Putting 2023 Marketing Predictions Into Practice

In an always evolving landscape, marketers are required to stay on top of the latest trends and technology. As technologies advance and business conditions shift, so do the components that make up an effective marketing strategy. This is especially critical in the new year as your team is likely in the midst of yearly planning and setting goals that will allow you to keep ahead of the competition and stay in front of the customer.

Join eMa’s Senior Marketing Program Manager, Emerald Lindskog, and Angela Kehl, Senior Marketing Associate, to know about the marketing trends to watch out for in 2023 and how they can provide a significant advantage to your company.

This webinar will cover:

  • How buyer behaviors are changing in 2023 and what that means for your marketing plans
  • How your marketing strategy needs to change alongside the latest consumer and technological shifts
  • Customer retention in 2023 and how marketers can play a key role in this critical area

Angela Kehl:
Good morning, good afternoon, and welcome to Expert Marketing Advisors Next webinar, putting 2023 marketing predictions into practice. So we’re gonna give everyone a minute or so to join and then we’ll jump right in.

Okay, so let’s get started. I’m Angela Kehl, Senior Marketing Associate for Expert Marketing Advisors, and I’m so excited to start talking about 2023 B2B marketing predictions today and how to put those predictions into practice with Emerald Lindskog, our Senior Marketing Programs Manager here at eMa.

Emerald Lindskog:
Hi Angela. I’m happy to chat with you this morning on all things 2023 Market.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah. So we’d love to keep this an interactive conversation. So if anyone has any questions during this webinar, just please drop them the box and we’ll answer them during or after. So Emerald, where should we begin?

Emerald Lindskog:
I think a good place for us to begin our conversation today is really looking at our audience and how maybe buyer behaviors are changing, you know, who is our audience and how that’s gonna affect our marketing efforts this year.

And so I think we all kind of know now that millennials and Gen Zs have taken over you know, the buying age group with 65% of buyers being aged 80 to 40. And I think, you know, these are folks who are, you know, digital first. They’ve grown up, you know, Magen Z even more than millennials, have grown up with technology, the internet, all at their fingertips from, you know, the time they were small children.

So how does that really affect them and their purchasing decisions and how they process information? I think I think it’s probably clear that most millennials and Gen Zs are never gonna answer your traditional sales phone call. You know, they’re really looking for information upfront. They’re looking for ways to own their own buyer journey, and I think that that really kind of starts with.

Giving them the tools and information education that they need upfront. And so that can really maybe mean for you and your organization that you’re un gating content, you know, you’re gating less content. And I think it’s really important that we are providing, you know assets upfront that are.

Leveled at all stages of the buyer journey for folks. And also looking at you know, creating content that’s targeted to folks from practitioners up to C-suite and making that all upfront on your website. You know, we need to make sure we’re giving people the tools and information they need to make those decisions.

I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that here at eMa. What do you think, Angela?

Angela Kehl:
No, I think for sure, like one thing we used to do was we used to gate all of our webinars and all of our assets, but recently we opened up nearly all of our content on our site. We did make the decision to keep only our Hyatt asset or high value assets like our playbook skated, but just removing.

Form that takes 30 seconds to fill out has really helped us see more downloads for all of our assets.

Emerald Lindskog:
I think that really goes along with an idea that people are kind of rejecting traditional B2B sales experiences. And you know, another way to do that is to really try to like mimic your buyer a little bit.

So, You know, if you are selling to enterprise companies, make sure that your website and your collateral looks like an enterprise company. You know, for us here at E M A, a lot of our clients are, you know, startup SaaS companies. We’ve recently added a buy now button, as well as transparent pricing for our base level package and offerings, and we’ve seen a lot of really good feedback around that.

I think it really goes without saying that, you know, your presence on social media is a must, and I think it goes a lot beyond. You know, consistent and relevant posting. I think millennial and Gen Z buyers are possibly visiting your social media sites even before they’re going to your website. So are they gonna see that same quality of rich content that folks will find on your website, on your social media, on your LinkedIn?

