Caroline Robertson, VP, Research Director and Lori Wizdo, VP, Principal Analyst
The pieces are in place for B2B marketing organizations to take on an elevated role within their companies. As firms plot their course beyond the pandemic, the opportunity to move from supporting function to driver of organizational success has never been greater. How can marketing leaders fulfill this mission in 2022? VP and Principal Analyst Lori Wizdo and VP and Research Director Caroline Robertson explain on this week’s podcast.
Change was already in motion before COVID-19 hit: Businesses were buying more online; buyers sought more digital content; more stakeholders got in on the buying process. Advances in marketing technology, meanwhile, made it possible to unlock more buyer and customer insights than ever before. Marketing leaders are now in a perfect position to harness these forces — what’s needed to capitalize, says Wizdo, is a mindset shift.
“A lot of B2B marketing leaders don’t necessarily think about the potential they could have as part of the leadership team with their organizations,” she says. “The disruption is an opportunity to reshape the role.”
That reshaping requires a true customer orientation, starting with how success is measured. Along with shifting from activity-focused metrics, such as number of leads, to ones centered on impact, marketers should abandon the notion of marketing-sourced metrics. These don’t hold up to today’s complex buying dynamics, Robertson notes, and “can create a silo that we have forever been trying to break down between marketing and sales.” In 2022, Forrester predicts that the use of marketing-sourced metrics will decline as organizations continue to realize their shortcomings.
The analysts also predict that marketers will turn more of their focus to existing customers, which represent 75%–80% of B2B organizations’ revenue stream. As they do, often fragmented marketing teams such as demand, account, customer marketing will work more closely to provide a better integrated, full lifecycle approach. Forrester predicts that in the coming year, disparate marketing teams will consolidate in 20% of B2B firms.
Technology will play an important role in connecting these fragmented teams. Wizdo and Robertson discuss the quick wins that tech investments will deliver and where some investments will fall short. “There’s the hope that these technologies are silver bullets … but they will fail to meet their real potential [unless you] think about the customer’s journey, the customer’s needs, and the customer’s experience,” Wizdo says.
Listen to the full episode to hear more of Forrester’s 2022 B2B marketing predictions and how marketing leaders should respond.