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Effective B2B Growth Strategies for 2024

B2B Growth Strategies

As we dive into 2024, it’s time to reevaluate our strategies and embrace new approaches to stay ahead of the competition. Agile, innovative, and customer-centric B2B growth strategies are key.

But where do we start?

In this article, we’ll explore a range of effective B2B growth strategies for 2024, from revamping digital engagement experiences to mapping the customer journey. We’ll discuss how to understand your audience, create an omnichannel experience, and create memorable experiences that resonate with decision-makers.

What Will Your Business Achieve This Year?

If you want to see growth in 2024, establish clear goals. Without clearly articulated and documented goals, building a growth engine with the entire team steering in the same direction is difficult. And, of course, it’s impossible to assess progress accurately.

End Goals

Set end goals (or “lag goals”) you want to achieve. What do you want to accomplish in 2024? Increase revenue by 20%? Grow your customer base by 50%? Improve customer retention by 30%?

It’s essential to be explicitly clear with your end goals to align your organization. And it’s also just as important to demonstrate persistence with your end goals. Don’t change course every three or six months. As Robert Sher writes in the book Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers, “tinkering at the top” by constantly changing the goalposts is a common cause of businesses that lose steam and get stuck in a plateau.

Progress Goals

Once you’ve determined what you want to achieve in the coming year, it’s time to set SMART progress goals. These goals provide concrete milestones to help you make tangible, well-defined progress and reach your end goals. Make sure these are realistic goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

For example, if one of your end goals is to increase your revenue by 35% for a specific product or solution, your progress goals might include:

  • Create new landing pages for each product
  • A/B test pages to determine winning combinations
  • Optimize related web pages and content for SEO
  • Develop a content marketing plan to support product offerings
  • Increase email list by 10% per month
  • Host four webinars per month
  • Cross-sell to existing customers

Progress goals are critical to growth, as they are ACTIONABLE. They provide a clear path for you to reach your end goals. They are the actual engine that drives your growth.

B2B Growth Strategies

If you want to grow your B2B business, focus on specific pillars of growth. Narrow your focus, and go all in.

Don’t try to boil the ocean. Instead, focus on the few areas where you can win and where you can win big. Being selective helps galvanize your resources in the same direction, making your growth initiatives more powerful.

So, the question then becomes, where to focus?

Below are fifteen effective B2B growth strategies. Determine which ones you’ll focus on, and then execute, execute, execute.

Focus on Out-of-Market Buyers

In B2B, the real growth opportunity lies with the 95% of buyers who aren’t actively looking to purchase right now. It’s called the 95-5 rule—only 5% are in-market at any time. And while targeting those ready-to-buy leads with activation campaigns can win you some quick deals, the long game is about engaging the other 95%.

Think about it—if you’re selling cloud solutions, there might be ten in-market accounts today. But fast forward 1-3 years? That number could easily be 100.

By creating sticky brand content that resonates with out-of-market buyers, you’re planting seeds for future success. You’re building memory structures that’ll spring to mind when those leads are ready to buy.

So, how do you make your brand campaigns unforgettable? By crafting creative content that doesn’t just inform but captivates.

Take Salesforce’s “No Software” campaign from the early 2000s. At a time when on-premise CRM was the norm, Salesforce boldly proclaimed the end of software. They even had employees stage mock protests with “No Software” signs. It was cheeky, disruptive, and impossible to ignore.

Provide a Positive Experience at Every Digital Touchpoint

Did you know that 81% of B2B buyers will pay a premium for excellent e-commerce and customer portal capabilities? Delivering exceptional experiences at every touchpoint is non-negotiable today.

Whether your buyers are browsing on their laptops or phones, every interaction is an opportunity to impress. That means:

  • Optimizing your website for lightning-fast load times and intuitive navigation
  • Designing engaging and user-friendly mobile interfaces
  • Using data to serve content that speaks directly to each buyer’s unique needs and preferences.

But here’s the thing—94% of B2B buyers prefer to work with companies that continuously evolve and experiment with their digital offerings. So don’t just optimize for today. Keep pushing the boundaries, and show your buyers that innovation is woven into your DNA.

Use Value-Based Bidding

Want to drive more high-quality leads without blowing your budget? Take a page from Business.com’s playbook and embrace value-based bidding.

Utilizing tROAS automated bidding, they saw a 31% increase in conversion value and a 10% increase in volume by integrating offline data with Google Ads.

So how does it work? Instead of just focusing on quantity, value-based bidding zeroes in on the quality of your conversions.

You communicate your specific customer values to Google’s bidding algorithm, optimizing your campaigns to attract leads most likely to deliver real business results.

By automating your bids based on the total value of a lead, you can generate high-quality prospects at scale—as efficiently as possible. Plus, the insights you gain can help you identify new categories for expansion, just like Business.com did.

