Navigating the Dynamic Landscape of B2B Marketing: 4 Trends for 2024

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<span>Navigating the Dynamic Landscape of B2B Marketing: 4 Trends for 2024</span>
Bottom Line:

Navigating the evolving B2B marketing landscape entails leveraging first-party (1P) and intent data for personalized targeting and higher ROI. Video content is essential for engaging B2B audiences, while contextual relevance ensures tailored experiences. Balancing reach with activation drives meaningful connections and measurable outcomes. Adaptability and data-driven insights are crucial for success in this dynamic environment.

Our team is frequently approached for insights on B2B marketing trends. During a recent visit to one of our advertising agency partners, our team shared four key trends shaping B2B marketing today: first-party and intent data, video content, contextual relevance, and reach vs. activation.

First-Party & Intent Data

First-party (1P) data combined with intent data is a powerful combination that provides marketers with valuable insights into their audience's buying intent and preferences. While 1P data offers a comprehensive view of existing customers and prospects, intent data provides real-time signals indicating when a prospect is actively researching or considering next steps.

By integrating these two types of data, marketers can identify high-value prospects, personalize their outreach efforts, and tailor content to meet their specific needs and interests. This data-driven approach not only improves targeting and engagement but offers stronger ROI.

Example: By leveraging owned first-party audiences and third-party behavioral targeting, Windstar Cruises are reaching a full range of travel advisors and influencers through social platforms, like Facebook and Instagram.

Video Content

Video is no longer a want in B2B, it is a requirement. Unique, authentic experiences have only accelerated in the past few years for event attendees. Whether it is a market overview, customer testimonials, or thought leadership videos, video content allows destinations to convey complex information in a visually compelling format that resonates with travel professionals and their customers. Moreover, it serves as a powerful sales asset for teams, facilitating direct sharing with customers and enhancing presentations at industry trade shows.

Example: Tampa Bay is well-known for its celebrated collection of attractions, appetizing food, and inviting weather, but new hotels and a growing number of meeting venues also establish the city as a marquee choice for events. In this video, destination leaders and meeting planners share why Tampa Bay is an excellent choice for groups, thanks to a newly enhanced convention center, standout new hotel properties, and diverse arts and culture experiences that can only be found in the destination.

Contextual Relevance

In general, today’s customers demand tailored experiences and travel professionals are no different. Establishing meaningful connections relies on contextual relevance, which entails delivering precisely targeted messages to the right individuals, at the right moment, and in the appropriate content and topic environment.

Enabling data analytics from your industry partners will aid in defining behavior patterns and relevant market verticals. This intelligence enables destinations to craft bespoke marketing initiatives that directly address the unique requirements of B2B buyers. 

Whether through customized email outreach, dynamic content, or pinpointed advertising efforts, destinations ensure their messaging stands out amidst the digital noise, capturing the attention and interest of potential clients. 

Note: Studies show that original content outperforms studio photography. A recent report on User-Generated Content (UGC) reflects that as high as 93% of marketers agree that people trust content created by customers more as compared to content created by brands.

Reach vs. Activation

Is anyone else noticing the influx of "new faces" in the room? In 2023 alone, we welcomed over 25% new attendees at Northstar Travel Group’s events. Personally, I love the fresh energy. However, it also necessitates re-education. For our team, this involves familiarizing this new audience with our brands and the depth and breadth of offerings. For our destination partners, it means highlighting yourselves to new visitors and new opportunities, underlining the significance of expanding reach.

Activation is where the real impact happens. How is that messaging translating into measurable action? The effectiveness of an activation strategy depends heavily on its capacity to captivate the intended audience, requiring a deep understanding of their needs, preferences, and behaviors. Unlike traditional advertising methods, which focus on metrics such as reach and frequency, activation demands more nuanced measurements. These could include engagement rates, conversion rates, or changes in brand sentiment.

In conclusion, leveraging targeted messaging, innovative activations, and robust partnerships, destinations can effectively engage with B2B audiences, forge meaningful connections, and drive mutually beneficial collaborations. As the landscape continues to evolve, embracing creativity, adaptability, and data-driven insights will be key. 

A special thank you to my friend and colleague, Joe D’Andrea SVP, Digital Northstar Travel Group for collaborating with me on this trend list and partnership in navigating B2B digital marketing. 

About The Author

Shalise DeMott

Vice President of Sales, Northstar Travel Group

With a career spanning over two decades in the travel and hospitality industry, Shalise is the Vice President of Sales for Northstar Travel Group, leading business development efforts for the Meetings, Incentive and Sports Division. She plays a pivotal role in driving revenue growth and developing tailored programs to meet the diverse needs of clients in the B2B market across all channels of digital, data and events.

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