As a B2B marketer, you’re always thinking of ways to connect with your customer – and with the help of technology and its ability to capture insightful data, 2024 is shaping up to be the year of customer-centric communication.
Here at Writers, we have the pleasure of working with lots of B2B marketers from many different industries. We asked them what they would be focusing on in 2024, and not surprisingly they said their customers. But with the B2B landscape evolving and customers expecting more from brands beyond a product or service, what tools or strategies are they relying on this year? Read on to find out.
1. Customer insights
As the responsibilities of the marketing team grow, but resources don’t (for some they’re shrinking), it’s easy to let organisational priorities guide marketing efforts. But customer needs should always be a marketer’s north star. One marketer in the banking sector told us that while it seems obvious, customers are the number one focus for 2024 – making sure everything the marketing team does starts with real customer insights to inform direction and create “client-centric content” that puts the audience needs first.
Other marketers echoed this sentiment and told us they will be using data, research and real-life conversations to find out what their customers need and want to hear. By resisting the temptation to tell customers what you want them to know, you’re more likely to generate content that genuinely connects, builds brand credibility, and solves their problems.
2. AI becomes a marketer’s friend (and assistant)
Marketers will continue to embrace AI in 2024, and the opportunities it brings to maximise resources and drive those customer-focused initiatives. According to Hubspot’s 2024 State of Marketing and Trends report, AI is quickly becoming the ultimate marketing assistant, with 64% of marketers already using it, and 38% of those who don’t, planning to start in 2024.
The people we spoke to said they will be using AI to do things like build presentation decks, kick start ideation and help extract even more useful information from their customer data. Organisations are keen to explore how they can embed AI into their systems to streamline daily tasks and processes.
“It starts with getting the foundations right to take advantage of what AI has to offer. It’s up to us to make sure our customer data is in great shape so we can use those cool tools to understand who they are, what they’re doing now and predict what they’ll do next.”
– B2B marketer
Forrester’s Predictions 2024 Report says this shift to AI will give employees up to 50% more time to engage in creative problem-solving, driving customer-centric innovation and creating unprecedented business value.
3. Meaningful connections
And while AI may be helping teams generate content, the marketers we spoke to are focused on bringing the all-important human element to their communications in 2024. Things like thought-leadership that helps your audience bridge knowledge gaps and customer success stories that inspire and highlight innovation in the industry. When customers are constantly bombarded with messages on multiple channels and devices, it’s getting more difficult to produce content that has cut through – so this year is also about using insights to share stories that connect.
“Being the voice of our customers is a critical job for marketing in any business.”
– B2B marketer
Speaking of human connection, marketers are also looking forward to more face-to-face meetings, product launches and presentations in 2024, so they can have the opportunity to have valuable conversations, that unearth key insights in-person.
Interestingly, Forrester’s report also highlights that buyers aged 25 to 44 find personal interactions (specifically with product experts) more meaningful than all other in-person activities. Given this group will make up 75% of business buying teams in 2024, it might be time to schedule your first in-person meeting for the year if you haven’t already.
As customer advocates, we’re excited to hear that B2B marketers are looking to their audience to guide content direction in 2024, while embracing evolving technology to boost their resources. We’re sure this approach is going to produce some amazing projects, which we can’t wait to work on throughout the year.
If you need help with a new campaign, brand strategy or content ideation and planning, get in touch.
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