You know, I think it’s really important that your social sites are set up just as, as strongly as your website. You know, with. , our younger generation, you know, TikTok and YouTube are really the two strongest platforms that folks are using right now. And I think, you know, for a lot of us in b2b, you know, TikTok might seem overwhelming.

We don’t really know how our content might fit into that, and that’s okay. You know, but I think you’re really missing the boat if you’re not leveraging YouTube. You know, I, even just a client I worked with last week posted the same video content on their LinkedIn and their YouTube and saw six times the engagement on and views on their YouTube post versus their LinkedIn.

So making sure, you’re definitely leveraging all your social media sites in the strongest way possible. There are definitely a lot of B2B groups that are. Using TikTok successfully. I know Smartsheets and HubSpot are using them fairly well. SEM Rush, you know, people are using it to put out a lot of great educational content.

And so I think, you know, following those who are doing it well and seeing maybe how, you know, your company can fit in that fit in that space too. So Angela, I mean, you’re our, you’re our resident, gen Z here on the team, you know, does, does any of that resonate with you?

Angela Kehl:
Oh yes, absolutely. So I am a part of Gen Z.

Whether or not that’s a good or bad thing, and I can definitely say social media influencers probably have the biggest influence in what I buy. They’re honestly like how I find out about a lot of different products. So like having that built up social media page is like super critical because that’s just what I go to first.

And then right after that I’ll like go to the website and I’ll look at the reviews. And generally it’s the reviews that will push me over the finish line and make me buy a product. Yeah, so I think social media is just really how companies can get noticed and also meet their target audience wherever they are exactly.

All of this is just very true. Like everything on the slide, I do not answer my phone if there’s no caller Id. While I’m like comfortable talking on the phone, I’d rather just do it online, like dinner reservations. That’s like a, okay, go online five o’clock, perfect . And it’s such way easier. Even like ungraded content.

I think that’s. Just really important because I’m immediately turned away if there is a form to fill out, even if it just takes 30 seconds or less, honestly. And yeah, like signing up for things on websites, I prefer using the sign in, using Google button and actually, Email, taking the time to come up with a password, like sometimes that just takes a lot of work.

So all really great points.

Emerald Lindskog:
And, I agree with you and I think what you’re saying is really that the buyer is really prioritizing convenience over everything else. And I think, I think that’s really important to think about. I mean, even also. We’re seeing really the buyer committee is a lot more bigger and more diverse as we’re moving into 2023.

I think you know, we’re sharing on the screen a report and study from e-marketer and insider intelligence that kind of digs deeper into decision making for buyers. So, you know what, what it’s really showing us is folks are reviewing you. And ex and researching you far before they’re ever reaching out to have a sales or marketing conversation with you.

So 60% of folks are going to your website and checking you out reading your content. 55% are attending a webinar just like this from your supplier. 50% are evaluating, just like Angela said on peer review sites. So I think it’s really important to understand that we’re dealing with a savvy buyer right now, someone who is taking steps to understand your product or your offering before they’re ever reaching out to you.

So it’s another reason why some of the items we discussed on the earlier slide are gonna become even more crucial in this next year.

Angela Kehl:
Now, in addition to that, I just recently read a study by Forrester, that discussed the same topics and it said that 75% of people that there are more people in the decision making process.

And that 75% said the average buying cycle has increased in the last 24 months.

Emerald Lindskog:
Super. Well, definitely. And I just, from, you know, the experience we have with our clients too, we’re seeing that as well. Mm-hmm. . And so, you know, One of the ways I think we can try to stand out in, in the next year amongst the sea of decisions and, you know, the harder it is for people to make decisions, the more you really wanna appeal to people’s emotions.

You know, I think B2B marketing has kind of seen, sometimes been seen as a little, you know, stale and really technical and I think really some places that we can. Stand out in the crowd is to use emotion, humanize your brand. So, you know, B2B brands that are using emotion in organic content are seeing a 58% higher CTR click through rate, and that’s 45% for paid ads.

So, you know, the metrics are showing us that people who are embracing creativity and. Experimenting outside of, you know, traditional B2B marketing and really appealing to the emotions that your product or service can do for someone you know, can what problems does your product solve? What can it alleviate a pain point?

