How can B2B marketers build a super-stack of marketing technology skills to create the most value and efficiency in 2023 and beyond?
Today’s B2B marketers who possess a wide array of marketing technology skills are more valuable to organizations then ever, as brands look both to increase bottom-line efficiency and retain top talent.
Placing more focus on those places in marketing that can drive greater value is needed now more than ever, according to Tina Moffett, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
“Instead of taking a red pen to your marketing budget, expand your view on how your marketing initiatives can drive incremental value for the business. Firms that create value for customers get business value in return, so keep your mindset on the customer and on delivering four types of value for them,” Moffet suggested, with those values breaking down to, “Economic value, by helping customers save money,” “Functional value, by increasing usefulness and reliability,” “Experiential value, by facilitating pleasant and helpful interactions,” and “Symbolic value that creates meaning for the customer in relation to others,” Moffet recent noted.
One recent survey found that 14 percent of U.S. B2B marketers said their marketing technology stack is exceedingly complex — in fact “more complex than a black hole,” the study specifically noted — with 40 percent having said their martech is too complex, while just 23 percent noted a good balance in their martech solutions.
Thankfully, B2B marketing technology stacks don’t need to be astronomically complex to be successful. There are relatively straightforward individual components that combine to create a powerful and cohesive martech stack that isn’t rocket science — but where should B2B marketers begin when looking to add to their skill-sets?
We’ve got you covered, as we take a look at how to build a B2B marketing super-stack of skills, with 20 tips to do more with less and get the most from your marketing with efficiency.
Let’s jump right in and stack the marketing technology deck in your favor.
You’ll add value by making sure that your social media listening efforts are in order, and that you’re doing all you can within each social environment relevant to your organization or brand. Social listening is also a valuable skill to add to your B2B marketing super-stack.
A few areas where social listening may be a good fit include the following:
Established social channels including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
Emerging online channels including BeReal, TikTok, Twitch, Reddit, and Discord
Research tools and databases including the Internet Archive / Wayback Machine and JSTOR
Search engines and third-party search tools such as Semrush, Meltwater, and BuzzSumo
Question research tools including KeywordTool.io, Answer the Public, and others
When you’re looking to learn exactly what your audience thinks about a particular topic, taking a direct approach with polls either through social media platforms or on a brand website can also help efficiently get the job done. Learn more about the ins and outs of social media polls in our, “Survey Says: 2022 B2B Marketing Insight From Social Media Polls,” and “Social Media Polls For Marketers: 6 B2B Brands Winning With LinkedIn Polls.”
Getting to the heart of the questions most important to your potential audience provides a powerful path to finding best-answer solutions.
To learn more about why question research is such an important facet in marketing, and some of the primary ways to uncover precisely what people are using search engines and other search technology to ask and learn more about, check out our “10 Smart Question Research Tools for B2B Marketers.”
[bctt tweet=”“’Listen’ means much more than hearing with ears. It means to pay attention. Synonyms include observe, be attentive, give attention to, hang on words, and take notice.” — Meryl Evans @MerylkEvans” username=”toprank”]
Putting your social media listening house in order or at least establishing a framework for making future improvements are helpful ways to increase marketing value — and build your super-stack of skills at the same time.
B2B brands have increasingly turned to live-streaming to elevate their messaging in creative new ways. Brands using live-streaming are increasing engagement from virtually all public-facing sides of their organization, and pulling their professional communities closer than ever in real time.
Live-streaming experiences allow B2B brands to create more robust virtual events, which have become de rigueur, must-have offerings for many brands since the pandemic began.
According to LinkedIn* statistics, when brands use the platform’s own live-streaming feature LinkedIn Live, they have seen seven times the number of reactions and 24 times more community comments than when they publish standard non-live video content.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to how B2B brands can use live-streaming, and if you haven’t yet added this skill to your martech super-stack, here are 12 ideas to get you started:
Interviewing a Member of Your Corporate Executive Suite
Brand & Community-Building Events
Answering Frequently-Asked Questions
Talent & Career Branding Events
Streaming a Keynote, Session, or Presentation
Highlighting Special Events
Streaming “Ask Me Anything” Episodes
Introducing Various Team Members
Showcasing Behind The Scenes Workplace Culture
Unveiling New Innovations & Product Launches
Launching Episodic Content
Announcing Major Brand News Live
Sharing Tips and Tactics
Learn more ways that live-streaming can add to your B2B marketing super-stack, including helpful examples from top brands, in “Livestream Marketing: 5 B2B Brands Elevating With LinkedIn Live.”
