By Yong Siew Mee (Managing Director and Chief People Officer of 2X)
The pandemic has shown certain industries and jobs are far more vulnerable than others, and many businesses had to transform quickly, while talent that were affected had to pick up digital skills and start again in a different industry.
As a result, interest in business-to-business (B2B) digital marketing has grown tremendously. At 2X we received over 7,000 job applications in 2022, an increase from over 5,000 applications in 2021.
But what’s all the fuss over B2B marketing?
Here are the top three reasons B2B digital marketing should be on your radar, whether you’re thinking of pivoting into a new career or starting out on the path as a fresh grad.
There’s a shortage of qualified B2B marketers, so the barrier to entry is lower.
Supply and demand in the labour market shifts between an “employee’s market” and an “employer’s market.” For B2B, it’s definitely an employee’s market.
In a recent study, 2X partnered with 6sense using data from LinkedIn and Indeed, we found there existed only 2.5 qualified professionals for every job opening. Most, of course, were also already employed, leading to a major challenge in filling open positions.
This was true for skills related to modern marketing practices such as intent marketing, which uses AI-driven technology to discern a potential buyer’s interest.
For more mature skillsets such as SEO, email marketing, and Salesforce, the ratio was seven qualified professionals for every one job opening.
Meanwhile, Gartner’s “2022 State of Marketing Budget and Strategy Report” revealed that 58% of marketing leaders believe their in-house teams lacked capabilities to support the execution of their marketing strategy. Talent and labour issues were highlighted in the 3rd Annual CMO Survey by Chief Outsiders as one of biggest concern hampering business growth.
These data points are interesting for firms like 2X, which has scaled up due to word-of-mouth of our customers. We see the shortage of qualified B2B marketers as a great opportunity for local talent.
By bringing talent from Malaysia to work with U.S. clients, we offer significant labour cost savings for our clients, while providing better salaries and benefits to our employees.
B2B MarTech is always evolving, so you can never be too late to the game.
A myriad of MarTech is in use in B2B and B2C. However, there is a lot more MarTech that runs at the backend that B2C marketers don’t typically use—but for B2B marketers, they form the backbone of operations.
The B2B industry is also currently at an inflection point because there has been a noticeable shift in the behaviour of B2B buyers.
Traditionally, B2B marketing strategy has relied on email opens, website form fills, and content downloads to gauge buyer intent. However, this framework is now outdated. Given that only 3% of website visitors fill out forms to download content, this is no longer a reliable indicator of buying intent.
We know that prospects continue to consume content as they research their options for their next purchase. So, if we expand our view of their activities to also include the articles they have read, competitor websites they have visited, and social media posts that they have reacted to online (instead of only the website and channels we own), then we would get a more complete and holistic view of their buying intent and readiness.
Now, the technology that enables this is readily available. Due to the complexity of the tech environment, certified experts are needed to fully leverage the capabilities of constantly evolving MarTech.
There is an incentive to provide training for more new-age marketing experts, no matter what their background.
Marketing leaders are under pressure to do more with fewer resources. Increasingly, companies are moving away from hiring and training their own in-house marketing teams and leaning towards offshore agencies like 2X that provide both speed and economic savings.
To service this growing need, we believe in supporting a longer-term view on how talent is trained and supplied to meet that demand.
We invest heavily in getting our teams trained and certified. Because we work with clients from different industries, our teams gain invaluable experience and skills beyond the theoretical to become competent practitioners.
Aside from being a Tier 1 Service Partner to 6sense, 2X is also recognised as partner to several leading MarTech solutions including Hubspot, Bombora, Drift, Google, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Pardot, and Marketo.
However, certification isn’t the only factor that clients and talents look for when considering taking a plunge.
While marketing will always have creative aspects such as writing and design, it has become quite tech-centric in B2B marketing, which explains why so many jobseekers from non-marketing backgrounds have successfully made the jump. 2X has a good track record of successfully converting B2C marketers to B2B, but more interestingly, has also turned talent from engineering, finance, mathematics, and science fields into B2B marketers as well.
In our experience, clients and talents are similar in what they look for in their agency or employer. Our clients look for continuity in innovation because things always change in our industry.
They want a partner that continually adapts and provide insights to help navigate the change. Talents look for opportunities to learn and the exposure to be best-in-class. Our business model is already breaking traditional notions of marketing, and we see adapting to change as a necessity.
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