The good news is that in many organizations, this change is already underway. Spurred on by the decline in the effectiveness of cookie-based retargeting efforts early in the pandemic, b-to-b organizations have spent the past 18-plus months seeking new ways to reach target audiences.
One area marketers will rely heavily on in 2022 is “walled gardens,” such as LinkedIn and Facebook—platforms that can leverage their vast amounts of first-party data for effective ad targeting. Until alternatives to third-party cookies are solidified, B2B tech marketers will use these platforms to reach the gardens’ visitors with the right messages, often in great detail and at the right time in the buying journey.
Marketing leaders will double down on net revenue retention
Winning new customers is hard work. For most companies in most industries, the hardest sale to make to a company is the first. For companies that sell multiple products or services, leveraging relationships developed during the first sales cycle can shorten future cycles and increase win rates.
When companies lose existing customers, they also lose those faster, likelier-to-close cross-sell and upsell opportunities inside them. The pathway to profitable growth is made smoother by retaining those hard-won new customers and the cross-sell and upsell opportunities they represent.
The most common measure of how well a company is doing with existing customers is net revenue retention (NRR), which tells us how much revenue is generated from existing customers. NRR is a measure of a company’s health that investors and markets obsess over—in fact, one survey of private equity firms and strategic buyers found that NRR is the most important metric for the overwhelming majority of investors when evaluating a company.
In 2022, marketers will take advantage of enhanced interaction and product usage data to boost their NRR. By understanding what their current customers want and where opportunities lie, marketers will be armed with the insights they need to get more creative and effective with their customer marketing efforts. Making sure existing customers are happy, engaged and aware of all relevant offers ensures they continue to buy—and boost that ever-important NRR rate.
Product-led growth strategies will hit enterprise segments
Another three-letter acronym, for product-led growth, was everywhere in 2021 and will become even more prominent in 2022. PLG is the philosophy that bringing the product as far forward in the sales cycle as possible will allow the product to sell itself. Historically, this has been accomplished with freemium or free-trial models—but those options don’t work for all b-to-b tech solutions, and they’re especially challenging in big enterprise deals.
In 2022, even companies that aren’t pure PLG will begin using PLG strategies geared toward acquiring individual corporate users. For organizations that offer solutions that can be used by individuals, the acquisition of individual users inside accounts adds another strong signal of both need and interest to the arsenal of signals available to marketers.
By harnessing this array of signals, marketers will boost their ability to identify and prioritize enterprise prospects, provide better customer experiences and drive revenue.
If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that the future is unpredictable. But one thing is clear: Marketers will need to continue to anticipate and adapt to changes in order to keep their companies competitive.
Forward-thinking marketers should be ready to grow in these three areas—cookie-proof digital marketing, a focus on net revenue retention, and the adoption of product-led growth strategies in the enterprise segment—to stay ahead of the competition.
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