Pandemic To Push Changes In B2B Marketing In 2021

Business-to-business marketing and sales are likely to look different in 2021, with change accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Market research company Forrester has released its predictions as to what those changes will look like.

Forrester expects the pandemic to push both business buyers and marketers toward digital. Its analysis suggests that marketers will adopt new technologies like artificial intelligence, virtual assistants and digital events platforms as buyers shift their preferences to digital channels rather than remote sellers. The company expects the share of business-to-business firms that spend more than 20 percent of their marketing on account-based marketing programs to grow from one in 10 to four in 10 in 2021.

Other changes in the B2B marketing landscape that Forrester sees likely is a new digital dimension for physical events, which it expects to rebound; an increase in investments in post-acquisition marketing, advances in AI-powered personalized experiences, new technologies boosting account-based marketing results, and new advances in chatbots and virtual assistants.

B2B sellers are also slated to evolve their practices in the face of the pandemic. Forrester reports that 40 percent of B2B sales reps plan on evolving their practices to account for remote selling, and 57 percent of sales leaders plan increased investment in AI, automation and other tools. B2B companies are also expected to include more non-sales employees in reaching the company’s commercial goals.

Forrester says that in 2021, AI and automation will make consultation a bigger part of the sales role, creating and engaging with video be a larger part of B2B sellers’ roles and sales consolidation in sales technology will accelerate to meet buyers’ end-to-end solution needs.

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