Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by Henry Nilsson
Covid, homework, increased e-commerce, cookie death and iOS 14.6, what a year we had! And what an exciting 2022 looks to be. We start by listing trends and changes that will affect us during the year. At the end of the article you will find our advice and recommendations.
Trends and strategies that will shape 2022
- B2B companies become E-traders
- Use the growth process to succeed in product-driven growth
- Put the customer in focus when you organize yourself based on the customer journey
- Prepare for marketing, sales and optimization without third-party cookies
B2B companies become E-traders
The Covid years have reinforced the trend of B2B sales becoming increasingly digital. We have seen a clear increase in our own e-commerce platforms in virtually all B2B industries. The advantages of own Direct 2 Consumer sales (D2C) are i.a. that you can create a new source of revenue, find new audiences and strengthen the loyalty of your current customers. It is also a potential goldmine for data and insights about your customers’ behaviors and preferences that you can use to further develop your products and strengthen the customer experience with your entire brand.
We have found that a strong contributing factor to this is everyone’s increased habit of and expectation of smooth and uncomplicated e-commerce. The leading digital B2B players now strive to emulate B2C companies in speed, agility and transparency of the buying process.
Use the growth process to succeed in product-driven growth
Among Software as a service company (SaaS company), more and more people have adopted a product-driven growth strategy. It is a strategy based on using the product or service itself as a growth engine by optimizing the user experience and value creation for users. The better the user experience, the better the NPS results, the higher Lifetime Value and the lower churn .
Growth hacking with its focus on a Growthprocess with a North Star metric is a very effective method for elevating your customer-centric work by weaving in UX and product metrics as a complement to AAARRR . Gathering insights from the entire user journey and analyzing the behavior of the product is a prerequisite for growth. Conversely letting product and organizational decisions be driven by this has been a stumbling block in many digital transformation journeys we have been a part of. Therefore, the choice of a North Star metric is crucial for the growth process to support product-driven growth.
To succeed with product-driven growth and growth hacking, we need to change how we organize ourselves and make decisions about the customer journey.
Organize according to the customer journey
Your potential and current customers view all their interactions with you as one and the same customer journey, from the ad they saw, to the visit to your site, the onboarding, the sales process and everything that happens post sale. Your organization, incentive structure and culture need to reflect this.
In order to be able to act on insights from user behavior in your product as effectively as possible, a strategic control of the growth process is required. In that process all touchpoints in the customer journey must be represented to enable focus on the KPIs that will have the biggest impact on your growth.
To succeed in this, a success factor is that you have one and the same data architecture so that you all sit on the same picture of reality throughout the customer journey instead of just a specific BI department sitting on the truth. Product teams, marketing, sales and Customer Success must be able to follow the journey from the first interaction with your brand to your churn prevention activities.
We gather the different skills needed in a growth team (sometimes several depending on is size). It is a cross-functional team where all roles and competencies needed to be able to optimize the customer journey or the part of the customer journey that the team focuses on are lifted out of their separate departments and together are responsible for optimizing the entire customer journey. They work towards North star metric.
Prepare for marketing, sales and optimization without third-party cookies (as before)
By 2023, the three largest browsers will all have phased out third-party cookies. Firefox and Safari started blocking third-party cookies as early as 2019 and 2020. Google announced this summer that they will begin phasing out in 2022 to complete it in 2023.
So is the run over with data-driven marketing after 2022?
No it really is not but we all need to rethink a bit. Remember, Google will not give up its advertising business (it’s all machinery). Google is working on a couple various solutions for anonymizing data by clustering users based on interests. This will probably be launched sometime in 2023.
Use your product or D2C platform to collect data on what your customers are doing (provided you have a legitimate interest in doing so). An interesting solution may be to test a freemium model of your service as a gateway to a paid variant. In this way, you get an opportunity to verify product market fit and further develop the product at the same time as you collect lead data.
You will be able to continue with your churn prevention work and communication with your customers and users as long as you comply with the GDPR and other laws regarding data management and communication.
How do you reach new users without third-party cookies?
- Display advertising in the right media , instead of shooting wide and trusting the algorithms to find your target audiences. Get to know them and understand where they are looking for information. There will most likely be some opportunities for selection and targeting, but they will be worse.
- Search Engine Optimization ( SEM – Search Engine Marketing ) and SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) to ensure that you are seen by those who are looking for your type of product, or problems that your product solves.
- Account Based Marketing (ABM ) data collection and personalization can be done in many ways with first-party cookies.
- Inbound Marketing is about creating value-creating content that helps your potential customers in their work. By optimizing for your target groups to interact with you, you increase the chance of getting contact information and consent. Hubspot has an in-depth guide on how to use inbound marketing as a growth engine .
How are you going to grow your B2B business in 2022?
Third-party cookies will disappear and the rules of the game for how we use the internet are being redrawn. As a result, we see how the B2B customer and expectations for B2B sales are changing.
Start like this
- Create one or more Growth Teams that drive and are responsible for sales, customer experience-driven product development and marketing.
- Start with what we call product-driven growth hacking. Get all the product interactions in an analysis tool that your entire growth team can take insights from.
- Let the Growth Team start preparing you for a world without third-party cookies. Review ABM solutions, SEO, SEM and prioritize Inbound Marketing.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding these recommendations.