Marketing Land says this is what B2B marketers can look forward to in 2021

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A new article on Marketing Land reckons that in 2021, B2B marketers will become growth drivers, and they'll also own the digital journey.

Nick Heys, CEO of Jabmo, says it's a fantastic time to be a B2B marketer - but it's also time to take back control of the buying cycle. The pandemic and the resulting economic crisis are forcing more and more businesses to look at how they use digital marketing and examine their sales strategies. Marketing Land speaks to Heys and Stacy Greiner, who has worked for IBM and Cisco, and is currently a CMO at Dun & Bradstreet.

Heys says:

"Before the pandemic, there were two big trends in our customers' space. One was that the buying groups were getting bigger. We've had customers telling us that, ten years ago, they were selling million-dollar deals to two or three people after playing golf; now they're talking twenty, thirty, forty people involved in a buying decision. That was already a big trend, leading to a demand for account-based marketing. The other trend was buyers doing their own research anonymously, without filling in the web forms."
Greiner adds:

"It's been several years now that B2B buyers have been doing the majority of their purchase decision-making online. Also, over the last few years, you've seen marketing be the stronger decision-makers in the overall martech-salestech stack itself; so even if they don't own the overall budget for sales technology, I've seen them be the decision-makers over what that end-to-end stack looks like - because it needs to all integrate together. Sales and marketing have long worked together on [in-person] events. Often an event is thought of as not necessarily lead generation but lead progression, and an opportunity to connect with your customers in person. What we're seeing now is more an upfront collaboration with sales - let's build this webinar together to help sales have more opportunities to interact in real time with prospects and customers."
Heys says he created Jabmo so it could offer technology that allows ABM to businesses outside of the technology space:

"When I founded this company, I noticed that most of our competitors were focused on the tech space - tech selling to tech. I decided to focus the business on the manufacturing space, and in particular life sciences. That alone made us unique, because their requirements are quite different from tech. Tech tends to be very much focused on organic growth, driven by winning new names."
Heys says it's different for larger organizations:

"They know who their target accounts are. They will typically expand, either by acquiring another company, or through research and development. This arms them with new products for their sales team to sell -- to the known accounts, but often to different buyers within those accounts. They need to reach these new buyers, and that's where we come in. We help complex sales organizations of larger, more mature companies, accelerate account expansion."
Greiner adds:

"As organizations that have been less digitally savvy are coming up the curve, they're also looking for platforms that make it easy. If you look at the martech landscape, it's hyper-fragmented, with best-of-breed tools to do every little niche of marketing that you can imagine. That's a steep curve for companies that are trying to accelerate into digital transformation of marketing. For organizations that have not been embracing digital as fast as others, they relied a lot on out-sourcing to agencies: paid search to this agency, programmatic display to another agency, even out-sourcing SDRs, tele-sales, or even email. One of the opportunities digital gives you, because there's so much data if you can harness it, is this ability to create a picture across this entire journey; and when you're out-sourcing it to third-party players, not only is the message getting lost as it's translated by people who aren't living and breathing in the digital halls of your company - but also that journey is getting broken, because the hand-offs aren't as clean."
Marketers set to get a seat at the table in 2021

Heys reckons marketers will be increasingly important to companies in 2021:

"They're going to move from the back seat to being co-pilots with the sales organization - I think that's new. They're taking responsibility now for what the sales people can't do, and that's digital selling. ABM is all about digital selling: doing what sales people used to do on the golf course, in face-to-face meetings, and trade shows, is now being done through highly personalized, sequenced messaging. More and more responsibility for the marketing people to drive growth. Our customers' space is typically very sales heavy; marketing has traditionally been there to do the trade shows and make the website look nice, but it's never been a growth driver in the business."
Greiner adds that the role of marketers is becoming less segmented:

"Historically, marketing has often been organized into functions - your email marketing team, your paid media team, your event team, your web team, etc. One of the things we did early on was recognize that all those pieces are part of this journey, so we brought those skills together to bring one conversation to their prospects. That's a trend I saw start this year, and I think that will continue to accelerate into 2021, because it brings the subject matter expertise and the agility into the teams that are carrying this conversation digitally to the people you're trying to reach."
#2021 #b2b #forward #land #marketers #marketing
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