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During these scorching summer days, let’s take a moment to check our collective B2B temperature. Just as monitoring your body temperature can help detect disease or sickness, so can monitoring various factors in your B2B sales and marketing strategies.

With the seesawing conditions we’ve encountered over the past few years, it’s crucial to maintain a deep understanding of your B2B health and wellness. Doing so helps you make informed decisions and positions your team for success – are you consistently inconsistent or on track?

Give this song by Hot Hot Heat a listen as we stay cool and see what the experts are saying this week.

Heat Alert! B2B Marketing Trends in 2023

Despite the looming threat of recession, 92% of marketers expect their budgets to increase or stay the same this year (at least for now). 86% say that data privacy regulations have impacted their marketing strategy over the past year. And most agree there’s one tactic that’s the biggest trend, has the highest ROI, and tops the to-do list for this year.

Those are just a few of the takeaways from HubSpot’s recently released The State of Marketing: Marketing Trends in 2023 from AI to Z report. This 46-page report is packed with stats and insights on all aspects of marketing from HubSpot and partners including Wistia and Litmus.

While the entire study is worth a read, here are some key takeaways and points of interest from the report:

  1. SEO: Surprisingly Enticing Opportunity
    Given that organic search is one of the top two sources of traffic for business websites (at least on the B2B side), and has high conversion rates, it’s surprising that this research reports, “29% of marketers use a search-optimized website and blog to attract and convert leads.”
    Only 29%?! That doesn’t sound right. It’s also inconsistent with findings elsewhere in this study…
  2. Video Marketing: Hotter Than Ever
    Video marketing is huge and somehow keeps getting huger. It’s been “the year of video” every year since 2017. Per the new HubSpot report, “Video is the most popular and effective media format for the fourth year in a row.”
  3. Influencer Marketing: It’s Social (But Pick Your Platforms Carefully)
    Influencer marketing continues to grow in importance across industries, though priorities, platforms, and practices are much different between B2B and B2C influencer marketing.
  4. The Last Word (Acronym, Actually) on Marketing Trends for 2023
    Likely because of the timing of the study, the research doesn’t say a lot about the impact artificial intelligence (AI) will have on marketing this year and beyond. It does note that AI is where everybody’s hanging out… marketing tools are now everywhere; they’ll help marketers with the perennial demand to “do more with less”; and “Content creators and marketers now have a new skill to learn – getting good at using AI.”

Streaming – Communism vs Capitalism?

I think sometimes we expect simple or quick answers to problems when the real solution is a horribly complex mess of contradictions that’ll chew you up and spit you out anyway. With that in mind, there was a weird peace of mind to be found in reading Will Page’s very interesting thoughts on the state of streaming.

Page likens the friction around streaming remuneration as being like communism meeting capitalism. The ‘communism’ view is that every song is worth the same. The ‘capitalism’ view is the opposite.

Seems that artists need to find other ways to generate revenue now, and need to be getting more adventurous, more inquisitive, and more playful in how they are connecting fans with music.

I don’t believe music’s cultural heft has diminished. But at some point, it’s like we all accepted that it’s just worth less now, and that was that. But like share prices, these things can move up as well as down, and perhaps we’re approaching a point where the value of music needs to be focused on a bit more.

What about B2B? As marketers and B2B professionals, unpredictability’s our responsibility. The value of certain things – including the goods and services that we provide – can go up and down unexpectedly. Things like a State of Marketing report can help mitigate some of that unpredictability, though.

So get more adventurous, more inquisitive, and more playful! How do you leverage data from reports like HubSpot’s to connect (or reconnect) with your fans?

As always, don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello!

Looking forward,

Rick Endrulat, President | ricke@v-causeway.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat