Forget predictions: here are the 10 New Year’s resolutions every B2B marketer needs

Every new year brings with it a flurry of well-intentioned (but often wide of the mark) predictions for the next 12 months and the trends that will shape the fortunes of B2B marketing teams around the world.

Instead of inviting you to play ‘second-guess the future’ with me, I humbly submit to you these 10 New Year’s Resolutions that every B2B marketer can realistically commit to and make a difference with in 2022.

Resolution 1: I will set objectives that guide our marketing

Every good marketing strategy needs clearly-defined and achievable goals along with the metrics you’re going to use to measure your success. But far too often, we see marketing teams set campaigns in motion without first putting these in place. This is why so many marketing activities lose their way or underperform.

This year, make sure you take a strategic lead and direct your business on all things marketing. Become the trusted expert who’s tuned in to the company’s commercial goals. Share your vision, make marketing accountable, and celebrate successes when they happen.

– Where to start? Read our guide to setting objectives, outcomes and outputs

Resolution 2: I will extend support to small businesses

These past two years have been a rough ride for us all, but especially for small businesses. Covid restrictions, Brexit woes, the rising cost of living, logistics nightmares – it’s no surprise that a reported 1/3 SMEs expect to make staff redundant.

The success of small businesses is vital to the health of our economy, so now is the time to step up and help small business owners in any way you can:

  • New products and services to support growth
  • Content programmes that educate and empower owners
  • Public displays of support through your marketing campaigns

– Where to start? Get practical guidance in our ‘Help me, don’t sell to me’ programme

Resolution 3: I will invest in long-term brand building

Being driven by quarterly results leads to short-term lead generation activities to try and create as many prospects for the sales teams as quickly as possible. But when you consider that only 5-10% of your addressable market is ready to buy at any given time, you begin to see the value of long-term brand building to your overall marketing strategy.

Invest in your company’s future this year with brand campaigns that can deliver consistent long-term growth instead of constant short-term disappointment.

– Where to start? Read our guide to getting brand buy-in from the c-suite

Resolution 4: I will stand out with innovative content

Content marketing has been a staple of the B2B marketing mix for the better part of a decade, but the endless procession of ‘same-same’ content will never create the opportunities you’re aiming for.

Embrace the content opportunity by thinking in a different direction to your competitors. Create content that audiences genuinely want to read, watch, share and so on by prioritising mobile and digital experiences and figuring out how to carve your own niche on today’s most popular social media platforms, from Linkedin to TikTok.

– Where to start? Take a look at our suggestions for sprucing up your content strategy

Resolution 5: I will bring internal audiences into the mix

Reaching potential buyers is, of course, the focus of every marketer. But if you’re not considering ways to engage your internal audience, you’re missing a golden opportunity to give your campaigns a boost.

74% of internal audiences say they feel like they miss out on company news, like new campaigns. See? They know something’s going on, but nobody is telling them what it is. Find ways to harness your in-house army of brand champions and watch as your campaign reach widens and starts to connect with more potential customers.

– Where to start? See why overlooked internal audiences are often the most important

Resolution 6: I will also bring influencers into the mix

The involvement of influencers has transformed the way B2C brands market and sell their products. Meanwhile, B2B continues to lag on this powerful addition to the marketer’s kitbag.

Successfully adding influencers to your marketing doesn’t mean hiring a ‘Love Island’ contestant to pose for photos with your printers. In B2B, it’s all about getting the right mix of subject matter experts, relevant journalists, and industry innovators.

(Having said that, buyers watch Love Island too, so…maybe?)

– Where to start? Read about our approach to B2B influencer engagement

Resolution 7: I will strive to make a positive difference

Buyers increasingly want to know that the businesses they buy from share their values when it comes to the planet we share and the people who live on it. Your business may not have solutions for the world’s (many) problems, but it can certainly do things to make it a bit better. Identify areas where your company can take a stance and show this in your marketing.

You could play your part by making sure your ads reflect the same racial diversity that enriches our society. Or you could help organisations with an important or urgent message to be heard. Take the time to identify where your company can take a positive stance and put this in your marketing.

Resolution 8: I will hear our customers by listening to sales

Marketing teams and sales teams should be each other’s best friends, but there’s often a strange friction and distrust between the two instead.

Chuck the tension in the bin and sit down with sales to find out what customers are saying to them – good and bad. Using these first-hand insights, you may find new ways to revitalise your marketing strategy and turn leads into customers.

– Where to start? See how we help Vodafone deliver effective sales enablement

Resolution 9: I will create impact through creativity

Along with everything else, the effects of a global pandemic have also put a dent in this year’s marketing budgets. But this doesn’t mean you can’t still make a significant impact in your industry and for your company.

Instead of taking budget-hampered baby steps, go after big gains by taking a chance on big creative ideas. You don’t need to spend millions on a media blitz if you’ve got an idea that can catch like wildfire.

– Where to start? Watch our Vital Stats video and see how to make change work for you

Resolution 10: I will adapt to stay ahead of the curve

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(Header photo: Mark Boss on Unsplash)

The past two years have required us all to adapt and change in many ways, and at astonishing speed. This means your buyers have changed too.

Now’s the time to take a long look in the (metaphorical) mirror and be honest about how your brand is holding up. Does your marketing activity, digital presence, positioning, channel mix, and positioning still resonate with buyers in 2022?

If it looks to you like the answer is no, make it your mission this year to not only get your company back up to speed, but to create opportunities for it to lead.

– Where to start? Here’s our advice on how to make your brand fit post-Covid

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(Header photo: Mark Boss on Unsplash)