Ideas and insights > New Year’s revolution: 4 areas every B2B marketer should explore in 2024

New Year’s revolution: 4 areas every B2B marketer should explore in 2024

Our thought leader:

Martha Marchesi
Martha Marchesi
CEO

Published on:

Make them and then break them—New Year’s resolutions usually don’t last.

But with 2024 shaping up to be full of change for B2B marketers, resolving to explore the rapidly evolving—and in some cases revolutionary—forces impacting the B2B marketing landscape is essential to understanding your options and creating new opportunities for your brand.

The first step is to take a deep breath. It’s going to be a dynamic year for everyone from CMOs to brand managers to strategists, but one that will start to shape an interesting new future for how brands are built, customers are engaged, and campaigns are executed. Here are four areas every B2B marketer should explore in 2024:

1. Make friends with AI

As the hype train runs out of steam, it’s becoming easier to understand how AI might affect the world of marketers, whether it’s research, content creation, intelligent automation, design support, or more efficient ways of working.

And while recommendations for AI platforms have had a shelf life akin to unpasteurized milk, the market is beginning to stabilize and use cases are emerging. What’s right for your team will vary, and many AI features will be emerging in the platforms you already use, like the Microsoft and Google suites. But there are a few rockstar freestanding platforms to consider.

When it comes to desk research, it’s hard to find a platform better than Perplexity.ai, a research bot that takes your query, hits the web, and quickly comes back with reliable information from a variety of sites. It’s stable, reliable, easy to use, and you’ll likely find it indispensable whether you’re researching audiences, onboarding into a new vertical, or simply getting up to speed on a new trend.

When it comes to supercharging creativity and strategic thinking, ChatGPT remains a wonderful partner for kickstarting the ideation process, and MidJourney (or DALL-E for less technical users) is a great way to explore design concepts—whether it’s photo styles, website layouts, or logos.

The outputs from these platforms might not be ready to be customer-facing—for some pretty good legal and ethical reasons—but they can defeat the blank page paralysis, provide additional perspective to round out your thinking, and help avoid falling into a creative or strategic rut.

And of course, there are many platforms that are rapidly maturing into viable DIY content creation time-savers. Canva’s AI features have taken it from a simple sandbox to a potential brand-in-a-box solution, and platforms like Jasper and Writer make it easy to churn out lots of decent written content.

2. Put your B2B brand under the influence of influencers

Speaking of content churn, with so much click-to-create content poised to flood our inboxes and feeds, breaking through to your key audiences will be harder than ever in 2024. One emerging area to explore is influencer marketing, which has been gaining steam in the B2B space, with sober and serious brands finding and engaging new customers by tapping into online opinion makers in their verticals.

Interestingly, it’s not the big names that pull the best. An influencer with 1,500 highly engaged followers who match the profile of your target audience can do more good for your business (and will usually be more cost-effective) than someone with a huge-but-broad audience.

When you find the right influencers for your target audiences—platforms such as The Room and Heepsy are a great place to start looking—make sure to set up a relationship that lasts for the duration of your sales cycle. If it takes six months to go from prospect to customer, make sure your influencer is along for the whole ride to help move your buyers down the funnel.

Overall, the results might surprise you. A Nielsen study with TapInfluence found that “influencer marketing for B2B yielded 11 times the ROI of traditional advertising.” And HubSpot recently named influencer marketing as having the second-best ROI of any emerging marketing trend—just behind our next area to explore in 2024.

3. Add more human touch

According to HubSpot, the emerging marketing trend with the highest ROI is short-form video. This makes sense—with so much AI-generated noise to contend with, people could use an extra dose of humanity in their content.

Doing this can be as simple as giving your people an outline of the points you want them to hit and then letting them record short videos on their own devices. Of course you can add more production value, but just make sure the content feels authentic.

Another way to add a human touch is by playing up the humans behind your thought leadership pieces, including a picture and short bio with each piece, ensuring readers quickly connect the content to a very human thought leader from your organization.

Overall, the results might surprise you. A Nielsen study with TapInfluence found that “influencer marketing for B2B yielded 11 times the ROI of traditional advertising.” And HubSpot recently named influencer marketing as having the second-best ROI of any emerging marketing trend—just behind our next area to explore in 2024.

4. Shore up your corporate social responsibility story

Our agency has seen a noticeable shift of B2B clients transitioning from dry ESG reports, to ones that add a narrative layer, to now creating full corporate social responsibility storytelling platforms. These platforms act as a narrative foundation for their reporting, website content, talent acquisition materials, and more, with messaging pillars, manifestos, taglines, and sometimes even unique visual elements.

And it makes a lot of sense, as CSR can be a decision driver for investors, talent, and customers looking for a company that aligns with their own beliefs and goals.

If telling a more robust CSR story isn’t on your radar for 2024, it’s a good idea to look at how your competitors and benchmark brands are talking about corporate social responsibility to ensure your story is up to snuff.

It’s clear that B2B marketers are in for an exciting year.

There’s a whole world of possibilities out there, and for those ready to explore and take a few risks, the rewards could be meaningful. It’s all about trying new things, being ready to adapt, and most importantly, staying current with all the twists and turns of a year that’s shaping up to be anything but business as usual.

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