Tuesday 2¢: Reasons to B2B Cheerful

This week’s Tuesday 2¢ is inspired by some good news for B2B marketers from a survey from IPSOS and LinkedIn.

You probably don’t have Ian Dury and the Blockhead’s “Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3” playing as an earworm in your head right now, as even I was very young when it was released. Until the cool kids on Stranger Things give it the Kate Bush treatment and make it a hit again, maybe this title doesn’t work for you.

But, I’ve dipped into my Rockstar CMO vibe and used a song title as a post title, sort of, as this week I want to share something I’d dropped into my “must write about on Tuesday 2¢” list a few weeks ago, some reasons to be cheerful from the LinkedIn B2B Benchmark Report that was published in June.

The report is based on a survey by IPSOS and LinkedIn of 1,954 B2B CMOs, CFOs and senior B2B marketers across the US, UK, Germany, France, India, Australia, Singapore and Brazil and shares a bunch of insights from a panel of LinkedIn B2B marketing experts.

And there are, indeed, reasons to be cheerful.

  1. Budgets are up! – I have been accused of being obsessed with budget, but it’s an excellent vehicle for understanding how important some random marketing request is and having that “what shall we stop doing” conversation. But, it seems most of us can relax, as the LinkedIn report says that “6 in 10 senior B2B leaders say budgets have increased in past years, with two in three claiming budgets will continue to increase in the next year”.
  2. Brand is back in focus – I’m a fan of investing in brand building it’s a marketing multiplier and the survey finds that 6 in 10 B2B marketing leaders say their C-suite has increased the importance of brand building, 30% of B2B leaders are allocating budget to brand building. and, over 8 in 10 CMOs agree they have strengthened their skills to demonstrate B2B marketing impact to help the CFO/CEO understand the value of the brand.
  3. The CMO is stepping up – nearly half of B2B CMOs and CFOs say the CMO role has evolved to have a more direct role in driving revenue and growth, and CMOs are expected to demonstrate marketing impact on the bottom line. No longer just in charge of the crayons in the colouring-in department folks, welcome to the grown-ups table.
  4. The future is storytelling techies – this might just be good news for me as a fan of marketing technology and content marketing, but marketing technology and storytelling stand out as key future skills for marketing teams to develop. 52% say marketing technology or data analytics mastery will be the most important future skills for their marketing teams. And, 43% say storytelling and the ability to develop creative that connects with the target audience will be one of the most important future skills for their marketing teams. Splendid!
  5. DEI is important – Yay, another topic I am pretty keen on, 8 in 10 B2B leaders say DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) is important to their company. But, you have to wonder what the other 2 in 10 think, and the report seems a bit weak on what organisations are actually doing.

This is just 2¢, so just including the top 5 things that popped out at me, there is loads of good stuff in the full report, which rather amazingly these days in B2B is available for free, not gated.

One thing I wasn’t sure about, whether we should consider it a reason to be cheerful, as I’m thinking more about customer marketing, an often neglected audience for us B2B marketers. Those surveyed are spending over half their budget on lead and demand generation (new business) and most organizations spend more on finding new customers than retaining existing customers. I think that’s a missed opportunity.

Plus, I have not mentioned AI, which obviously gets some focus in the report, but you can read loads about that in just about every other blog post right now.

One last thing, a quote I liked from the report, recognition that we should not always be selling, and remember that most of your audience are not in the market right now.

Most of your growth potential lies in reaching people who won’t buy from you today, but who will buy from you in the future.”

Ty Heath, Director of Market Engagement, The B2B Institute, LinkedIn

Oh and if you are curious, My Dury’s top 5?

  1. Summer
  2. Buddy Holly
  3. The working folly (nobody knows this is!)
  4. Good golly, Miss Molly (the song)
  5. Boats

Maybe a more interesting list than we got served by LinkedIn, but for a B2B marketer, there are definitely reason to be cheerful.

Aside from my ongoing argument with Grammarly robots did not write any copy, but they did create the image, which was created using A.I. through NightCafe Creator

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