You know, really speaking to those items in your marketing maybe can do a lot more for us and appeal to our audience more than just saying statistics and technical figure.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah, no, I love what you said about appealing to people’s emotions and solving those pain points. Because I was told by a marketing professional that 95% purchasing decisions are emotionally based, which is a lot.

You would think, with all this data we have that people would be like, okay, well what’s the number of looking like? But no, people are like, what problem does this solve? And like what, how does this make my life better? So it’s super important. Data is important, but it’s ultimately the emotion.

I agree. So, yeah. So let’s move on to a few ways we can see our economy, share our marketing efforts in 2023.

Emerald Lindskog:
Well, I think if you have read anything about 2023 marketing predictions, or in general what you’re reading about is customer retention is gonna be the name of the game. I think as you know.

We’re going into, you know, people talk about a recession or a downturn in the economy, whether that’s affecting your industry or not, it means that people are gonna be, you know slower to make decisions. It means people are gonna be more thoughtful in decisions, and it also means that the. , there’s gonna be a lot more people, as we discussed, helping to make that decision.

So, you know, according to Forrester, 77 to 80% of all B2B company revenue is gonna be derived from customers who the firm has already done business with in the past. So that could be expand deals, it could be. , you know, previous customers, it could be word of mouth marketing, you know, those types of things.

And we’re seeing here on this chart, really what people are prioritizing as we’ve been discussing is, you know, convenience, knowledgeability efficiency, you know, the friendliness and the ease of dealing with those vendors. I think. People are going to be really looking for vendors and partners that are prioritizing and customizing their offerings as opposed to kind of maybe looking through relationships through just one single purchase.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah, no, I think exact what you said hit it on the head. Marketing has really just moved beyond the whole branding and just advertising. Marketers really just must work together with every department to focus on building those great customer experiences and engaging them for long term relationships.

Emerald Lindskog:
So just super critical. Exactly. Exactly. So what are some ways you can connect with your customer and build those stronger relationships in the coming months and year? I think for us, you know, you know, I’m currently in the Bay Area and a lot of us in our company that, you know, clients and ourselves are still working remotely.

And that has definitely made an impact in building those relationships. I think it’s really gonna be important. , we really prioritize visiting our customers in person this year. You know, maybe pick, depending on the size of your company, your top 10 to 20. Percent of your, of your client base and making a plan to visit them in person, whether that’s local or across the country I think it’s really going to make an impact and show customers that you know, you are prioritizing them and making an effort to build those relationships.

I think that it’s important, you know, maybe you can’t visit everyone, but you could do regional events. You could, you know, invite customers and your partners, you know, do a West coast and East coast, you know, a South regional event executive briefing center type event. So, you know, there’s definitely ways that we can try to keep those strong partnerships going.

You know, you can highlight customers in testimonials or case studies. I think people really love to be featured and highlighted and talk about their experience and know that their, you know, marketing efforts are performing so well. So I think that’s a great way to do it. I think that customers are really wanting a partnership from their vendors and they really want to know you’re equally as invested with them meeting their goals, you know, have set meetings where you’re setting those goals together and you’re getting an understanding of not just what they’re looking for in the next quarter or year, but really what is their five year plan, what is their three year plan, and breaking those down into actionable monthly, weekly task.

That show that you are gonna help them get them to that finish line. I think even though a lot of companies do have this, if you don’t, it could be beneficial to implement a customer success or engagement manager on your team. Someone that’s really bridging the gap between, you know, the practitioners on your team and your customer, and making sure that we are meeting their expectations.

We are getting them to, you know, meet the goals and objectives that they’re looking for.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah, for sure. I love what you said about the customer success. Cause I think in recent years we’ve really seen an explosion of those types of roles being put out. And in integrated latest research, they said that 54% of people are gonna spend more on their customer marketing.

Like, I’d love to hear from everyone in the audience, like, are they gonna be putting more funds for, is it customer market units here, since we know. Funds are like kind of getting tighter budgets, often getting smaller, especially say, of the economy this year. We’d love to hear like where you’re putting that and if any of it is towards your customer marketing.