When it comes to endurance, it’s key to keep in mind that it takes two forms — physical and mental — and to understand that the two are forever intertwined, each playing a huge role in success in both B2B marketing and in our daily lives.
There are some surprising endurance and training lessons B2B marketers can learn from the world of marathon running.
In marathon running it’s often said that the race doesn’t really begin until mile 20, and that 90 percent of running is a mental game and a mere 10 percent a physical one, especially as the distance run goes up and into ultra-marathon territory.
Focusing exclusively on physical training will build a strong body that may be able to run far and fast, however without a dedicated effort to build mental endurance, runners can’t reach their ultimate potential.
In B2B marketing, relying only on using an ever-increasing number of automated tools and utilities or worn out conventional strategies can’t provide the results that come from a cohesive approach that also features the power of mental endurance.
This comes from putting in the training — a skill any B2B marketing super-stack needs.
In running, knowing your own sustainable pace comes from miles and miles of training. In B2B marketing, deep knowledge of potential client pain points and an understanding of the route their buying journey is likely to take combine to get results.
Every runner will ultimately train differently, and those who don’t allow themselves flexibility when working with a prescribed running training plan will likely pay the price in the form of setbacks such as injuries or frustration.
Successful B2B marketers also each train and work in differing ways using varied tactics — so trying to stick too stringently to somebody else’s playbook without customizing it to create your own unique approach can ultimately dampen opportunities.
Part of the joy of running marathons and B2B marketing is finding your own best training plan, and then seeing it come to life on race day or when the big deal is finally signed.
Learn more about the parallels between B2B marketing and marathon running in our “Life Lessons: What B2B Marketers Can Learn From Marathon Running.”
The pandemic has ushered in a new digital-first era for B2B brands, complete with an ever-deeper and more complex ocean of digital assets — but how can today’s organizations and marketing teams keep track of this influx of online content?
A major part of that black hole of complexity mentioned earlier can be tamed by adding a DAM system to your martech super-stack.
Before the pandemic, digital asset management systems — DAM for short — were mostly seen as either a luxury that could be afforded only by large global corporations or as an über-nerdy technology used by musty librarians or professional photographers and videographers.
Earlier this year however, Adobe’s Digital Trends Report revealed that nine out of ten business leaders said customers are now digital first, with 54 percent planning to spend more on customer data technology and 52 percent expecting to increase spending on customer experience management systems.
B2B buyers have increasingly brought online whatever offline processes they still had in place, and research data from Salesforce has shown that 52 percent of B2B sellers expect more than half of their revenue to come from digital channels in the next two years.
As most of the B2B ecosystem has shifted to digital-first operations, marketers can now see more benefits than ever from using a DAM system, from the speed and agility of digital asset delivery to optimized online content management and more.
It comes as no surprise that the market for DAM solutions has rapidly grown, with the global DAM market valued at $4.7 billion in 2021, and expected to reach $13.4 billion by 2027, according to data from IMARC.
For B2B marketers, the shift to always-on marketing is a perfect match to meeting the demands of digital-first customers, and here the advantages of a DAM solution shine brightly, removing many of the bottlenecks slowing down traditional marketing, by offering easy and swift access to a firm’s entire digital asset archive.
Learn more about how adding DAM technology to your B2B marketing stack can benefit marketing efforts in our “Digital-First: Why B2B Marketers Need Digital Asset Management (DAM) More Than Ever.”
Part of what keeps the online world indispensable for marketers is the fact that social media platforms are forever either being created — in the form of new ones — or seeing their flames dim and eventually extinguish, in the case of those that don’t make it.
Although this adds complexity, today’s B2B marketers looking to enhance their super-stack of skills can’t afford to ignore developing social channels.
