You know it’s the New Year when all of the trend and prediction articles start making their rounds. But with the flurry of 2024 predictions and opinions about B2B marketing trends, how can a business owner sift through it all and know what’s worth truly considering? Here’s my take on the trends that deserve your time, the ones that can help you future proof your business.
Leveraging AI In Intelligent Ways
Let’s get the elephant in the room out in the open first. Yes, AI is everywhere and only gaining steam. And, your approach to using it should be carefully thought out. We can all benefit from leveraging AI to help us increase our efficiency, whether we’re using ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini or other tools out there. But think of these as assistants, not directors. You want your work product to be supported by AI, not produced by it.
This technology provides an incredible tool that can help us speed up our processes, spark ideas and maximize results. But the teams that win the most with AI will be the ones that don’t fully rely on it; the ones that use it to assist them in producing quality, rather than churning out quantity.
Eyes On Efficiency
A big part of the reason that AI has become such a go-to technology for so many companies is because of the widespread need for businesses to become more efficient. Ongoing fears about a recession and the unpredictability of the global economy have put fear in the hearts of executives everywhere. The knee-jerk reaction is to make cuts and “do more with less,” the mantra we’ve heard ad nauseam over the past year but isn’t going away anytime soon.
While the C-suite was formerly the group most concerned with efficiency, it’s now creeping into every level of marketing. Clients are worried and want their marketing teams to be more efficient with their budgets. Businesses want their team members to be more efficient. The best way to do this is to create a strategy and execute only against that. Say no to everything else, and check in on how your strategy is performing. When you stay focused, you can stay much more lean and efficient than when you’re chasing down miscellaneous trends and haphazard tactics.
Email Marketing’s Evolution
Email marketing gets beaten up a lot, cited for being annoying and ineffective. But the truth is that, when done well, email marketing still works well from an ROI perspective. This is the key, though. In 2024, the marketers who have success with email marketing will be the ones who take their time figuring out how they can add value to the recipients of their email campaigns. They’ll segment their data and personalize their messages, taking a much more thoughtful approach that puts the buyer’s needs at the forefront.
Email marketing will continue to evolve from a privacy perspective as well. With all of the regulations that have been emerging and growing over the years, like GDPR and CCPA, cold emailing is going to go the way of the dinosaur. It will no longer be a viable tactic - not only because consumers are irritated by it today, but also because of the potential legal and reputational repercussions that could come from misusing data. Sure, there are situations when cold email outreach still works well but often those are outliers and not a consistent solution that works well across all businesses, especially those that are targeting buyers in Europe or strict states such as California.
The Era Of The Micro-Influencer for Business
When influencers began to be used for advertising, there was a perception that success meant working with someone who was extremely famous and had millions of followers. It’s since become common knowledge that small, niche influencers can actually be more compelling in getting your message to your intended audience than any giant celebrity would be (and much more cost-effective).
For example, consider TikTok. For a long time, it was heavily focused on B2C. But I’ve noticed over the last year, there are so many business influencers that share short snippets of content geared toward educating their audience. B2B companies would be wise to leverage these niche influencers who are already speaking to their ideal audiences in order to amplify their brands. This is the smart and strategic way that organizations will use influencer marketing this year.
Need a partner to help you decide on the best strategies for your company this year? Give us a call!