The B2B Marketing Manager’s biggest challenges in 2022

January 10, 2022


B2B Marketing


The B2B Marketing Manager's biggest challenges in 2022

Many believe that the B2B sector is lagging behind when it comes to reaping the benefits of modern, digital tools and working methods.
In order to gain insight into the most common challenges of working computer-driven with the goal of running a business.

The research shows that the role of the marketing manager is in the middle of a major turnaround. This is especially clear in B2B. With digitalisation and a new horizon for what can be achieved, the requirements are changing. From the marketing department being seen as a subcontractor within the company, with a focus on building a global brand. To today be well on its way to being a key financial player with great potential for influencing the company’s sales. The scope of what is included in the marketing department’s tasks is growing exponentially. When digital marketing and sales become the norm also in B2B, it entails the need for new strategies, attribution models, buying trips, platforms, etc.

The requirements for measurement and anchoring to the business’s commercial development are increasing. The marketing manager’s area is being expanded more and more from brand to also include running a business.

No support from Management

Lacks support from management

However, many feel that the management only sets requirements but does not provide the opportunity for delivery. All proposals are rejected or get stuck in various bureaucratic bottlenecks. You are left in a mindset where you do as you have always done, but at the same time want to reap the fruits of innovation. The standard has previously been to set up and present a well-thought-out plan to get buy-in on new initiatives and activities. When the shift has gone to a digital marketing model, you must instead be open to being agile, fast-moving and not having everything planned in detail. This has led to a hesitation in investing in this area and that instead unreasonable counter-requirements were set for the measurement of ROI.

“I experience a combo of high expectations for results with limited budget and misunderstanding or reluctance on the part of management to dare to invest in digital marketing – it is still believed that it is a magic button” – Global Director Marketing & Communications at a large European company

No access to data

No access to the correct data

In addition, our research shows that many marketing managers lack the right data. It is expected to contribute to increased sales but has no insight into the sales data, the figures or the forecast on which sales are based. A study by McKinsey shows that only 25% of B2B companies use their data regularly to understand their customers. Combined with complex services, target groups and sales cycles, it creates doubt as to which strategies to invest in to deliver.

“Our challenge is that we have an extremely niche and complex product and a target group that is difficult to define. Getting everything together to work in a digital context, and also globally, is therefore a bit tricky. ” – Director Global Sales at a leading international manufacturing company

Organisation gaps

Does not own the entire purchase price

Larger companies that work in several markets or globally often also have a gap between what happens at local and central level. In addition, the sales and marketing teams traditionally come from different places and lack natural ways of cooperation, knowledge and value exchange. Regardless of which part you sit in, it will be difficult to get an overall picture and the purchase price will be divided and fragmented into different silos.

“My biggest frustration is that we as a large and traditional company are so sluggish. Partly due to size, which means many silos that do not know each other, partly technically in the form of legacy systems. You have to have a lot of patience when working with digitization at large companies! ” – Head of digital MarCom on global B2B organization

scale down to scale up

Scale down to scale up

To sum up, there are many challenges in creating change in the right direction. But we can see that there are certain keys that make it easier for the B2B marketing manager to achieve greater results and more effective digital marketing, based on their own work.

To get around the challenges with the sluggishness of the company, it is important to start small. It is also essential to align with sales to demolish silos and achieve the real results. Let the transition begin with the culture. Adopting the attitude of selling is an ally. Change is never easy, but if you see yourself as a unit with the same goal, the journey will be much smoother. Here are some tricks to crack the code:

Start small

Everything is governed by a purpose and a goal. Assume a clear profit that makes both sales and management happy. Marketing can actually drive leads and sales. Review with sell how the goal can be done together. To achieve fast measurable results, start with a limited area. Apply the larger goal to a service, market or business area. Choose something that is not too abstract or large, and that is achievable within 3-6 months.

Choose some common KPIs

The same applies to what you are to measure – delimit. Set up 3-5 KPIs that are rewarding for both sales and the market that you can keep an eye on over time.

For example, how many of your visitors downloaded your whitepaper (Conversion-rate, CVR) or the cost based on the number of completed contact forms (Cost-per-lead, CPL).

Work agile and data-driven

Spend less time planning and more action. Be prepared to change things as you get data. Many people hesitate to try because they are anxious to fail. But misses are hard to avoid. In the digital world, however, we can quickly adjust, improve and learn to constantly improve. Try running different ad variations, channels or messages and look at the results to decide what to invest in.

Review existing systems and share insights

Business and marketing systems can also be a thing that gets stuck in silos and is therefore underused. Ensure that both sales and marketing have access to data and systems that can be valuable. A good tip is to build a dashboard to democratize data and insights.

Review existing systems
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