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Self-Service Buyers Continue to Grow

B2B buyers are taking control, with 74% of marketers seeing customers drive the purchasing process. Remarkably, over half of buyers prefer to buy without interacting with sales.

To cater to this shift, focus on robust self-service options. Provide detailed product info, transparent pricing, and comprehensive FAQs online. Empower buyers to make informed decisions independently.

Only 9% of B2B companies offer all necessary details online—a huge opportunity to stand out. By investing in self-service resources, you’ll meet the growing demand for autonomy and position your brand as a trusted, customer-centric partner. Embrace the self-service revolution to thrive.

Break Away from Traditional B2B Demand Gen

Are you still relying on traditional B2B demand gen strategies focusing solely on acquiring the net-new pipeline? Break away from this outdated approach and embrace a more holistic revenue strategy. Here’s how:

Invest in brand creation that speaks to buyers’ emotions before they’re in-market. Build trust and connect with potential buyers before they begin their purchasing journey by creating a brand identity that resonates with your target audience. Create engaging content, establish a unique brand voice, and use storytelling to connect with your audience emotionally.

Use intent and AI to identify when buyers are in-market. Technology can help you determine when buyers are actively searching for solutions. Use intent data to personalize your messaging, AI to optimize ad targeting, and predictive analytics to predict buyer behavior.

Focus on all aspects of revenue, including retention and expansion efforts. Increase the lifetime value of your customers by prioritizing customer retention and expansion. Use customer data to personalize your messaging, use upsell and cross-sell strategies to increase revenue, and use customer feedback to improve your products.

Align with sales every step of the way. You can ensure consistency across all touchpoints and align your marketing efforts with your sales team’s strategies. You can streamline your sales and marketing processes using account-based marketing, sales data, and collaborative tools.

Create an Omnichannel Digital Engagement Experience

Buyers expect more than a series of disconnected digital interactions. They want a seamless, cohesive journey that meets them where they are and guides them towards a solution. And it’s your job to orchestrate that journey across multiple channels and touchpoints.

Instead of just posting content and crossing your fingers, you’re creating interconnected experiences that guide buyers through their journey.

Think VR product demos that let prospects “try before they buy.” Interactive webinars that foster real-time dialogue. And personalized online paths that adapt to each buyer’s unique needs.

But these experiences shouldn’t be gimmicks. They should be purposeful, value-adding touchpoints that move buyers closer to their goals.

Every interaction should leave them feeling understood, supported, and confident in your brand’s ability to solve their problems.

Strengthen Your Brand

Strengthening your brand is like raising the tide. And a rising tide lifts all boats. A strong brand helps any marketing initiative you undertake to achieve more for your business. Invest in strengthening your brand, and it will help you to:

  • Attract more customers
  • Build more loyalty with existing customers
  • Create more trust in your products and services
  • Increase perceived value
  • Successfully launch new products and services
  • Increase overall marketing ROI

Become Customer-Obsessed

Customers are at the heart of B2B growth. To drive growth in the coming year, you must be customer-obsessed. Not just customer-centric, but customer-obsessed.

How much time do you spend focused on your customers? How often are you talking and engaging with them? Do you use audience insights to help you improve your products, services, customer experience, etc.?

According to Forrester, “Business, marketing, and IT decision-makers…surveyed at customer-obsessed B2B organizations estimate a 10% or higher growth in revenue, profits, and customer retention at a rate three times that of their non-customer-obsessed counterparts.”

With the uncertain economic landscape in 2024, it’s even more important to focus on your existing customers. Many marketing executives are prioritizing customer success over new customer acquisition this year.

For example, Bernard Huang, Co-Founder at Clearscope, states, “I believe that B2B businesses need to be viewing Customer Success as a growth strategy moving forward, especially in 2024’s uncertain market conditions. Retaining and expanding your existing customer base is significantly cheaper than looking at growth channels.”

Retaining and expanding your existing customer base is significantly cheaper than looking at growth channels.

Bernard Huang, Co-Founder, Clearscope

On the topic of customer focus, Tim Howlett, Vice President of Marketing at Omega Engineering, takes a similar stance.

“With an increasingly noisy digital environment and difficulty accessing folks in person due to the proliferation of remote work, the cost of new customer acquisition is sky high. Our current customer base is much more accessible and where we expect to find the most growth in the near term. We are finding that our customers are amenable to growing their share of wallets with us, as managing their supply chains throughout COVID has become more resource-intensive. Companies see the benefits of increasing their leverage with a narrower set of suppliers to improve internal productivity and get preferential treatment regarding capacity allocation. From a marketing standpoint, this is a major shift from our natural state of espousing the benefits of our products to untapped prospects.”

