B2B Marketing Trends: Top 5 Takeaways from Our 2023 Marketing Mix Report

Thanks to the contributions from B2B marketing professionals for our annual B2B Marketing Mix Survey, we researched and revealed the top marketing trends and tactics to utilize in the upcoming year. Our top takeaways from the report are below, and the full 2023 B2B Marketing Mix Report is available for you to download to view our complete findings.

We hope our forecasts and findings help you prepare your marketing efforts with more confidence as you approach 2023.

What is Sagefrog’s B2B Marketing Mix Report?

Marketers rely heavily on the strategies and trends that will get them the best ROI for their efforts, so every year, we gather the opinions and experiences of top B2B marketing professionals. This year, we received more than 900 responses spanning several B2B industries. Our 2023 responses represented the following industries in these proportions:

  • Marketing & Advertising: 31%
  • Software & Technology: 20%
  • Professional & Business Services: 17%
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences: 12%
  • Financial & Insurance: 10%
  • Industrial & Manufacturing: 8%
  • Other: 2%
    *Non-profit, Transportation, Market Research, & Education

With the information we received and analyzed, B2B marketers can make informed investments when it comes to planning and budgeting for their 2023 marketing program.

Here are the five biggest takeaways from our 2023 B2B Marketing Mix Report:

1. Build Stronger Relationships to Retain Clients

Client retention was one of the top priorities for marketers surveyed this year, possibly motivated by the lower client retention rates we saw in 2022.  No matter the reason, maintaining the satisfaction and business of current clients is paramount for B2B companies.

Focusing on strengthening client relationships will help B2B companies stay successful this year. In addition to increasing efforts for lead generation, satisfying your current clients is the most effective way to stay profitable.

2. Budget for In-Person Conferences and Events

The pandemic may be lingering, but B2B marketers are ready to get out to in-person professional events again. A third of respondents said they plan to spend their budget on conferences, events, and tradeshows in 2023.

In-person events are more viable this year than in the previous two years during the height of the pandemic, which is likely contributing to this sudden uptick. If your company is planning to return to in-person events, keep in mind our five-item preparation checklist below.

In-Person Events Preparation Checklist

3. Utilize SEO and SEM to Increase Lead Generation

A significant 34% of marketers said SEO was their top source for lead generation in 2022, which isn’t too surprising because SEO was the most-used marketing tactic in 2022. It’s looking to see similar success in 2023—almost half of B2B marketers reported planning to use SEO this year.

In 2022, the most qualified marketing leads came from a combination of SEO, SEM, and paid social. These digital marketing tactics appear to be the most successful, as more traditional methods of lead generation are on the decline. Referrals were no longer a significant source of leads this year, especially when compared to last year when they claimed the top spot for lead generation.

4. Use Both Paid and Non-Paid Social Media Tactics

Organic social media is most effective when paired with paid tactics–especially for B2B marketers. If you haven’t already, you need to start investing in paid social to increase brand awareness and extend your reach to ideal prospects.

A combination of organic and paid social tactics is the best way to maximize engagement. Consider boosting top-performing organic content to extend its reach or optimize your posts using data from A/B testing ads on social to discover which elements lead to the best results.

6 ways to avoid social media marketing mistakes

To create an effective paid social strategy, you need to understand which platforms your audience will engage with the most and put your resources there—since you’re paying to get this content in front of them, make sure you know where they’re looking. Keep in mind that for B2B clients, LinkedIn is where the most engagement occurs.

5. Experiment with AI and Automation Strategies

The most dramatic change from 2022 looks to be in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation; 42% of marketers plan to experiment with those techniques this year. When compared to other strategies, marketers were much more aligned about plans to use AI and automation than any of the alternate options.

The biggest question is how marketers will be able to use them effectively in the year ahead. While these aren’t new technologies, they are still recent, especially with regard to how they can be implemented in B2B marketing strategies.

Get the Full 2023 B2B Marketing Report

Get the full results of this year’s report by downloading your free copy of the 2023 B2B Marketing Mix Report. It contains detailed findings from survey participants and helpful tips that can take your marketing to the next level for your specific B2B industry. Download the report today to inform your plan for 2023, and explore takeaways from the 2022 B2B Marketing Mix Report for more helpful insights.

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Looking for a partner to help develop and execute your marketing strategy? Contact Sagefrog to accelerate your success with our skilled team.