New research from digital marketing firm Wpromote provides a snapshot of a critical moment for the industry, as the pandemic-driven rapid digital transformation crests, data privacy changes accelerate, and economic uncertainty starts to impact budgets.
The firm’s annual State of B2B Digital Marketing trend report, with research firm Ascend2, found that the overall picture was optimistic: 74 percent of B2B marketers expect budgets to increase in the coming year, up from 68 percent last year in 2021. Half pointed to social media as the highest revenue-driving channel, with 52 percent planning to increase social budget.
But significant differences emerged across different groups, including best-in-class marketers, CX specialists, executives and more, including:
- Over two-thirds (67 percent) of best-in-class B2B marketers are fully prepared for impending data privacy changes, while just 36 percent of marketers overall feel completely ready.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of B2B marketers providing the best customer experiences are prioritizing first-party data vs. 17 percent of other marketers.
- Executives placed retention as their second-most important objective after revenue, but it didn’t even crack the top five for the rest of the field.
“The biggest competitive differentiator coming out of the 2022 data is between B2Bs that are putting the right strategies and technology in place to drive sustainable, long-term growth and the rest of the field,” said Christine Schrader, Wpromote’s head of content, in a news release. “They’re focusing on lifetime value as a key performance metric, investing in full-funnel marketing, and prioritizing first-party data. Those businesses will be hard to beat because they’re operating at the level of top-tier B2C marketing teams.”
The report breaks out three key focus areas to spotlight with additional insights from the agency’s experts: lead generation, customer experience, and data privacy. Download the full report here.
Researchers surveyed 321 B2B marketing professionals representing U.S. businesses earning annual revenue of over $5M, with 50 or more employees. The custom questionnaire examined large-scale strategic priorities and challenges as well as specific channels, tactics, and trends.