According to Michelle Stern, Head of Digital Marketing at Ginkgo Bioworks, “B2B marketers should be laser-focused on continuing to satisfy their current clients because happy customers can provide referrals and testimonials and case studies, which is valuable lead generation content. By prioritizing customer satisfaction, B2B marketers can also gain critical insight into how their customers think and feel during these uncertain times, enabling them to market more effectively to prospects.”

Samuel Schmitt, Founder at thruuu, is another executive taking a customer-centric approach this year. “My growth strategy this year is to focus on existing customers / account management / upselling / cross-selling (and reactivating subscribers if you are a SaaS).

“Why? In this period of economic uncertainty, people are looking for trust and stability. Your existing accounts should trust you. On top of this, we know that the acquisition of new customers is more expensive and takes more time.

“For these reasons, sales efforts this year should focus on deepening your existing customer partnerships.”

By prioritizing customer satisfaction, B2B marketers can also gain critical insight into how their customers think and feel during these uncertain times.

Michelle Stern, Head of Digital Marketing, Ginkgo Bioworks

Dig Deep to Capture Voice of the Customer (VoC)

To deepen your customer focus, ensure you’re spending sufficient time capturing the voice of the customer (VoC). This is a systematic approach to understanding how customers feel about your products and services, their experiences with your organization, and how well you meet their needs. This data can help you and your marketing team understand where gaps in the customer experience need to be addressed.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much time is marketing actually spending with clients?
  • Are you talking with customers regularly and getting their raw feedback?
  • How many customer interviews are conducted each quarter?
  • Are you conducting any market surveys?
  • Are you engaged in social listening?
  • Do you attend conferences and meet new people in your audience?

Your goal is to see things through the eyes of your customers. What do they want? What frustrations and pain points are they experiencing? How can you improve their experience and provide more value?

Map the Customer Journey per Persona

The customer journey represents every step a customer takes, from their first realization of a new problem, challenge, or goal to their many interactions with you on their path to a solution.

If you want to see things through the eyes of your customers, map the customer journey for each of your audience personas. This will help you identify any gaps in the customer experience and determine how best to target and strengthen your marketing efforts at each stage of the journey. You can also use this data to better understand where customers drop off and why they may not make the journey.

Understanding these friction points or confusion in the customer journey can improve the customer experience and increase conversion rates.

And keep in mind that the customer journey is not linear. It’s more of a zig-zag. Sometimes, you’ll find your prospects circling back to prior points in the journey, revisiting specific questions, and then leaping ahead on other occasions. The more that your marketing addresses the journey holistically, the more effectively you’ll be able to engage with them through the constant zig-zag nature of their exploration.

Lateral Thinking for Growth:

Outmaneuvering your competition and driving growth requires lateral thinking. To resolve problems, step away from the traditional thought patterns and try something new. This strategy encourages you to explore unconventional perspectives which may initially appear counterintuitive. But by doing so, you may discover innovative solutions that wouldn’t have been found otherwise.

For example, when I was at a prior agency, a colleague and I introduced a new form of marketing that became the #1 leads driver for the entire company. Historically, The agency invested in large industry conferences at $30,000 to $50,000 in costs per event. This put us in front of thousands of audience members.

However, the problem was that our competitors also exhibited at these events. We had a booth, but so did 30-40 other companies.

Instead, my colleague and I launched a roadshow, where we invited the local audience members we valued most. We didn’t care how many attended as long as they were the right individuals. The initial local event brought in 7-figure and 6-figure contracts. The second event also delivered a million-dollar deal. These events directly contributed to the agency’s growth from 85 to 700+ employees within five years.

B2B growth often requires more than just thinking outside the box. It requires a different box altogether.

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Acquisitions

Acquisitions are one way of jumpstarting B2B growth, and several types of acquisitions deserve consideration.

First, you can acquire companies offering products or services that complement your offer. This can help you expand into new markets and grow your customer base. You can also acquire technology that can automate certain processes or give you an edge in the marketplace.

Or, you can buy out a competitor, giving you an immediate foothold in an existing market. This approach is beneficial if the competitors offer products or services similar to yours, as it can result in cost savings through economies of scale.

Another effective acquisition strategy is a roll-up. This involves acquiring and consolidating many smaller players in a fragmented market, creating a much larger business entity with economies of scale.

A final acquisition option is to purchase digital assets (websites, blogs, online services, etc.) that are well-established in Google search results. This allows you to rank for many non-branded keywords and quickly dominate the SERPs.

Market Penetration

Market penetration is common among B2B growth strategies, which involves growing your foothold in your existing markets. You may have a 5% market penetration today. What’s your plan for hitting 10, 20, or 30% market penetration moving forward?

One way to do this is by looking for ways to add value for existing customers. You might offer them additional products and services related to what they’re already buying from you. Or you could offer discounts on their current purchases.

