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#BizTrends: Kate Wolters - 3 trends that will impact B2B marketing in 2024

In 2024 we need to prepare ourselves for what’s on the horizon for B2B marketing and sales within the tech space - and with AI-generated content on the rise, the age-old debate of human versus machine creativity is getting louder.
(image supplied) Kate Wolters, a director at Flowmesh, gives three trends that will impact B2B marketing in 2024
(image supplied) Kate Wolters, a director at Flowmesh, gives three trends that will impact B2B marketing in 2024

But AI is just one trend that will impact B2B marketing.

Here are a few of the key trends that I feel are likely to impact our marketing narrative this year.

  1. The trend: AI-generated content and human response
  2. Picture this: a world where most of your content is crafted not by a skilled writer fuelled by caffeine, but rather by a nifty little algorithm powered by code.

    Sounds efficient, right? But that’s not quite the case.

    Although AI is already increasingly being used to generate content, offering unprecedented speed and efficiency, the question arises: do audiences care if content is created by robots, or is there still a need for human-generated content?

    I believe that they should care and that they do. While AI can produce vast quantities of content, it often lacks the emotional intelligence and human touch that resonate with audiences.

    In my experience, B2B buyers value authenticity in marketing, which leads them to seek out thought leadership content and forms the basis for the success of B2B influencer marketing.

    This suggests a continued need for human-centric content creation, where AI tools can be used to enhance efficiency, but not to replace the human element.

    Despite the AI boom, human authenticity still holds value.

    Take, for example, the content creation function. While AI can be used to generate a whopping 75 blogs in half a day easily, this doesn't mean you should flood the market with mediocre content.

    Please, don’t flood the market with mediocre content, I beg... Here’s how to use good content to get your message across.

    The resolution: bring back quality over quantity

    1. Challenge yourself in 2024 to focus on crafting messages that stand out, and that are differentiated from the content deluge.
    2. Go back to your value proposition and pay attention to creating discerning and meaningful messaging that addresses specific customer needs and pain points.
    3. Build a deep understanding of your target audiences and their journey. This will form the foundation for your brand to deliver relevant, high-value content at each stage.

  3. The trend: personalisation and human-centred marketing
  4. In a sea of automated responses and generic outreach, personalisation emerges as the true hero of 2024. Account-Based Marketing (ABM), I believe, is likely to evolve into Accounts Based Experiences (ABX), with real-world events getting a facelift too.

    No longer just grand gatherings, events are becoming intimate affairs, tailored to individual preferences. Imagine receiving an invitation, not to a generic event, but to an experience crafted just for you – that's the power of personalisation and that’s something I’d be down for.

    One-on-one content engagements are also gaining momentum. Companies are realising the impact of connecting with their audiences on a personal level because it’s not just about the product; it's about the relationship.

    Here, handwritten notes and thoughtful gifts are becoming the differentiating factor in developing meaningful connections in a content-saturated world.

    In 2024, we must remember that the experience our company provides is as important as its products and services. Creating meaningful connections in the digital space will be key to standing out in what could otherwise be a soulless content wasteland.

    Whether it's through interactive content, personalised communication, or thoughtful community engagement, building human-to-human relationships is now more important than ever.

    The resolution: stop interrupting and start empathising

    1. Explore how you can use ABX to support buyers across the full customer lifecycle by taking the same principles as good CX (namely trust, empathy, and relevance at every stage of the journey) and applying them to your account-based practices.
    2. Acknowledge that your buyers operate in a world of information overload and attention scarcity, which renders interruption marketing ineffective.
    3. Work on building trust with your potential buyers, through identifying key engagement moments, and orchestrating seamless interactions across sales, marketing, and customer success teams.
    4. Embrace ABX principles to ensure the customer remains central to your go-to-market strategy, regardless of the team's function – be it marketing, sales, SDR, or customer success.

  5. The trend: risk-taking for attention in a cluttered space
  6. With a hailstorm of content hitting your audience daily, how do you ensure your message stands out? The issue isn’t about creating and publishing content, but rather creating the right content that authentically speaks to buyer needs and pain points.

    Often, as B2B marketers, we are too focused on our business objectives, when we should be focusing on who we’re marketing to. The answer to creating content that stands out instead of getting drowned out lies in taking risks.

    Our brands can find success by injecting humour and emotion into content, and by creating an umbrella of engagement that shields audiences from the content storm.

    The resolution: Stop taking B2B marketing too seriously

    1. Take a step back and figure out what you can do to remove friction in people’s lives, to help them succeed and to propel them forward.
    2. Look to other organisations and disciplines, such as startups, NGOs, social entrepreneurship and innovation for inspiration in defining what ‘value’ and ‘making a difference’ mean.

    3. Incorporate more authenticity and even humour into your messaging to position marketing teams that are empowered to create genuine, personal relationships with buyers.

About Kate Wolters

Kate Wolters is a director at Flowmesh.
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