Emerald Lindskog:
Definitely. I, I think it’s gonna have to be this year, really, you know? So I think another big aspect of, you know, dealing with an economic downturn or the, and the possibility of you know, recession is that, Marketers we’re gonna be asked to do more with less this year. I think 60. You know, based on what I’ve read and, and this quote we have on the screen is that, you know, more than half of us are gonna be dealing with budgets that are staying flat or also le lessening, you know, so I think we’re probably gonna be asked to deliver the same amount of revenue or more as we have last year, and doing that with, with less funds and maybe less staff.

So I think some of the ways that we can really, you know, immediately try to, Cut budgets and still keep quality is renegotiating your marketing technology spend. You know, a lot of these, your, you know, your vendors wanna keep you too, and they’re willing to also work with you. You know, I think a lot of vendors have wiggle room and the packages that they’re offering, you know, we’ve seen, you know, some technology vendors cut costs up to 70% and really give you back, you know, four to five figures worth of savings.

So talk to your vendors. I think one of the other bigger places that we’re gonna see is people reevaluating their trade show attendance. And, you know, I think. I think that only makes sense when you have limited funds. So I think events are very important to a lot of our businesses and, and brand recognition and getting your name out there.

But I think you’re really gonna try to wanna focus on what are the events that you’re seeing quality lead generation from and, you know, maybe considering limiting some of your options to the more targeted. Local, smaller events where you’re getting more networking time or the audience of attendees is more targeted to your demographic.

Maybe you are only attending smaller events where you have a speaking slot and you can get a little bit more impact that way. So I think evaluating your trade show and larger event attendance is a good way to also see some dollars back in your budget. And then, you know, repurposing content.

I think we’re not, we’re not saying take the exact same posts or blog post you did three years ago and reusing that. What we’re trying to say is, you know take a webinar like this and maybe you can cut some of the into 30 to a minute, second sound bites and use that for your social or for a newsletter.

You know, I think a lot of blog posts and. Webinar presentations or keynote addresses that someone on your team might be doing. There’s a lot of research that goes into that. So what can you do with some of those facts and figure. You know, maybe you can build infographics things of that nature, data sheets.
So I think there’s a lot of ways, if you look back at some of the content that you have developed, you know, maybe you research what some of the current metrics are and you rewrite a blog post a little bit. So kind of take a deep dive into your library of assets and see what you can, what you can use.

And then I think just optimizing the channels, looking at what’s working for you, what are you really getting your return on investment, where are you getting your stronger conversations from, and focusing in on those channels.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah, for sure. Like, I know we’ve had to do this at E M A before for example, we used to host our webinars on Bright Talk.

We’re using Bright Talk, but now clearly we use Zoom. Like you all know this, we’re here, we’re here. But we found that it’s easier, less expensive, and people are more comfortable with the platform anyway. So it’s really just a win-win situation. So trying to find, like looking at your marketing tech stack and being like, okay, where can I.

Like, am I using this? Is it helpful? Does it integrate with everything? Just really taking the whole big picture and seeing where you can slim down, because there’s always some space. And now we’ll move on to what’s trending for content in 2023.

Emerald Lindskog:
Awesome. So I think as we talked about earlier, I think with the rise of TikTok and Instagram reels, I mean, short form video content is really here to stay and we can really make a big impact with your audience.

And it is more than just on social media, you know, I mean, like we talked about using videos in newsletters. You know, using them in your nurture emails, you can use them for education on your website about your product or service. You know, LinkedIn using them for video events or in your social posts.

I think tutorials are a great way to use them and one of the ways I, I didn’t think about but had found when we were reading some articles for, to prep for this presentation, Was using videos in your landing pages on Google Ads, and I think that’s a great one. I definitely would like to start implementing on, on some of the campaigns I’m doing right now.

