If the COVID-19 outbreak has given us any lessons, marketers must be prepared for changes. By 2021 74% of the top B2B marketing managers said that marketing was becoming much more crucial since the disease began.
Today, with more attention to marketing and advertising, we must manage many initiatives simultaneously. However, we aren’t able to accomplish every single thing done.
It’s our responsibility to decide what’s truly worthy of our time and energy.
B2B Marketing managers, spending their time wisely is about knowing which projects to prioritize. It isn’t easy to get right in a world where the marketing landscape changes constantly.
So, we surveyed over 100 top marketers to tell our readers the top things they would like to accomplish for 2021. We found that a few priority areas remain the same; increasingly, marketers recognise that their efforts don’t stop acquiring customers.
Here’s a list of B2B marketing managers’ most important priorities and how you can get involved right now.
What are the top 3 priorities for leaders in marketing?
The 2021 B2B Marketing manager Leadership Benchmark Report surveyed marketing leaders from C-suite executives and managers in 25 industries. The three top priorities they all reached an agreement on:
What’s the most important thing for a B2B marketing manager? 53% of marketers said that they’re producing pipelines. It’s not a surprise. In the end, the effectiveness of your marketing strategy depends on the quality of your leads and the quality of information you’re transferring to sales.
Psst! This is precisely the reason why we’ve created Pipeline -the brand-new podcast in which CROs, CMOs and other B2B leaders in sales and marketing discuss how they’re building pipelines for their businesses. There’s no fluff, just effective strategies. Listen here
According to 41% of the marketing executives, there’s something more surprising that their second most important concern is the customer experience. In the last two years, budget reductions related to COVID-19 forced many businesses to reconsider their expenditures. Therefore, it is logical that in 2021, marketers will be focusing on the customer experience to boost retention.
In third place, brand awareness is third, at 39%, the marketing executives saying it’s their top priority. With all the competition out there, branding awareness is the most effective method to stand out from the rest of the pack. If you can create positive relationships customers have with your company, you are more likely to be seen as a leader in your field. This is crucial to building the Pipeline.
Why Has The Focus Shifted on Customer Experience?
When we conducted a survey of B2B marketing manager executives for 2020, they revealed that their primary priority and third were identical, generating pipelines and establishing brand awareness.
What has changed since 2021 is the second priority. Marketing executives have switched their attention from lead generation to customer experience. Why?
One possible reason is that marketers spend more time generating pipelines instead of creating leads.
At Drift, we are of the firm belief in the fact that qualified Marketing Lead (MQL) is no more. MQLs are well-known for causing friction between B2B marketing managers and sales and slowing the response time, making campaigns appear more effective than they are.
To generate a pipeline, marketers are looking at sales-qualified leads (SQLs) and Conversation information qualified (QC). Marketers may have shifted their views from lead generation to their primary goals.
Another reason could be that marketing professionals better comprehend how experiences for customers can contribute to growth in revenue.
COVID clarified that business priorities could quickly change, and your client today might not be your client tomorrow. Marketers today know that they must remain able to market to our customers by staying relevant and responding to evolving customer demands.
Retention-driven marketing doesn’t only give your clients the content they need to resolve their problems currently. It also establishes your business as a reliable source.
For instance, we’ve held various workshops for current clients of Drift to demonstrate the product’s features and show how customers can get the most value from our software. We also released our publication, which we’re calling the Go-to-Market guide to Drift The Go-to-Market Guide to DriftA resource filled with Drift’s best methods for sales, marketing customer experience, sales, and operational teams.
What to do to invest in these top B2B marketing manager priorities
After you’ve sorted out your preferences, What are you able to do to make sure you’re delivering?
You can use many ways to increase pipelines, improve the customer experience, and increase brand recognition. However, I’d like to share three areas to invest in to ensure that you are successful in these areas over the long term.
Be Sure That Your Team Is Everything
When asked about their top issues in today’s marketing, 60% of marketers surveyed mentioned the absence of bandwidth for talent. With all the changes taking place in the world of marketing, your team will turn out to be your biggest asset.
Many B2B marketing manager leaders agreed building a well-equipped team in open-ended discussions is crucial.
If your company is on the marketing or sales side, It doesn’t matter if you’re equipped with the appropriate strategy or technology. It won’t be easy to achieve your targets.
In a growing number of cases, marketers are using AI and personalization technologies to improve the experience for customers. However, without a competent team, you will not be in a position to get used to all the technologies you’ve got. A marketing executive said:
I believe that individuals are our biggest asset. Technology as well as advertising dollars, communication and so on! All of them require the most qualified people to make them work. Make it a priority to attract hiring, training, and mentoring the most qualified talent you can. As an executive, you must make this your top goal every day. By doing this, you’ll succeed.
The best leaders choose the best people, help them in every way they can and then let them out of the way. In the real world, this means creating an environment of trust within the company and ensuring that the appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are monitored. Marketing managers can also ensure that their pressure and determination to succeed does not become a reason to control everything.
Must read: Conversational Marketing Examples You Can Steal & Use On Your Website Right Now
Work and play in harmony. Work as well as Operations Work.
The team at Drift marketing is both an art and a science.
This article urges all to review their numbers and evaluate their impact on the Pipeline. Marketers must remain on top of their metrics. It ensures that they can track their impact on the ROI (return upon investments) and set realistic targets.
However, obsessing over systems integrations and data could be detrimental. (Trust me. I’ve witnessed it.) Marketing teams who do this are at risk of delivering boring experiences, boring messages and branding that is out of the way. You must ensure that your creative efforts receive the attention it merits. Even if their effectiveness is more difficult to measure.
Remember that creativity doesn’t just belong to your copywriters or designers. Everyone is born with creativity. And, developing it will aid your B2B marketing manager professionals to become more strategic and thoughtful workers.
To have a strong marketing team, it is essential to devote equal time and effort to your operational and creative tasks. So you’re focusing on all the things that you cannot assess and the things you can.
Maintain the alignment between Sales and Marketing
Your sales and marketing team must already be well-connected. There’s always something you can accomplish.
One of the most effective methods to improve your sales and marketing alignment is to adopt the Account-based Marketing (ABM) strategy. This is because ABM requires a tight partnership among the teams. Hence, they decide on which targets to pursue and in what way.
To enhance to optimize your ABM strategy, You can begin by ensuring that both marketings and sales agreement with the definition of SQL. Then, your team can customize the purchasing experience based on your customers’ behaviour, such as email, content on the website or chatbots.
It is also possible to bring additional channels into the purposes of your ABM strategy, including digital events, direct mail and fireside chats that are invitation-only. If you can target accounts across several channels, your business becomes impossible to miss (in the best way).
The most exciting aspect? It’s putting your marketing and sales teams in sync during the entire course of the campaign.
Keep Up-to-Date in Your Marketing Strategy
It’s encouraging to see that pipeline generation is the main goal of marketing executives, for two consecutively.
Marketers understand what their job is to generate revenues. In addition, with customer experience being among the top three priority areas, expect to see marketers. It continues to put their spin on onboarding and retention.
Make sure to put your money into your employees and balance your creative thinking with your business. It aligns your sales and marketing. This will allow you to keep track of your B2B marketing manager campaigns regardless of how the world of marketing evolves.