New marketing trends and innovative technologies are emerging year after year. Marketing leaders are aware of these new “toys”, but how do they know which trends are beneficial to their organizations—and what type of innovation in marketing do they need to look out for in 2023?
With Lea Sellers moderating, the speakers of this roundtable debate include:
- Mark Wheeler, CMO, LeanIX
- Rachel Fairley, Global VP, Brand Marketing, HPE
- Utkarsh Srivastav, Head of Brand and Digital, L&T Technology Services
Innovation in B2B marketing
Moderator Lea Sellers began the debate by asking the panelists what innovation in B2B marketing they would most recommend.
Putting together a proper marketing discipline is one thing HPE’s Global VP of Brand Marketing, Rachel Fairley, argued is important. “I think the most innovative thing you can do in B2B marketing is use a proper marketing discipline to do a full holistic, comprehensive diagnosis of your situation in the market”, she said.
Her reasoning was that by identifying what makes your organization relevant and authentic you can write a brand strategy that drives demand. Integrating tactics and designing them specifically to get the desired results is something Rachel believes B2B marketers have “not done very well”.
Head of Brand and Digital at L&T Technology Services, Utkarsh Srivastav, wants marketers to keep an eye on emerging technologies. “As marketers, we are a creative and design function primarily and we consistently deliver innovation in design and creative areas”, he said.
Utkarsh urged marketers to think about their processes and find more ways to innovate in this modern world. He added that they should look out for technologies like the metaverse, blockchain and NFTs to scale up their strategies.
“There are a lot of exciting things out there in the marketing world”, according to LeanIX’s CMO Mark Wheeler. He pointed out that every year marketers are presented with another exciting new technology. On the other hand, he warned the panelists to be careful of jumping on these technologies.
He wants marketers to ask themselves: “What are we trying to do? What are our objectives? What are we trying to communicate?”
Embracing new technologies
When asked what new technologies and innovation in marketing they would embrace, Rachel believed that the ability to run research was extraordinary. “The reason that’s so exciting is it means you can actually ask the buyer or the talent you’re trying to attract what they actually think”, she said.
Rachel argued that running research where you pay per respondent, per question also changes the decision-making process within the business. “It’s all about what the buyer perceives and it makes you much more objective as a team”, she explained.
Being able to reevaluate the message you develop and your reach as a marketer is key to Utkarsh. Building on Rachel’s point, he agreed that research helps build the right message for the audience. “There are plenty of platforms and opportunities available from a reach standpoint”, he said.
What stood out to Utkarsh was that it could help engage a local and global audience.
“In the last two years we have seen people from different parts of the world [who] are able to come together on a platform like this and interact and share ideas”, he said. Coming from a digital point of view, Utkarsh stated that this has opened a door of opportunities.
While the other panelists focused on the positives of embracing these new technologies, Mark highlighted some of the obstacles.
“One of the areas I’ve seen that is probably most prolific is in the areas of account-based intelligence”, he said. Despite categorizing these as “fantastic capabilities”, he revealed that it would require more work from marketing teams.
He uses the example of buying a tool and integrating that with an organization’s data sets. “I often find that these tools are purchased, expecting them to deliver the magic answer”, he said.
B2B marketing trends in 2023
Utkarsh has put sustainability at the top of his list when it comes to observing B2B marketing trends in 2023.
“It’s not only about promoting the sustainability of my organization, it’s also about bringing sustainability practice in how marketing operates”, he stated. He focuses on marketing processes and what kind of carbon footprint the technologies being used produces in order to determine how to achieve net zero goals.
The second important trend Utkarsh has noticed is that 2023 is the year more Gen Zs are entering the workforce. He noted that their working expectations are different to that of the previous generation. “They are the generation of TikTok”.
Mark wants marketers to be more efficient in 2023. “We really need to understand the channels, the content, the mixed management”, he said. Overall, building a better understanding of what an organization represents as a brand is considered important to Mark.
“One of the things that is really difficult is navigating customers along the buyer’s journey”, he said. This is where conversation marketing and AI come in. He believes that by deploying these technologies, B2B marketers are becoming better at getting more content out there.
Watch the roundtable above to discover more insights from these top marketing leaders.