In addition to short form video content, I think podcasts are really moving in, have, you know, totally infiltrated the B2B space and are here to stay, you know, push notifications in s m s marketing and I think we’re gonna see more B2B companies getting into influencer marketing as well.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah, no, for sure. We’ve recently developed a content checklist as a pre resource on our LinkedIn newsletter called Engage. So we’ll share that in the chat if anyone is interested in it and feel free to subscribe. Yeah, we’ll be including that also in the recording, so Awesome.

Emerald Lindskog:
Thanks Angela. And then I think on the topic of content and metrics, I think one of the things that I’ve been reading more about lately and seeing it through practices is really a discussion around impressions and how those are really impacting purchasing decisions.

And I think more and more you know, we’re seen impressions as a value indicator of an audience’s readiness to buy. I think. You know, it’s hard, right? Impressions are not really showing your C-suite that you know, you’re getting conversions on your campaign. You know, they’re not showing you that someone purchased something.

But I think there’s a lot to be said for being seen. Oh, pardon me. And so, you know, It’s a direct link to your audiences ready to buy. I believe. You know, it’s important to look at your whole ecosystem of advertising and marketing. I think this example that they’re showing on the screen is, you know B2B institute’s research about six times of improvement in activation performance for brand building and acquisition versus acquisition alone.

And I think we’ve been seeing some indicators of impressions as well. Different work we’ve done with clients. You know, definitely making sure that you’re running, you know, brand awareness, LinkedIn ads for a few months to prime your audience before you’re maybe running an ad where you’re hoping your audience is gonna convert.

You can see higher conversions that way because your audience is, you know, getting brand recognition. We’ve also seen, you know, through programmatic and ad campaigns you know, we were running some campaigns for a security client with a very, you know, targeted platform, and we were running. Two display ads of awareness ads before we were ever showing the audience our ad for the red for the demo.

So we ended up seeing a 7% conversion. Increase when we showed two ads to the person before showing them the demo ad. And so I think it’s just another indicator of that, you know, impressions and your visibility across platforms is only gonna help you when you’re really asking someone to purchase something from you.

I love that example. So, Angela, I think that’s really all that I had prepared for us today, and I really appreciate you inviting me to chat with you today. Of course.

Angela Kehl:
Thank you so much. It was, it was all really great stuff. So now we’re gonna open it up to the audience for any questions. Yeah, so type them in the chat.

Okay, so we do have a few here. First one is, what is causing the increase in the buying cycle? Information overload, more product choice, desire to be a more educated buyer. Other, what are your thoughts?

Emerald Lindskog:
Well, I would say it’s all of those really. I think it is a little bit of, you know, more product choice and a more educated buyer.

I also think it is about kind of what we talked about in the beginning, which is having more people involved in your purchasing decisions. You know, I might find a tool that I really want to use that I think will be beneficial, you know, but I also need, you know, my direct manager to approve that. And then maybe even the CFO, if the cost is above a certain amount and am I gonna get the CFO to sign off on that if they don’t necessarily see a value in the tool that I need to do my job?

And that I think will get us across the line. You know, I think there’s more people involved. I think you are dealing with a really savvy buyer. As we talked about. These people are doing research and I think they’re waiting to make decisions. They’re really reevaluating products and tools to make sure.

When they do sign on that dotted line, they’re making the right choice for, for their team and for their organization.

Angela Kehl:
For sure. And we do have so many options now, it’s like info overload. So it just takes more time, I think. Yeah. So our next question is, what are some resources or people you follow to keep up with marketing trends and best practices?

Emerald Lindskog:
Hmm. Okay. That’s a good one. I think there’s so many people out there. But I’d say some of the top ones that I pay attention to and follow and like read their content regularly is gonna be Neil Patel. He’s been around so long. Someone I’ve, I’ve followed for many years. I love Anne Hanley and the marketing preps team.

I get their newsletter. I get Smart brief newsletter into my in. You know, that gives me a lot of curated articles about marketing and social media. I also like Mar Michael Brito for analytics marketing analytics. Jay Sch Welson for email marketing. He’s someone that since we attended HubSpot inbound last year, I’ve been following his content and listening to his webinars.

Great. For marketing analytics. What about you, Angela? What are some of the, the folks you follow?

