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two colleagues view tablet in office and share insights about B2B marketing in 2024

B2B Marketing: 13 Forward-Looking Insights for 2024

January 4, 2024

B2B marketing in 2024 is a landscape of rapid evolution and innovation. As companies strive to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the business world, the importance of staying ahead of the curve has never been more crucial. 

In this context, insights from thought leaders like Christopher Penn, renowned for his expertise in digital marketing and technology, become invaluable. Penn, who was a speaker at ISBM’s member meeting, shared numerous valuable perspectives about B2B marketing in 2024.

This article not only explores the latest trends and strategies shaping the world of B2B marketing, but also integrates some of Penn’s cutting-edge insights, offering a comprehensive view of what the future holds for businesses looking to thrive in this dynamic environment.

1. Evolving Email Marketing

As we move further into 2024, B2B email marketing is transforming. The focus is now on quality over quantity, with a strong emphasis on personalization. Specifically, tailoring content to your audience’s personal interests, a strategy strongly advocated by Christopher Penn.

The introduction of a human element in email marketing is also pivotal. Emails from real people, especially known contacts or company executives, are gaining more traction due to their authenticity and ability to build real connections.

Statistics highlight the effectiveness of this approach: personalized emails can boost transaction rates sixfold compared to generic ones.

graph shows that email marketing delivers the highest ROI for marketers

In 2024, email marketing is about creating more engaging, relevant, and personal experiences for the audience, marking a significant shift from past practices.

2. Decline of Traditional B2B Demand Generation Playbook

The B2B marketing landscape in 2024 is witnessing a significant shift away from traditional demand generation methods. Christopher Penn highlights this change, pointing out that tactics like eBook promotions and standard nurturing emails are losing their effectiveness. Buyers are becoming desensitized to these approaches, often remaining anonymous for longer periods.

The new direction for B2B marketing involves a more holistic approach:

  • Invest in Emotional Branding: Focus on creating a brand that resonates with buyers’ emotions, even before they actively start seeking products or services.
  • AI and Intent Data: Leverage AI and intent data to identify when potential buyers are ready to engage.
  • Revenue Beyond Acquisition: Broaden the focus to include aspects of revenue such as retention and expansion, rather than solely concentrating on acquiring new leads.
  • Sales Alignment: Deeply align marketing strategies with sales processes to ensure a unified approach.

A statistic underlining this shift is that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing, indicating a move away from traditional playbook tactics.

3. Emphasis on Original Research and Data-Driven Content

2024 is seeing a significant pivot in B2B marketing towards content based on original research and unique data. This marks a move from generic to data-rich content, highly valued for its fresh insights and appeal to executive decision-makers.

Businesses are increasingly using proprietary data to produce distinctive content, differentiating their brand in a competitive market. This is not just about creating content, but offering unique perspectives that captivate executive audiences.

A Content Marketing Institute study underscores this trend, showing that 71% of B2B marketers now prioritize content creation, especially data-driven content, as a key strategy.

circle graph shows that 71% of B2B marketers now prioritize content creation

4. Rise of Video Content

Video content is dominating B2B marketing in 2024, thanks to its ability to engage audiences effectively. Its dynamic nature makes it perfect for explaining complex concepts, showcasing products, and building thought leadership. Christopher Penn also acknowledges the growing significance of video in current marketing strategies.

The impact of video content is substantial, with a Wyzowl report indicating that 87% of marketers have seen an increase in sales through video marketing.

graphic shows statistic that says 87% of marketers reported that video content gives them positive ROI

This highlights how video content not only captivates the audience, but also drives tangible business results, making it a central element in modern B2B marketing strategies.

5. User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content (UGC) is becoming a key player in B2B marketing for 2024. It revolves around leveraging real experiences and testimonials from clients, offering an authentic look into the effectiveness of a brand’s offerings.

UGC’s strength lies in its authenticity, which fosters trust with potential buyers and helps build a community around the brand. Its effectiveness is evident, as a Nielsen study shows that 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than traditional advertising, underscoring UGC’s potential to create a genuine connection with the audience.

6. B2B Influencer Marketing

In 2024, B2B influencer marketing is becoming increasingly significant. This approach involves collaborating with influencers in specific industries or niches to enhance brand credibility and reach. Influencers, with their established authority and networks, are instrumental in endorsing products and services, thus amplifying brand awareness and thought leadership.

The effectiveness of B2B influencer marketing is clear. A report by Influencer Marketing Hub indicates a high return on investment for influencer marketing, showing that businesses earn $5.78 for every dollar spent. 

