Will Personalization Be The B2B Holy Grail in 2020?

BY Kathy Crosett
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The start of a new decade should prompt your B2B clients to think about their marketing strategies. Are they stuck in the past, hoping the tried-​and-​true digital formats will work sales magic for them? Or, will they be willing to take a few risks and try something new? The 2020 B2B Marketing Mix Report from SageFrog shines a light on what B2B businesses expect next year.


Once a B2B marketer identifies a strong lead, they’ll be targeting them through personalization techniques. What better way to influence a prospect than to convince them that your solution will address their major pain point? Until now, businesses have struggled to achieve their personalization goals. In 2020, 47% of B2B operators will make personalization a top priority. This goal is now within sight because marketing automation has improved data management capabilities. Businesses are able to easily collect and access specific data points about a prospect. They can use that information in personalized emails and other forms of marketing.

 Marketing Budget and Tactics

Personalization through email will be a top strategy (84%) for B2B companies next year. They’ll also use:

  • Social media and social advertising 73%
  • Blogging and content marketing 63%
  • SEO 61%
  • Tradeshows and events 50%
  • Online display and PPC 48%
  • PR and editorial pitching 39%
  • Video marketing 33%
  • Seminars and webinars 31%
  • Print advertising 19%

Around 41% of B2B operators will increase their marketing budget next year, while 56% will maintain spending on this front. For 25% of B2B businesses, marketing budgets get 5% of total budget. Another 19% spend at least 10% on marketing. 

Lead Sources

How well is total spending and media mix allocation working? Keep in mind that your typical B2B prospect has three goals: Convert leads to customers, increase sales leads and boost brand awareness. When Sagefrog analysts asked B2B operators which marketing investments were yielding leads, the answers were:

  • Referrals 63%
  • Trade shows and events 44%
  • Email marketing 39%
  • SEO 36%

Social media scored at 28% and print advertising came in at 3%. 

Now is the perfect time to plan 2020 strategy with your clients and prospects. To help them understand their digital position in the marketplace, run a Digital Audit and review the results with them. The tool is available at AdMall from SalesFuel.