Angela Kehl:
Well, some overlap with yours, but I’m a big podcast person. Love listening to those in the car and everything. So there’s a few marketing ones I really like and my two favorite are checking Spotify stacking Growth and Marketing Made Simple, which is a HubSpot podcast. But those are both really good. If anyone’s looking for something to listen to instead of read.

Emerald Lindskog:
Nice. Okay. I’ll have to check those out. I haven’t heard of those.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah, no, they’re really good. Okay, let me check Q&A. Okay, we have another question.

What, where, sorry, where magazines or webpages? Sorry. I think it’s also what, what magazines or webpages are good for marketing and also where can I learn all new things about Google Ads.

Emerald Lindskog:
Well, I think we touched on, I don’t know about magazines to be honest. I think, you know, the webpages are some of those accounts that we just followed, you know?

It really just depends on what you’re looking for. SEM Rush is a good one that I’ve also followed, obviously for SEO and, and ads. I think those are good place for Google metrics. I. Honestly, the place I go to the most for Google Ads is Google themselves. I mean, they offer a lot of tutorials.

And I, I go there. I also, you know, I’m blanking on the name, but there is someone I do follow on LinkedIn and I can get your name from the Q&A and follow up. With the answer to that, there is someone that’s pretty good on LinkedIn and influencer and I’ll send that to.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah. No, I think YouTube’s a great place to find information and then also magazines.

There’s one called MarTech that we were recently featured in that has a lot of good things and each month they do a different like aspect. So our month was like HubSpot, but then they also do like other things in marketing, so that’s super interesting. We have another question. How do you expect AI to influence marketing in 2023?

Emerald Lindskog:
You know AI is something that I’m constantly still learning about. I don’t know that I have the best answer to that, but I think we’re already seeing it in terms of helping it be a tool that can help run you know, your chat box on your website, if that’s something that you’re using. If you’re not, it could be an easy way to, to engage with questions from your audiences on your website or social.

I think we’re obviously gonna see it. We are already seeing it as tools to help us write content. But beyond that, I, I don’t have, I don’t have a lot of visibility. You know, Kathy Mc Phillips on LinkedIn, she works for a marketing AI company and I’ve been following her content. Again, someone that I can send you their, their LinkedIn handle to, but it’s interesting, you know, I mean, that’s the thing about.
Marketing and technology is, it’s always growing and we’re always gonna see so many different things in the new year. And we all just have to keep on reading and, and educating ourselves and trying things out to see what works for us.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah, no, I think AI was just discussing this with coworker yesterday.

There’s this new thing called ChatGPT and . It’s like blown up, like especially like school, whatever, but you can basically just write blogs for it. You just type down like, okay, write a blog about SEO and it will just populate the content for you. So I think that’s one way that I know we’re gonna start using AI.

And I’m sure if you don’t hop on it. Come on, we gotta save all this extra time.

Emerald Lindskog:
So I think it’s important to use these new tools, but I also think, you know, when it comes to copywriting that you’re not just leveraging these, you know, the ChatGPT or others that are, you know, marketing focused. Because making sure that at least you’re reviewing things and maybe rewriting things, because I’ve also seen a lot of copywriters say, you know, that it’s not grammatically correct or things like that.

So, you know, definitely making sure. Even though we’re leveraging these new tools and technologies that you’re, you know, definitely keeping the human touch on things.

Angela Kehl:
Yeah, for sure. Like using it as a tool, as like research is a better way to look at it than, okay, do my job for me.

Cool, cool tool. Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank you so much Emerald for telling us all about predictions, how to put those into practice. Yeah, thanks everyone for joining us today. I think we’ve gone over a lot of really great points. If there’s anything else you’d like to discuss, please feel free to reach us.

Reach out to us at content, oh sorry, contact at Expert Marketing Advisors right here on the slide. Yeah, or follow us on LinkedIn. So we’re gonna be including this recording and the content checklist in this month’s newsletter. And also in our follow up emails. So look out for that and Awesome. Yeah.

So thanks for joining us and have a wonderful rest of your Thursdays.

Emerald Lindskog:
Thanks Angela.

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