2023 marketing review

The Marketing Year in Review

We covered a lot of ground since my first column back in February. That’s not surprising given the breadth of choices we have as B2B marketers, and the pace at which those choices change and multiply. 

And while I’d be delighted if you clicked through and read each of these articles, you may find the quick summaries below more digestible. 

In reviewing them myself, the broader takeaway is that there are timeless marketing truths. Technology changes how we go about identifying, connecting with, and creating a relationship with members of our target audience, but the same rules still apply. Here are a few worth keeping in mind as you gear up for 2024. 

  • Marketing is about them, not you.
  • Understanding your prospects’ motivation is critical for crafting an effective message.
  • Consistency matters, not only in the frequency and tone of your message, but in how your marketing message aligns with your customer experience.

Less Data, More B2B Marketing Muscle

It’s natural to get caught up in the data game — particularly if you’re looking to much larger organization for marketing inspiration. But gathering data that you aren’t using – or aren’t using well — will be a drag on your performance. This is particularly true as the marketing world moves further away from third-party data, and even from first-party data to “zero-party” data. (Which, roughly defined, is information your prospects and clients willingly offer, not information you compel them to share.) 

AI-Powered Marketing Requires Your Prompt Attention

Worry less about AI stealing your job and more about competitors who master AI. 

Success with AI requires skills which you’ll have to invest time in developing. It certainly can’t read your mind. It often can’t even accurately interpret your intent. Iterate to get the results you need and then add a human layer to what the machines have given you. 

Website Updates That Actually Improve Your Website Marketing

There are a lot of good reasons for updating your website. “It’s been three years” isn’t one of them. Be sure you have performance-based reasons for updating your site and metrics defined to allow you to measure whether your changes have actually made an impact. 

Creating Content That Improves Your Marketing

In a similar vein, the content you create needs to serve a purpose in your marketing. Writing content that does its job means knowing what your goals are for your marketing overall as well as for each piece of content you publish. Who is the audience, where are they in their sales process, and what action are you trying to encourage? 

Marketing Doesn’t End When You Think it Does

If your client’s experience working with you doesn’t match the promise your marketing has made, you will struggle to win repeat business and to create champions who recommend you to potential prospects. Break down the silos in your business and make every department – and every touch point – a part of your marketing. 

Using Motivation, Message, and Metrics to Create Marketing Muscle

Understand why your prospect is seeking a solution, craft a message that will resonate with his or her needs, and track metrics to make sure you’re right about how well that message is resonating. 

Marketing is Not the Same as Medicine

Marketing can be the same as medicine, but you have to establish her expertise and be able to demonstrate the method and framework you use to arrive at your conclusion. The payoff: you’re providing a diagnosis for their issues rather than a proposal to win their business. 

Listening is a Misunderstood Part of Marketing

Actions speak louder than words, which is why “listening” to what your prospects and clients do can be better than listening to what they say. The various methods you might use have their strengths and weaknesses, so a multi-pronged approach is best. 

AI is the Answer to All Your Marketing Needs

No, it’s not. And though it should be obvious a year into “the Age of AI,” it’s worth repeating that as powerful and promising (and intimidating) as AI is, it is as limited as any other new technology in its infancy. Its potential, though, makes it worth paying attention to, experimenting with, and watching very, very closely. 

How Long Should Your Marketing Copy Be?

As short as possible while still being effective. And that length will vary based on your audience, where they are in their buying process, and what action you want them to take. 

Occasional large-scale changes can re-invigorate a marketing plan that’s beginning to falter and can provide a blast of inspiration that ripples out through the rest of your marketing. 
By the way, if you’re interested in hearing some of my podcast and radio appearances, you’ll find a few of them listed on the Andigo website.

Andrew Schulkind - Marketing for Small B2B Businesses

Photo by saira ahmed on Unsplash

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