As a B2B marketer in 2020, I resolve to balance data and technology with creative and empathetic strategies. In other words, to flex both sides of my marketing brain – that which seeks to optimize through data and testing, and that which leverages instinct and humanity to connect with people through language and emotion.
I also resolve to push my clients towards thought leadership that can truly be called “thought leadership.” I was shocked by an Edelman / LinkedIn study that found only 17% of B2B decision makers rate the quality of most of the thought leadership they read as very good or excellent. Telling hard truths, doing the work to find original thought from our organizations’ practices, and delivering it clearly/simply to those who need it most is worth the investment. Lazy shortcuts, me-too content strategy, and lacking understanding of our target buyers will only waste time and budget. (But I expect to see a lot of it, regardless!)
Finally, I resolve to prioritize building trust as my #1 B2B marketing initiative for 2020. We live in a world of information overload, misinformation, and bad actors (both in business as in politics / media). This has led to the largest decline of trust in the last two decades among all buyers. Trust is a matter of perception, and marketers are the purveyors of perception. It’s on us to fix this, and it’s on all organizations to, in turn, trust marketers to guide them to build trust with skeptical buyers.