The web graveyard is littered with the digital skeletons of so many formerly promising social platforms, including some that were once seemingly poised to rise to the echelon of the most-used forms of online communication.
This social media platform churn is also what helps keep the web interesting and alive, yet there’s no doubt the turnover has made it harder for B2B marketers to invest in new and developing social channels.
The most frequently heard social channel of the future has over the past several years been the metaverse, while other new platforms have already taken off in earnest, such as BeReal, which supplanted TikTok as the most-downloaded mobile social media app this year.
Take a look at how B2B marketers and brands can best assess new social channels in our “How B2B Brands Can Embrace The Metaverse, BeReal, & Other Developing Social Channels.”
A great way to expand our B2B marketing super-stack is to attend and learn from industry events.
As we look ahead to autumn and the push towards 2023, what are some of the key events, conferences and trade shows — whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid — where B2B marketers can learn the latest from leading marketing industry speakers?
There are plenty to choose from, and to help you sort out the many B2B marketing conference options available during the rest of 2022, we’ve compiled our latest list of some of the top B2B marketing events to elevate and inform your business strategy.
Marketing conferences truly offer a wealth of benefits to marketers looking for the latest learning, new networking opportunities, and recent industry research and insight to help increase brand awareness — but sometimes finding events that match your business and B2B search marketing needs can be challenging.
In just the last decade the number of marketing-related conferences has risen drastically, making it seem harder than ever to hone in on the ones that can best help build your business, expand your networking opportunities, and provide the most relevant new industry education from top speakers, especially in the specialized world of B2B marketing.
Find a B2B marketing event that is right up your alley by taking a look at our “Conference Connection: 25+ Top Late Summer & Fall 2022 B2B Marketing Events.”
How can B2B marketers rev up their social media engines using Twitter’s new long-form content publishing features and increase their super-stack of social media skills?
Twitter Write is the social platform’s forthcoming tool for composing and sharing written content that runs well beyond Twitter’s traditional 280-character limit, initially offering up to 2,500 words — plenty of blank digital paper for B2B marketers and brands to fill with messages of innovation.
B2B marketers should be prepared when Twitter moves its Twitter Write feature from its present limited test-bed of hand-selected authors to a worldwide rollout, and we’ll show you how to be ready when the time comes.
Twitter has recently rearranged its Twitter Notes and newsletter features to exist under an expanded Twitter Write brand.
For eyes accustomed to seeing hundreds of tiny tweets scrolling by at a mile-a-minute, B2B marketers can stand out simply by being among the first to creatively use Twitter Write, and the content that it will publish — which the platform calls Twitter Notes.
Merely using Twitter Notes will be a curiosity at first, however B2B marketers should take full advantage of the situation by providing unexpected insight that is crafted specifically to work well within the 2,500-word limit of Twitter Write.
What might stand out the most to B2B marketers viewing a brand’s Twitter feed? How about these ideas, for starters:
Client & Customer Testimonials
Original Research, Reports, Studies & Surveys
There are plenty of other good ways to master long-form content on Twitter, and we cover them all in “Copious Content: 5 Creative Ways B2B Marketers Can Benefit From Twitter’s New Long-Form Publishing.”
How can B2B marketers strengthen their social media marketing strategy and hone existing skills while learning new ones?
Learning is a key element of being a super-stack B2B marketers, and thankfully it no longer takes in-person events to gain new skills.
B2B marketers in 2022 are fortunate to have access to perhaps the greatest wealth of virtual learning opportunities the world has ever seen, as more business is now done online than ever in an increasingly digital-first B2B marketing landscape.
With more than 70 percent of companies recognizing online learning as essential to long-term strategy (Digital Marketing Institute), this is a fantastic time to explore the vast array of online social media marketing courses available to B2B marketers from leading social platforms.
No matter how much we already know, in 2022’s there’s always more to learn, especially when it comes to the swiftly-changing world of social media strategy.
Online courses are an excellent way to enhance your career by offering a work-at-your-own-pace cadence, where it’s easy to fit in as much or as little instruction as your time allows, whenever and wherever you want.
