What can we expect to see in 2022? Below is a summary of trends and recommendations.
Rising digital commerce
The B2B buyer journey is changing, and many buyers do not prefer a face-to-face (or virtual meeting) interaction with a sales agent. Similar to the B2C buyer, they want a self-service option to browse and compare online. This is why we are seeing a shift to online and hybrid experiences, and why marketers need to re-prioritize marketing channels to include ecommerce.
According to a 2020 Gartner survey looking at B2B procurement, online will account for 59 per cent of sales by 2023, reducing transactions through salespeople from 28 per cent today to 24 per cent in two years.
CMOs as the connectors of the business
The role of the CMO is changing. Marketing leadership is now tasked with breaking down into more organizational silos. Gartner’s 2022 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Vision report finds that the role of the CMO is shifting to the Chief Connecting Officer (CCO). The CMO/CCO is responsible for being a customer champion, making data-driven decisions, working with multiple complex channels, managing a scarcity of marketing technology talent, advocating for the brand and driving revenue through channel partnerships.
Growing channel marketing technology
An increasing number of companies are seeing their partnerships as a channel for revenue growth. Marketing departments are fine tuning more elaborate processes to invest, manage and measure their partnerships.
There is an expanding ecosystem of SaaS vendors who offer channel enablement, partner marketing management, incentive management and partner relationship management. If you are in a partnership and there is no mutual value identified at year-end review, the strategic decisions that need to be made should not come as a surprise.
Martech continues to evolve
As organizations go through change, digital marketing technology changes exponentially faster. This is called the “Martech Law.” Unless organizations plan their adoption, hiring needs, agency partnerships and rollout of martech, there is no way the team can stay up to date.
According to chiefmartec editor, Scott Brinker, “Technology moves so fast that it’s a challenge for the people actually implementing this stuff and harnessing it and learning it and leveraging it. There’s basically no way we can’t be in a position where there is almost an evergreen skills gap.”
So, what should marketing leaders do?
Marketing leaders should adopt the following martech best practices:
- Decide what digital commerce approach and tools are appropriate for your customer.
- Select the channel marketing technology that best supports your partner strategy.
- Invest in teams and agency partners to support your martech and operations. Aim for your customers to view you as a natural extension of their team.
- Prioritize the focus of the CMO in addition to aligning with sales.