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Grab your surfboard Rodney, and play it cool, a great marketing tsunami is approaching.

I can sense it in the air, I can see it in the increasing number of enquiries coming our way and in all our analytics across the board. Interest is getting higher and something big is coming to the world of B2B marketing. It’s something we’ve not seen for a while, a wave of positivity.

After enduring challenging times, the new financial year is upon us, and most manufacturing businesses consider their budgets for 2024. The best among those – the market leaders and early adopters – are looking to loosen the grip on their wallets and implement new marketing ideas to be the first in the queue taking advantage of growth opportunities.

Being first is going to give you a massive advantage putting you ‘top of mind’ as business begins to open up again. As we pass out of the most depressing time of the year, an optimistic atmosphere is taking root the UK. You can see it at events, meetings with people and on the ground with new projects and ideas being talked about again.

Positivity has landed just in time for Spring, so it’s crucial to have your B2B marketing plans in place to avoid falling behind the competition.

Let’s get going.

Embracing the New Chapter of Digital Marketing

B2B marketing is changing, reflecting broader shifts in the economy, business practices and people’s habits in general. Here are some reasons for optimism and strategies for capitalising on the emerging opportunities in 2024:

Personalisation and Precision

With the rise of AI technology and automation, combined with methodologies like the Dream 100 strategy, B2B marketers should shift toward a more personalised approach if they’ve not done so already. Start small, such as a ‘Target Top 10’ or a ‘Dream 50’ and allow yourself time to gain a deeper understanding of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), moving beyond generic Demographics data and focus on what challenges bind them together. Who is facing the same problems and how can your product help? Don’t just reach out to everyone, select your audience then aim to resonate with them.

Did you know: Both Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne fit the same demographic category? Both are men, 60+, White & British. Based on demographics alone this would put them in the same data set! But do they both have the same interests, challenges, and purchase triggers? Unlikely. This means you need to drill down more to build an accurate ICP.

Account-Based Marketing

Extended buying cycles and multiple decision makers are just two of the challenges faced in B2B marketing. Understanding the new customer journey, the length of time it can take to move from Unaware to Customer, and the amount of research that’s undertaken before a prospect even makes contact with a vendor means that if you’re not looking at ABM and content-led strategies, you’re probably already missing out on opportunities.

ABM focusses your strategy by targeting your top accounts, the businesses that will really make a difference to your bottom line and developing content just for them. The fall out is that as you start publishing your content, you’ll start to attract similar business that aren’t on your radar.

Next, ABM is about widening your reach into an organisation, engaging not with just one or two decision makers, but connecting with influencers, decision makers, purchasing teams, and finance departments at all levels.

This acceleration towards targeted, ABM led strategies continues the move away from traditional broadcast marketing tactics. In 2024, the ability to create compelling, research-based content that speaks directly to the needs and interests of your target audience will be crucial.

The Continued Rise of Inbound Marketing

Over 80% of the customer journey is completed without input from the supplier. Please read that again “over 80% of the decision-making process is complete by the time a prospect books a demo or picks up the phone.” That means if your marketing doesn’t get you on the short list, you’re out of the running without ever knowing it.

Inbound marketing is based on the idea that if the average buying cycle is around 12 months, and the average contract length is around 3 years then a maximum of 25% of your potential audience is in the market at any one time, and only a fraction is looking to change suppliers because, let’s face it, changing suppliers is risky for them. As buyers use more and more tools to explore solutions to their problem, your marketing needs to keep up otherwise you’ll never make the short list!

Did you know: eMail made a big comeback last year powered by a sudden availability of B2B data and AI powered eMail platforms? B2B contact information is now more readily available than ever with around 90 million contacts be resold time and again. If your inbox is filling up with spam, this is why.

Digital Platforms and Tools

Digital platforms, particularly LinkedIn and Sales Navigator, are indispensable for B2B marketers. They offer a great way to be visible with your audience. These tools aid in research, connection, and the sharing of targeted content, enabling a more focused approach to lead generation & Account Based Marketing. Yes, they cost more but the high costs associated with these options is ultimately justified by the quality of the leads generated.

But don’t expect these to be a silver bullet, ultimately you need to be where your audience is. Getting good results on LinkedIn? Great! Have you tried Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube? If this is where your audience is then its where you should be too and often the only way to find out is to try it.

Creativity and Engagement

Is 2024 the year for you to think outside the box? That depends, the idea is that ‘normal’ companies need to think ‘outside the box’, and ‘outside the box’ companies need to think ‘normal’. If your customer generally knows who you are, what your product does and how to use it then you need to stand out, and to do that you need to think outside the box. Think ‘weird’ or ‘Think Different’ as Apple put it.

But, if your business IS already weird, if people don’t know who you are, what your product does or how to use it, then you need to think ‘normal’. You need to convince people that this new technology, service, or product is familiar. It’s safe and low risk because they’ve seen it before.

In both cases you’re going for the sweet spot: Familiar, but different.

The Power of Community

The role of community feedback and expert opinions in refining marketing strategies cannot be overstated. There are more businesses than ever claiming more outlandish things about their products. From green washing to Theranos, lies are everywhere so building a community that corroborates your claims is more important today than it ever has been. Not only can they provide valuable insights, helping to fine-tune your approach, they provide reliability and reassurance to new customers that you do what you say. In other words, they build trust.

Experimentation and Adaptability

My favourite. Too often people get stuck with a single idea. We’re the strongest/lightest/cheapest etc. so they progress with one message, but some of your audience aren’t looking for the strongest, lightest or cheapest. They’re looking for after care, reliability, or availability. Picking one option is not enough, we know that some people will buy on price so let’s tackle that head on. We know some of your audience will look for availability, so let’s promote the strength of our supply chain. And we’ve all been burnt before, so let’s highlight our aftercare service and 5-star reviews.

Now we have a strategy – 3 messages give you more opportunities and more ways to connect with your audience.

This makes the willingness to experiment and adapt crucial to success. As the effectiveness of traditional marketing strategies declines, the ability to pivot and embrace new methodologies, marketing messages, and tools will be a major driver of success. Sharing results and learning from both successes and failures will help create a more dynamic and responsive marketing strategy.

What's next for Marketing 2024?

As we look ahead to the future of B2B marketing in 2024, there is every reason to be optimistic. The evolving landscape presents a wealth of opportunities for businesses willing to adapt and innovate. By embracing personalisation, focusing on Account Based Marketing, leveraging digital platforms, employing creative engagement strategies, and fostering a culture of experimentation and community engagement, businesses can position themselves at the forefront of growth in the coming year. The marketing tsunami is upon us, and it’s time to ride the wave.

Need a hand?

We’re feeling super optimistic about the challenges and opportunities our industries face in the coming years, and we’re ready to partner with manufacturers, builders and makers of things to help deliver impact. For fresh idea’s and new ways to connect with your ‘hard-to-reach’ b2b audience, talk to Beach. Fill out our contact form below to get started.

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