What’s Ahead for B2B Marketing in 2023?

Predictions about what we’ll keep, what should go, and what new additions will become critical to our industry in 2023.

Predictions for next year? It’s never too early to predict what’s next in the B2B industry. As we near the end of 2022, it’s helpful to look back at the valuable lessons learned in B2B marketing over the past year and consider what’s to come. As such, here are my predictions about what we’ll keep, what should go, and what new additions will become critical to our industry in 2023.  

1. Buyers Will Increasingly Demand Self-Serve Options

A recent study found that virtually 100% of buyers want to self-serve part or all of the buyer journey (up 13% from 2021). That’s major, and speaks to the need for organizations to facilitate self-conducted research. Consider how well you stack up on this front. Can a buyer see your pricing and experience a free trial or demo on their own, without jumping through hoops or intervention from sales? Is your marketing team aligning their content to the buying cycle, so that buyers can guide themselves toward a purchase? 

If not, you have a significant opportunity to offer buyers more of what they want. This also heightens the need to implement ABM/X practices if you haven’t already, since these approaches prioritize targeted, relevant communications that equip buyers to move through the funnel on their own terms.

Related Article: Your Evolutionary Guide to Go-to-Market Efficiency in a Downturn

2. Privacy Will Remain a Top Concern for Buyers

We’ve already seen regulations increase around how consumer data is captured, stored and used, and this won’t stop anytime soon. As such, third-party data about people will continue to become more and more scarce.

The best approach for marketers moving forward will be to focus on first-party data (the data you already have within your systems). And in the B2B world, a premium will be placed on account-level third-party data, since companies don’t have a right to privacy. 

3. More Dark Communities

Dark communities are digital spaces where buyers and prospects interact and discuss technology, business practices, and more. These may be huddles, private Slack channels, VC communities, etc. which people enjoy because they’re vendor-agnostic. They feel like they can get real information there, not influenced by people pushing a product. 

Given this, it’s likely that more buyers will gather in such places in the future, making the buying journey even more anonymous (and less likely to feature the vendor’s website as heavily). Marketers should implement strategies to enable their best customers to advocate on behalf of the company in these communities.  

Related Article: 5 Ways to Ensure Personalization and Consumer Privacy Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

4. More Efficient Orchestration

In the not-so-distant past, marketing and sales teams were like estranged cousins at a family reunion. They’d chat when necessary and sometimes show up to the same places, but there was not much in the way of intentional communication. At best, they acted like a relay team, paying attention to the handoff but otherwise running their own races.

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