marketing will always understand what activation tactics will make a campaign a success. But only 2% of B2B marketers feel the two functions are effectively aligned.
In tough economic times like these, B2B brands need to build in the campaign and organisational efficiencies offered by an omnichannel strategy if they want to drive stable growth. Think of it like ABM but for the wider market. It brings a customer-centric view of the buyer journey in which an interaction on one platform is carried to another.
Whether it’s an initial chat with Sales that informs the marketing materials you serve a prospect. Or a whitepaper download that affects the ads they see on social media channels. An omnichannel approach can build much-needed resilience into your growth strategy, but it’s only as good as the collaborative foundations between Sales and Marketing.
Unify your tech like your teams
Marketing teams have always shouldered the brunt of budget cuts, and 2023 looks to be a year in which that trend continues. If that wasn’t enough of a headache, the lack of a clear link to how Marketing drives revenue growth means B2B brands face an age-old attribution challenge made worse by a poor economic outlook.
Separate CRM platforms, department-specific account lists, and a lack of clear synergy between pools of data aren’t the most obvious areas of misalignment. But to benefit from increased collaboration, you also need to break down the siloes in their use of tech.
How do you segment your audiences in ways that are relevant to both functions? Does Marketing have a view into your first-party data and your third-party signals? Is campaign performance tied into Sales dashboards in ways that benefit them? Putting customer data and audience segmentation platforms in front of Sales and Marketing allows them to create cohesive customer journeys central to a successful omnichannel approach.
It consolidates your data to bring a live reporting view that enables granular targeting and personalised messaging that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. And at a time when ents will be looking for any edge they can get, eking every last bit of value from the data you have can heighten the operational efficiencies necessary to drive growth in today’s market.
Choosing the wrong tech stack can be an expensive lesson to learn.
Find out how our MarTech consultancy can help you make the right choices.
The Transmission view…
For businesses that don’t already have one, the path to adopting an omnichannel strategy can be riddled with complexity. Ensuring you have the right people, tech, and resources can be an uphill struggle when budgets are as tight as they are. However, efficiency is the name of the game in 2023.
Omnichannel strategies work because they tie multiple journeys and channels together. They pair Sales and Marketing, data insights and tech, and strategy and activation to work seamlessly for exceptional experiences across the buyer journey. And the brands that streamline their operations will be the ones that capture the growth needed to ride out rough economic waters.
While we can’t give you a cure-all method for implementing an omnichannel strategy, we’ve highlighted some areas to look out for in our Connecting the Dots eBook.