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Blog Series – Part 1: B2B Marketing Roundtable: Managing Customer Lifecycle in Times of Change

Posted December 8, 2021

Blog Series – Part 1: B2B Marketing Roundtable: Managing Customer Lifecycle in Times of Change

Posted December 8, 2021

Part 1: How B2B Marketers Have Adapted

This is part one of a two part series highlighting stories shared at Anteriad’s exclusive November Roundtable event.

“Things are not like they used to be.” Truer words have never been spoken and apply to virtually everything as we close month 20 of what has been a challenging stretch for B2B marketers. Anteriad recently invited thought leaders from several sectors to gather around a virtual Roundtable and share their wins, pain points and their outlook for 2022. With much adjusting being done to accommodate the shifts in “traditional” customer life cycles, the discussion focused on how those shifts have altered marketing strategies, expectations and in some cases, complete ways of doing business – while taking into account some new and complicated mitigating factors (hint: it starts with “supply” and ends with “chain”). 

Appreciating the power that the sharing of ideas, insights and expertise can have, we’re dispensing a two part series highlighting commentary generated by our Roundtable participants.

Channeling their inner Ross Geller, “PIVOT!” was the mantra of most B2B marketers with companies scrambling to figure out how to keep their sales pipelines filled despite a crippling environment. For some, that meant shifting marketing spend away from postal to digital and email channels, hosting virtual events, and even soliciting prospects at their home address. The result: wins, in varying degrees. Marketers who previously relied heavily or exclusively on direct mail embraced the concept that email and display, when properly executed, can be effective for prospecting. As such, the marketers we spoke with noted that one, if not both, will continue to be incorporated into their plans moving forward, allowing for an “always on” marketing strategy.

Pivoting in the event space was a bigger challenge, with business travel being shuttered for a year+ and many people STILL not being 100% comfortable with in-person interaction. Event marketers have generally accepted that for the foreseeable future. Virtual and hybrid settings are likely here to stay and the challenge will be not only how to drive attendance, but also how to maximize exhibitor revenue and make the events as fulfilling an experience for virtual participants as it is for in-person attendees. One Roundtable attendee shared that an email campaign for an 11th hour virtual registration option resulted in a significant influx of registrants, thus making their annual marquee event more successful than anticipated.

As it turns out, business professionals very much want to be engaged by marketers who have something relevant to offer, which is why direct mail business solicitations received at home address were met with little to no pushback, one Roundtable participant noted. Though challenging to scale in grand fashion, mailing to a target audience at their home address can be effective and is not likely to get a marketer on the DMA’s naughty list.    

Once the pivoting has been embraced, messaging and engagement are crucial. Savvy marketers know that the best way to maximize both is to provide an actionable solution to a real problem. This can be challenging under normal circumstances and becomes a more daunting task with the added element of supply chain interruptions weighing heavily on many minds.

In part two of this Roundtable wrap up series, we’ll share insights on how marketers across industries are preparing to deliver solutions efficiently in the wake of major inventory and deliverability concerns – all as they strive to rebound and set their sights on growth in 2022.

Danielle Zaborski
Vice President, Performance Marketing
[email protected]