This high ROI makes influencer marketing an increasingly attractive strategy for B2B brands looking to expand their influence and effectively connect with professional audiences.

7. Interactive and Conversational Content

Interactive and conversational content is reshaping B2B marketing communications in 2024. This content style, which includes quizzes, assessments, and chatbots, encourages active audience participation, making the experience more engaging and memorable.

The value of this approach is significant. According to a Demand Gen Report, interactive content is 23% more effective at educating buyers than static content, highlighting its effectiveness in engaging and informing prospective clients.

graphic shows that 93% of marketers agreed that interactive content is effective in educating its buyers versus just 70% for static content

This form of content not only enhances user engagement, but also aids in gathering valuable insights about customer preferences and needs.

8. Self-Service Sales

The expansion of self-service sales is a notable trend in B2B marketing for 2024. This trend is driven by B2B buyers increasingly seeking autonomy in their purchasing decisions. 

With digital platforms, like self-service portals and e-commerce systems, buyers can independently research, compare, and complete transactions. This shift is in line with the preferences of a new generation of digital-native decision-makers.

The impact of this trend is highlighted by a Salesforce report, which found that 68% of customers prefer self-service channels for simple inquiries. This underscores the growing importance of self-service options in the B2B space, indicating a significant change in how companies approach their sales strategies.

9. Marketing/Sales Alignment

In 2024, the alignment of marketing and sales is becoming increasingly crucial in the B2B sector. This alignment ensures a cohesive approach where both teams work towards shared goals and strategies, thereby fostering a seamless customer journey. Effective collaboration between marketing and sales enhances lead conversion, reduces friction, and improves overall customer experience.

According to a LinkedIn report, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve up to 20% annual growth rates, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment

graphic shows statistic that says companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve up to 20% annual growth rates

This statistic highlights the significant impact that well-coordinated marketing and sales efforts can have on a company’s bottom line.

10. SEO Investment

In 2024, SEO remains a critical investment for B2B marketers. Despite the surge in AI and other digital marketing tools, SEO continues to be a reliable and effective strategy. Companies are focusing more on long-tail keywords and adapting to the evolving algorithms of search engines like Google.

The importance of SEO in the current landscape is backed by data from BrightEdge, which reports that 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. This statistic highlights the crucial role of SEO in guiding potential customers to businesses, underlining its continued relevance and effectiveness in a digital-first marketing world.

11. Adaptation of Content for Social Platforms

As social media algorithms evolve, they favor content that keeps users on their platform, presenting a challenge for marketers used to redirecting users to external sites. The response to this challenge involves creating platform-specific content that provides value within the social media environment itself.

This trend is evidenced by a recent study, which found that social media posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without. This underscores the need for tailored content that resonates with the audience on each specific social media platform, enhancing engagement and effectiveness in a competitive digital landscape.

12. Increased Investment in Commercial Search Terms

There is a notable increase in investment in commercial search terms within B2B marketing. This trend is driven by the recognition that targeted, high-intent search terms can yield more qualified leads and better conversion rates. As the competition in digital spaces intensifies, companies are allocating more resources to secure these valuable search terms.

A study by WordStream reveals that the average conversion rate for Google Ads in the B2B sector is around 3.04%, indicating the effectiveness of targeted advertising in reaching potential customers.

chart shows that the average conversion rate for Google Ads in the B2B sector is around 3.04%

This statistic illustrates the rationale behind the increased spending on commercial search terms, as companies strive for efficiency and effectiveness in their digital marketing strategies.

13. Brand Importance in Tough Economic Times

The importance of brand strength becomes increasingly evident in tough economic times, a trend that is prominent in B2B marketing in 2024. In challenging economic environments, a strong brand can be a significant differentiator, helping companies maintain visibility and relevance despite market fluctuations.

Research by McKinsey & Company shows that strong brands have consistently outperformed weak brands during economic downturns, often seeing less decline in sales and faster recovery. 

This data underscores the value of investing in brand development as a long-term strategy, especially in uncertain economic conditions, highlighting the role of brand strength in ensuring resilience and continuity for businesses.

Embrace the Future of B2B Marketing with ISBM

The B2B marketing landscape in 2024 is marked by innovative and adaptive strategies. With a shift towards personalized and data-driven approaches, businesses are engaging more effectively with their audiences. 

In these changing times, a strong brand presence remains crucial, especially in challenging economic conditions, emphasizing the need for resilience and adaptability in B2B marketing strategies.

ISBM is a nonprofit, global network of business researchers and practitioners. Ask about how an ISBM Membership can help you now or visit ISBM today to learn more!

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