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Do you have a favourite song? Maybe not one, but songs that reflect your mood and help you cope with those day-to-day stresses? I have many, and this song has been in heavy rotation lately – give it a listen with me as you read on, and know that you’re not alone (and hopefully not an easy target!).

Here’s what the experts are saying, and some takeaways from the past week:

What’s Working in Demand Gen

I think we can all agree that 2020 presented a lot of challenges to B2B marketers. Companies pivoted, switched operational models, and the dynamics of demand generation followed suit. I started this newsletter to address these challenges and share what successful organizations were doing to thrive.

So what B2B demand gen methods worked?

In Demand Gen Report’s State of Demand Generation Benchmark Survey, it was revealed that only 19% of those surveyed said they were increasing budget prioritization on event marketing – a sharp decrease from last year’s 41%. Instead, the report revealed that budgets are being shifted toward ABM (61%), content marketing (60%), sales enablement (48%), and personalization (43%), with the goal of unifying all stages of the sales funnel.

Does this align with your organization’s priorities?

Salesforce’s New ABM Features

I remember watching Marc Benioff first announce ‘Einstein’ at Dreamforce. It made quite the splash, and the industry was buzzing with the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in B2B sales and marketing. It’s been years since then, and despite some effort and a lot of hype, the AI market is nowhere close to reaching its full potential yet.

Salesforce just added two account-based marketing innovations to its Digital 360 platform: Einstein Key Account Identification and Accounts as Campaign Members. The new capabilities will enable companies to easily identify accounts with the strongest buying signals, allowing marketers to kick-start their ABM campaigns and drive more qualified pipeline growth.

Are you leveraging AI in your marketing efforts? According to Drift, 65% of marketing teams are still in the research stage of implementing AI, while only 17% are scaling it. In those companies that have implemented AI – what are your customers saying about the experience? Our informal polls indicate the experience still leaves much to be desired.

(Speaking of ABM, feel free to register for our ABM webinar with Forrester… details below!)

Middle-Class Musicians – No Easy Targets

With the decline of live entertainment, most working musicians would definitely agree that engaging with their audience is NOT an easy target anymore! This interesting article highlights challenges facing the ‘middle-class’ of musicians, how precarious their existence was before COVID hit, and how they’re battling to survive without live performances.

Yet – bands can still engage directly and efficiently with fans. Social media and apps like TikTok may be getting all the headlines, but an artist’s own website remains the most effective and reliable hub of direct-to-fan engagement.

According to Bandzoogle, members successfully engaged fans to generate revenue in 2020 by using their websites as the hub of their activity:

  • Music fans still visit artist websites
  • Fans still download music
  • Bands sell significant merch on their sites
  • Live stream shows (for a fee) are a strong revenue stream
  • Fans will subscribe directly to artists

How does this impact B2B? As the lyric goes, Did you ever listen? Engagement is key! Get out and talk to your customers and turn them into fans, and they will engage directly and consistently.

Forrester Webinar – ABM Engagement – April 8

Join me and Alisa Groocock from Forrester for another webinar – “Are You Ready for B2B Account-Based Marketing?” Follow our techniques and create ABM Success in 2021 – sign up and we’ll send you the Forrester research report too!

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