How Does Your B2B Growth Marketing Program Compare?

Advertising Strategy

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Savvy marketers navigate evolving landscapes, budget shifts, emerging technologies and changes in audience behavior. Take our quick B2B Advertiser Sophistication Self-Assessment to discover the bleeding-edge tactics savvy marketers use today to dominate digital advertising.

B2B digital advertising is a highly competitive industry and will be so for the foreseeable future. In a world full of noise, every organization fights to grow and maintain its market share. Their long-term success depends on it.

And there comes a time when companies reach an inflection point. They notice there’s only a handful of winners—a huge gap between average advertisers who spectate and game players who hit it out of the park.

So, how do you know which one you are? And after thousands of audits and deep analyses conducted over the past two decades, we discovered common themes between sophisticated marketing leaders and the rest of the pack. Sophisticated marketers successfully navigate evolving landscapes, budget shifts, emerging technologies and changes in audience behavior.

Table of Contents

Charting beyond evolving landscapes 

Digital advertising continues to evolve. Yesterday, it was the boom. Today, there is the push toward a cookieless world.

As data privacy becomes paramount, we’re seeing more legal actions like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) forcing brands to disclose user rights and their intentions for cookies.

Google also announced its 2022 plan for a complete cookie phaseout. And most recently, Apple’s iOS14 privacy updates now require apps to ask for permission to track user activity online, making consumer tracking across platforms like Facebook more difficult. 

Tracking capabilities are becoming increasingly strained, and smart advertisers are preparing first-party data to weather the storm.

Using budget shifts to drive innovation

A Forrester study predicts that by 2022, CMOs will have 30% less marketing spend than they did in 2019.

The task to do more with less has not stopped for marketing organizations. And the pressure to drive sales remains a top priority. 

Constrained budgets continue to drive innovation as marketing leaders find practical tools to do the job at a lower cost. And that requires greater dependence on technology, data, optimization and AI to make up for the slack.

Successful companies are researching and investing in the latest offerings and data-driven technologies to rise above the pack.

Harnessing emerging technology

By the decade, technology advances in leaps. And it’s often hard for businesses to keep up.

With machine learning and artificial intelligence expediting automation, companies are rushing to learn how to effectively manage tools to deliver personalized customer experiences to accelerate sales.

Surprisingly, only 30% of marketers are leveraging AI in their digital ad campaigns. And those who do it correctly are reaping the exponential reward.

It’s a race to market share. and now more than ever, companies need to harness updated technologies—a car, not a faster horse—to maintain their competitive edge. Yet, the learning curve to adopt new tools exacerbates another problem.

By the time tech adoption is complete, another tool is already on the horizon. Partnerships with vendors, strategists and experts who excel in these technologies are now essential to maintain pace.

Adapting to audience behavioral shifts

While sales and conversions remain top priorities, B2B entities still struggle with shifting markets. 

Gartner reports only a tiny 12% of CMOs express confidence in overcoming changing market conditions and audience behaviors to achieve growth. This past year, the dramatic shift in online behavior during COVID-19 forced advertisers to pivot their strategies. 

As remote work and social distancing became the standard for health and safety amid the pandemic, we saw consumers reluctant to buy during an economic spin.

 People also had more time to educate themselves, especially with webinars and the latter. Nurturing the pipeline became pivotal to keeping customers warm.

And, of course, marketers had to adapt to evolving times. Those who survived the tumultuous period made informed decisions with data insights and business trends in mind.