The B2B sales and marketing landscape has seen more disruption in the past five years than it has experienced in nearly a century. First, the pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to customer engagement. Now, rapid technological advances like artificial intelligence have permanently changed the way B2B buyers interact with suppliers and how complex sales are made.
CMOs are under more pressure than ever and are constantly looking for that edge—that value proposition that sets a brand apart from the crowd and builds customer trust and engagement. With that in mind, here are four cutting-edge strategies that are redefining the B2B ecosystem:
1. Reiterating digital engagement
For many B2B brands, revamping the way they interact with customers is at the top of their to-do list for 2024. While most have long been using digital channels to interact with prospects and customers, these interactions can sometimes feel disjointed experiences rather than aggregates of the wider shopping journey.
With that said, B2B brands are no longer just publishing content and hoping for the best. Instead, they are reimagining digital engagement by creating interconnected experiences: virtual reality product demonstrations, interactive webinars and personalized online journeys.
These aren’t just about catching the eye of B2B customers, they’re about creating memorable experiences that resonate with decision makers at much deeper levels.
CEO of Kaon Interactive, Gavin Finn, shared with me some thoughts on the new digital engagement hierarchy. More specifically, he said: “B2B prospects and customers will expect a seamless experience across various analog and digital channels, including digital self-service applications (web), mobile applications, immersive experiences (virtual reality and augmented reality) and live, face-to-face Face-to-face engagement, such as trade shows and face-to-face sales meetings.”
2. Embracing Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is no longer just a buzzword. is a powerful tool that is reshaping the B2B world.
Brands are using technology for everything from predictive analytics and personalized recommendations to automated customer service. Customers can have conversations with a chatbot that understands their needs and preferences better than some humans, and other AI-powered tools can accurately predict market trends and customer behavior.
“Everyone thinks everyone is using genetic AI,” says Lisa Gately, Principal Analyst at Forrester. But Gately says most are “in the learning and exploration stage.” B2B brands that move quickly to embrace AI will have a definite advantage over those that continue to overlook it. They will be able to glimpse the future, stay ahead of shopping trends and seize fleeting opportunities with pinpoint accuracy.
3. Video optimization
Today, B2B decision makers are bombarded with a seemingly endless stream of information. As a result, capturing and keeping their attention long enough to deliver a value proposition or showcase a product is more difficult than ever, but that’s where video marketing comes into play.
B2B brands are optimizing their video marketing strategies to cut through the noise of digital content, and it’s not just promotional videos. B2B businesses produce everything from educational series and behind-the-scenes glimpses to customer testimonials that tell compelling stories.
Video content also adapts to different platforms, ensuring it reaches B2B buyers no matter where they are. When we take things to social media, brands produce concise, yet powerful, content that captivates audiences. The site’s content isn’t far behind, either. Instead, it becomes dynamic, attractive and more complete.
Cumulatively, these video elements are reshaping the B2B buyer experience and enabling brands to meaningfully connect with them.
4. Enable self-service
People often think that only “normal” shoppers like to do things themselves, whether that’s using in-store checkout or managing app subscriptions. But according to a 2021 study by TrustRadius, 87% of B2B decision makers they are consumers as well.
Therefore, just like the everyday shopper, they also enjoy the option of doing things themselves when dealing with business matters, which is why more companies selling B2B products offer ways for their customers to help themselves. This could be through websites where customers can easily find and get what they need or even special tools that allow them to modify products or services to match what they are looking for.
It’s wise to let B2B customers take charge and make their own choices, but it’s important not to push them to do everything themselves. It’s all about giving them the option to take the wheel if they want, making their shopping experience that much more comfortable and in their control.
The start of a whole new ball game is just over the horizon for B2B brands, with 2024 shaping up to be a time of significant change.
As such, your brand needs to be quick on its feet and full of fresh ideas to keep up. Consider adopting new technology, checking out markets you’ve never explored before, and finding new ways to connect with potential customers.
With the new year just around the corner, you need to make sure you’re ready for what’s next. Now is the perfect time to prepare and make 2024 your best year yet.