“Learning Hubs for Leads – While not exactly new, the attraction to cross-train and advance skills is greater than ever. To meet that need, B2B brands are increasingly investing in learning hubs where audiences can exchange their contact information for access to rich educational resources. Examples include HubSpot Academy, Semrush and many more,” our CEO Lee Odden has observed.
Take a look at seven social media training opportunities from top social platforms in our “B2B Marketing Education: 7 Free Social Media Training Programs From Top Platforms.”
The power that influence holds in B2B marketing has increased significantly over the past three years, and B2B influencer marketing is a primary skill to add to our marketing technology super-stacks — especially when we learn directly from some of the people who are leading the way with influence.
What does the future of B2B influence look like, and how will top global brands succeed with B2B influencer marketing in the push to 2023 and beyond?
With the recent launch of our all-new 59-page 2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report, there’s no better time to put these questions to some of the top B2B industry influencers, leading B2B marketers from major brands, and influencer marketing technology platform executives, as the report reveals.
The popularity of influencer marketing is on the rise, as 85 percent of respondents to our extensive survey expect activity to increase over the next year, with B2B marketers increasing their level of maturity and sophistication and shifting towards always-on, relationship-based influencer communities.
Take an eye-opening look at the future and power of B2B influence from 10 of the world’s top experts and influencers featured in the report in our “10+ B2B Influencer Marketing Predictions From Top Experts & Influencers,” and for even more industry leaders to follow and learn from, check out our “25 Top B2B Marketing Influencers, Experts and Speakers To Follow In 2023,” and “Top 25 B2B Content Marketing Influencers and Experts To Follow #CMWorld 2022.”
What does award-winning B2B marketing look like?
By taking the time to look at and learn from top B2B industry award-winners, our martech super-stacks gain both creativity and credibility.
For the first time since the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity began in the 1950s, the recently-held 2022 event saw dedicated B2B-specific marketing award categories, offering a new opportunity for B2B marketers to have their efforts shine on the global stage.
The new Creative B2B Lions event and awards were established in conjunction with the B2B community — most notably The B2B Institute — the industry think tank funded by LinkedIn that researches the future of B2B marketing and decision making.
Take a look and see what award-winning B2B campaign efforts look like in 2022, and where they may be headed in the years ahead in our “Cannes Creative B2B Lions: What Award-Winning B2B Marketing Looks Like In 2022.”
In addition to learning from B2B influencer marketing experts, report insights from a full spectrum of B2B industry marketers can help add to our super-stack of skills.
The power of influence on B2B marketing has increased in importance since the start of the pandemic, as the following statistics from our previously-mentioned research report reveal.
71 percent of B2B marketers have indicated that influencer marketing became more important during the pandemic, and over 70 percent of those who changed strategies due to the pandemic said that influencer marketing became more important.
A third of respondents said influencer marketing directly contributes to sales and revenue, while over half said it helps with brand recognition, awareness, and lead generation.
70 percent of the marketers with extremely successful marketing programs include influencer marketing in their mix.
There are many more insights to learn from in the report , and you can dig in to all of them in “2022 B2B Influencer Marketing Report: New Data, Insights, Case Studies, Predictions.”
How is B2B video marketing continuing its ascendancy and generating greater return-on-investment (ROI) than ever, and where are B2B marketers finding the sweet spot when it comes to video success?
If you haven’t yet added B2B video skills to your marketing super-stack, it’s time to take a closer look.
With investment in B2B video having climbed, search engines showing more video answers and social media platforms continuing to place video front and center, there’s never been more vibrant and bustling video marketing activity — or possibility — than now.
When it comes to online video advertising, brands have continued to increase investment, with spending having climbed by 30 percent during the first quarter of 2022 — to the tune of $5.5 billion — compared to the final quarter of 2021, with spending on YouTube video ads alone reaching $482 million, an increase of 57 percent, according to recently-release MediaRadar report data.
Additionally, the number of businesses investing in online video in the U.S. alone rose 21 percent to some 15,500 during the first quarter of 2022 compared with the final quarter of 2021.
Use of video has not only continued to grow among B2B firms and in both paid and organic marketing efforts, but among search engines and the content they are increasingly showing to searchers looking for answers online.
