If you are like most B2B marketing leaders, 2024 will challenge you to drive predictable growth in unpredictable times. Today, we are releasing our Planning Guide 2024: B2B Marketing Executives, which reveals that a majority of B2B marketing leaders are expecting an increase in their budget over the next 12 months despite ongoing macroeconomic instability.
If you are fortunate enough to secure incremental budget, how should you deploy it to best effect? Even if you aren’t going to have more budget, how can you make the best use of your resources?
Be A Mastermind Of Growth
First, embrace marketing’s role as the mastermind of growth despite the turmoil of turbulent times. Don’t isolate expectations of “growth marketing” or “performance marketing” to a few programs or processes. All marketing is growth marketing; otherwise, what’s the bother? Avoid getting trapped in discussions about budget savings by focusing on revenue you can grow.
Target Investments For Growth
- Incorporate lifecycle revenue marketing into campaign planning. Exercise marketing’s role not only in new customer acquisition but in retention, upselling, and cross-selling.
- Employ connected messaging to bond brand and demand by weaving your brand message to your thought leadership, portfolio, and individual offering messages.
- Integrate partners across the entire scope of marketing to orchestrate and co-innovate value across a broader range of partners.
- Develop clear guidelines for generative AI in marketing strategy and execution; determine if you will be in the vanguard or the mainstream — or if you’ll first wait until all risks are known and can be mitigated.
Divest With The Superpower Of Focus
Determine what you can eliminate or minimize to provide more resources for growth. Working with your CEO and peers, “place your bets” and focus your marketing plan on two (at most three) growth strategies. Use this to drive clarity on where not to focus, then:
- Euthanize pet programs and make the hard calls to cut underperforming programs or segments.
- Consider agency options to flex spend up and down more easily.
- Eradicate product-based campaigns — your product-centric value prop is not as important as the needs-based value that your customers are seeking to realize.
Save Room For Experimentation
Here are a few experimentation ideas that we are recommending to our marketing executive clients:
- Think like a venture capitalist and adopt a portfolio investment strategy as a ring-fenced budget slice for innovation — any one investment might not pay off, but the portfolio will.
- Build if/then scenario plans to combat unpredictability vs. reacting in the moment.
- Harness the promise of genAI with three to five targeted experiments (e.g., in content marketing or improving customer experiences).
- Pilot cross-functional, self-sufficient “pods” for priority segments.
We wish all B2B marketers a successful 2024. And that starts with an effective 2024 planning cycle. If you are a client, be sure to check out the full Planning Guide and schedule a guidance session with one of our B2B marketing executive-focused analysts. If you aren’t a client, you can access the report here.
Want to dive deeper into our 2024 planning insights? Attend our Planning Guides: B2B Marketing Leaders webinar on Tuesday, August 22nd. Learn more and register.