CMOs are confronted with a challenging environment, rapidly evolving requirements, and the need for change, which impacts organizations’ growth strategy and operating business. Most companies are already in the midst of or have planned an entire transformation process to combat the challenges of an evolving environment.

Forrester’s Marketing Survey, 2022, fielded between September and December 2021, reached a broad spectrum of marketing leaders (over 1,060), including over 330 senior marketing decision-makers. The survey explored several important questions, among others, about the growth strategy of organizations, their marketing priorities, the greatest challenges of marketing organizations, and the optimization of important internal processes for the next 12 months.

Looking specifically at the responses of senior marketing decision-makers, I have surfaced six key insights and CMO trends to pay attention to in order to drive growth and strengthen the performance of B2B marketing teams in the next 12 months. For an even deeper dive, see the infographic below this list:

  1. Define and implement an aligned company growth strategy. The most important decision a company can make is how it plans to grow. There are six common ways: 1) enter new markets; 2) discover new buyers; 3) grow through new offerings; 4) make an acquisition; 5) increase productivity; or 6) learn through experience. For over half of the B2B senior marketing decision-makers surveyed, “new buyers,” “new markets,” and “productivity” were each ranked among the top growth strategies in 2022 for the next 12 months.
  2. Build a brand purpose that aligns to your brand vision, mission, and corporate social responsibility goals. Fifty-two percent of senior B2B marketers with authority over brand and communications plan to prioritize building an aligned brand to drive growth in the coming year. The great challenge and risk linked to brand perception to achieve marketing goals is not lost on them. CMOs and marketing executives must implement a brand management process that employs an ongoing set of activities over a period of years with the aim to generate awareness, positive perceptions, and preference.
  3. Address changing buyer behaviors. More than one in three senior B2B marketers see this as important for their marketing strategy in the coming year, followed by the creation of audience-centric content that addresses the full customer lifecycle. This finding corresponds with the increasing complexity of B2B buying processes and a more intense purchasing process. Strong B2B marketing and sales alignment with shared buyer insights is a key success factor to ensure buyer-centricity along the complete purchase cycle.
  4. Optimize your technology stack. When senior marketing decision-makers were asked where they will focus their efforts to support marketing priorities, optimization of the technology stack (new investments, consolidation, and/or rationalization) was a popular response. A broad spectrum of technology is currently being used. A crucial challenge is an aligned technology strategy and roadmap, with a close interplay of B2B marketing and IT being essential. Fifty-seven percent of senior B2B marketing decision-makers already confirm that the CMO and CIO are strategic partners in developing technology-driven solutions for the business.
  5. Optimize your channel partner process and content process. The optimization or implementation of internal core processes is important for senior marketing decision-makers to reach their marketing goals. Adding or enhancing channel partners and content processes like content generation and management were popular plans for a quarter of respondents for the coming year. With increasing buyer and customer expectations, content planning, production, promotion, performance, and organizational readiness are challenging and must be aligned and calibrated with the buyer’s journey or customer lifecycle. CMOs should create a clear content strategy and improve operations.
  6. Establish reliable measurement. The rapidly changing business environment creates ambitious imperatives for CMOs. Over a third of senior marketing decision-makers ranked a changing business environment that effectively renders old data meaningless as one of their top measurement and analytics challenges. Furthermore, increasingly important is a missing connection between metrics and business goals. Especially when coping with (drastic) evolvement and changing market conditions, CMOs must implement an entire and relevant set of performance management KPIs to navigate against the aimed business goals.

Discover more: Infographic available here

Forrester’s Marketing Survey, 2022, offers — besides the six CMO trends — further visibility into opportunities and challenges that B2B CMOs need to address to be successful. Such findings arm CMOs with invaluable input to guide their decision-making as they develop their 2022 plans and lead their teams.

Forrester’s Marketing Survey, 2022, was fielded between September and December 2021. This online/CATI (computer-assisted telephone interviewing) survey included 1,834 respondents in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, the UK, and the US. The survey was split into two tracks, with unique questions, based on the selling model of the respondents’ organization. The B2B track includes 1,064 respondents, and the B2C track includes 770 respondents.