Giving today’s digital-first audiences what they want has naturally surfaced more video, and B2B marketing efforts that don’t include at least some video element will face increasing difficulties as search results reserve more spots for video-only content.
Learn more about the power of adding B2B video to your super-stack in our “Press Play: How Marketers Who Invest in B2B Video Earn Greater ROI.”
How can B2B marketers do a better job of making their content stand out and highlight the talented subject matter experts, creators, and influencers they partner with?
Earlier this year Instagram rolled out new enhanced tagging features that allow digital marketers to do a much better job of indicating and crediting the various influencers and creators involved in the creation of content shared on the platform.
Instagram’s addition of enhanced tagging — which is also available for use in video Reels — offers significant new exposure opportunities for B2B content that has been created by multiple professionals, often precisely the type of content that is either made or co-created by industry influencers.
Take a look at some of the advantages provided by Instagram’s enhanced creator tags, and how B2B marketers can best put them to use in our “Instagram’s Enhanced Creator Tags: Implications for B2B Influencer Marketing.”
Looking for inspiration and new insight to forge new B2B marketing successes as we drive ahead to 2023?
A martech super-stack becomes stronger when we’re lifelong learners, and keeping up on newly-published marketing-related books is a great way to stay informed.
Marketing books offer an array of fascinating tactics, tips, case studies, and other insight from some of the industry’s top business marketers and subject matter experts.
A good marketing book will not only help you stay current with the latest B2B marketing industry trends, but also gain inspiration in the process — and we’ve compiled a list of books that fit the bill on both counts.
Turn the page with our list of five new marketing books every B2B marketer can learn from, in our “5 New Marketing Books Every B2B Marketer Should Read.”
The metaverse — a term coined in a 1992 novel — isn’t done cooking yet, but with a world that needs to eat right now and chefs that need to cook, what do B2B brands need to know to get ready?
The metaverse may not be a reality yet, but a super-stack of marketing technology skills increasingly needs to be aware of the latest developments surrounding the technology.
Just 18 percent of brand marketing and analytics executives said that they understood the metaverse and how it will affect their brand, according to recently-released survey data.
Despite limited general understanding of just what the metaverse is and may become, the areas that it will encompass are vast, running the gamut from digital currency and assets and natural language processing to device independence and marketplace commerce, as Gartner outlined.
Explore five ways that B2B brands can succeed with metaverse marketing, and the pitfalls that savvy marketers must watch out for in our “5 Timely Ways B2B Brands Can Conquer Metaverse Marketing.”
With distrust of brands and advertising at all time highs, human-to-human connections and networks of people are more important than ever for B2B marketers, and add to our super-stack of skills.
Finding the time to network is also a challenge as expectations of marketers to do more with less persists amongst the ongoing pandemic and rising inflation. So how can marketers create new professional connections that endure, and strengthen their existing business relationships?
With ostensibly more ways than ever to find new connections both online and off, the task can seem overwhelming.
Luckily, by making clear goals and putting a strategy in place to achieve them, marketers can start truly tapping into the power of building new connections and making them — along with existing ones — stand the test of time.
We take a detailed journey of professional network expansion and look at how we can take both current and newfound business relationships to new heights in our “Enduring Engagement: 5 Easy Ways To Build New B2B Marketing Connections & Make Them Last.”
What can B2B marketers do to help inspire and elevate the industry and the world around us — two often-overlooked elements that add great value to our marketing super-stacks?
April was National Volunteer Month, which made it a great time to look at what some of the biggest brands in the world are doing when it comes to volunteering efforts, and explore some of the organizations that B2B marketers can get involved with to give back and help others.
Mentoring is also a powerful way for B2B marketers to strengthen the industry, and we have explored numerous opportunities to share your expertise and time in both volunteer and mentor programs.
Take a look at ten-plus ways B2B marketers can get involved in mentoring and volunteering in our “Elevate B2B: 10+ Mentoring & Volunteering Opportunities For B2B Marketers.”
What are the key areas in the B2B marketing industry where professionals see a need to adapt to meet new challenges?
One straightforward way to gauge the pulse of the industry is by asking, and social media polls can offer a uniquely helpful look into the concerns of B2B marketers.
We’ve tapped into our own social media audience poll data to see the outlook B2B marketing professionals have when it comes to important marketing issues including tactics, platforms, events, and more.
For nearly three years we’ve run regular social media polls on our Twitter and LinkedIn pages, and the insight shared with us has offered insight into what’s new, what’s ahead, what’s changed, and what’s gone for good in B2B marketing. While the sample size may sometimes be small, the outlook provided by the B2B marketing professionals taking our polls can be invaluable.
Poll data can help us judge the pulse of the B2B marketing industry, and knowing more about our field of expertise is always a good addition to our martech super-stack.
Learn more about the power of social media polls in our “Survey Says: 2022 B2B Marketing Insight From Social Media Polls.”
How can B2B marketers improve their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies and focus in the fast and furious digital landscape of 2022?
The search marketing arena has always been one of swift changes, and keeping up-to-date with ever-shifting SEO machinations and technical search intricacies can be more than a handful even for top B2B optimization professionals.
Don’t let the complexities that SEO efforts sometimes entail deter you, however, as there are still bountiful and easy-to-achieve benefits for the B2B marketer in many aspects of optimization.
Having a baseline understanding of the principals of SEO is a valuable skill for any B2B marketer to add to their super-stack, and we take a look at some of the SEO tactics B2B marketers can apply and benefit from today in our “Ongoing Optimization: Strategic SEO Tips For B2B Marketers In 2022.”
How does digital storytelling help B2B marketers bring content to life in powerful new ways?
In many ways, storytelling has become a fundamental base upon which all manner of successful content creation can be built, making storytelling a fantastic addition to our B2B marketing super-stack of skills.
With more B2B buying research and ongoing customer engagement than ever taking place online over the past two years, there have never been as many opportunities to benefit from digital storytelling, yet greater competition has made it vital to create content that truly stands out and engages.
A shift in how many B2B marketers look at the content their teams create is often required to fully embrace and benefit from the power of successful digital storytelling. Empathy plays a role in this shift, and by taking the time to understand audiences, B2B marketers can create more emotionally memorable stories — making customers feel connected on a deeper level that’s more human and less digital.
“Brands want to transact with people who are showing high levels of empathy,” Miri Rodriquez, senior storyteller, state and local government at Microsoft, has observed — a facet of successful digital storytelling that she expanded on in our article, “Microsoft’s Miri Rodriguez on How B2B Marketers Are Embracing Empathy For Better Customer Storytelling #B2BMX.”
Miri considers storytelling a tactic worthy of being a top goal in 2022.
“Make storytelling excellence one of your top goals in 2022. Wherever you are in the brand storytelling journey, aspire to tangible deliverables in your storytelling strategy as part of your marketing efforts. This includes defining a plan on how you can best design and tell your brand story considering inclusion, market trends, thought leadership and your customers which are all continuously evolving,” Miri noted recently in our look at “How to Elevate Your B2B Marketing Career: Advice from Execs at Top B2B Brands.”
[bctt tweet=”“Make storytelling excellence one of your top goals in 2022. Wherever you are in the brand storytelling journey, aspire to tangible deliverables in your storytelling strategy as part of your marketing efforts.” — Miri Rodriquez @MiriRod” username=”toprank”]
Take a deep-dive look at how well-crafted digital storytelling can propel B2B content to new successes, and how B2B marketers can breathe new life into content in a variety of digital formats, in our “Free The Story: How B2B Marketers Can Use Digital Storytelling To Bring Content Alive In New Ways.”
These 20 B2B marketing tactics, strategies, and tips are just the prelude when it comes to the symphony of skills B2B marketers will be required to have in 2023 and beyond to create experiences that elevate, give voice to talent, and humanize with authenticity.
We hope you’ve found at least a few new areas to explore in our examples, and that they will serve to help you with your own B2B marketing efforts.
Are you ready to take your B2B marketing to the next level? Contact us today to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and many others.
* LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.
The post 20 Ways to Build a B2B Marketing Super-Stack of Skills appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.