You can also look for ways to optimize your pricing models or develop more attractive payment plans and packages. This can make it easier for customers to purchase from you, allowing you to increase market penetration.

Finally, consider running targeted campaigns in existing channels. Put some extra effort into increasing the visibility of your existing products and services to capitalize on markets already familiar with your brand.

Market Development

Market development is another effective way to drive growth. To do this, you must first identify target markets that have the potential to benefit from your product or service. Then, you can develop strategies and tactics specifically designed to appeal to those target audiences.

This could include creating content that speaks to their needs, launching campaigns tailored to their interests, and developing attractive offers. You may also need to invest in new channels or partner with a brand that can help you reach those markets.

These strategies may require significant time and effort, but they can be well worth it if they enable you to access new markets and generate more sales.

Market Disruption

Sometimes, markets are ripe for disruption. They are dominated by a few big players who do everything the same way, or the market lacks innovation.

If true, you can gain a foothold in that market by shaking things up. Consider what makes your product or service unique and how it can challenge existing norms. This is where lateral thinking can help you.

Disruption can also come from offering a new pricing model or a more convenient way of doing business. It can also look like partnering with a company to provide something neither of you could offer.

Whatever the case, market disruption can help you achieve surprising growth.

No one ever saved their way to the number. That’s a recipe for disaster. I believe technology and disruptive innovation will always save the day.

Ginger Shimp, Global Content Lead, SAP

Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships enable you to reach audiences you never would otherwise. Whether partnering with a complementary brand or business or working with key influencers, strategic partnerships are a great way to create win-win scenarios for everyone involved.

Partnering with the right people or companies can help you grow your customer base, increase brand awareness, and generate more sales. But it’s important to ensure that each partner brings something unique to the table and that there is alignment between your values and theirs.

Take the time to do your research and find strategic partners who can help you reach new heights.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation (DX) is transforming your business, shifting from slow, manual, outdated processes to faster, smarter, automated, digital ones. And it’s a strong B2B growth strategy. DX involves adopting new technology and ways of operating and delivering value to customers.

As you transition to digital processes, you’ll be able to achieve efficiency gains, save time, and reduce operating costs. You’ll transform manual tasks into automated processes, enabling you to scale better.

Digital transformation also helps you on the revenue side of the balance sheet. You’ll reach more customers, provide better customer service, and deliver a better customer experience. All of this enables you to deepen your market penetration.

Glassbeam is a machine data intelligence and analytics company delivering digital transformation to healthcare organizations. Dave Ysseldyke, VP of Marketing and Product Management, points out that enabling your target audience to capitalize on digitalization gives you a strong competitive edge. In Glassbeam’s case, that means enabling healthcare providers to “use data to make informed decisions, be more agile and patient-focused.”

Dave Ysseldyke, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Glassbeam, states, “Given the uncertainty Healthcare Providers are facing this year, a critical growth imperative for Glassbeam is delivering tangible customer value through our vendor-neutral analytics. Reimbursement cuts, workforce churn, and managing the unexpected require health systems to transform.”

Reimbursement cuts, workforce churn, and managing the unexpected require health systems to transform.

Dave Ysseldyke, VP of Marketing and Product Management, Glassbeam

Organic Growth

Organic growth allows you to grow in a sustainable, cost-effective way. It’s all about leveraging your existing assets and resources to drive growth. You earn your growth without paid advertising, sponsorships, acquisitions, mergers, or “renting an audience.”

Some ways to drive organic growth include:

SEO

SEO is one of the most effective ways to drive organic growth. It’s the only B2B growth strategy with compounding growth over time.

By optimizing your website, pages, and content, you increase visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs), attract traffic to your website, and grow your audience organically. SEO is the key to greater organic lead generation.

Additionally, you can strengthen your brand’s awareness, recognition, and perception – yielding excellent SEO ROI. The more you appear in the top search results for target keywords, the more likely your audience will respect and trust your brand.

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Content

Producing in-depth, high-quality content that speaks to your audience’s needs, desires, and goals is another effective way to drive organic growth. Create content that serves your audience throughout their journey for the best results.

By creating helpful content that solves real-world problems your audience is grappling with, you attract users, establish your brand as an expert in the field, and gain their trust. Your content also earns more social shares and attracts more backlinks from other websites. The more this happens, the higher you will show up in Google search results, driving more organic traffic.

Treat your content like an investment portfolio to maximize growth, with different content serving different business purposes. For example, create content for:

  • Expanded reach
  • SEO and organic traffic
  • Thought leadership
  • Brand building
  • Differentiation
  • PR impact
  • Nurturing
  • Brand affinity
  • Sales enablement
  • Etc.

Website

Your website is one of your most valuable corporate assets, particularly regarding organic growth. Whenever someone lands on your website, they represent a potential lead and future customer.

Your chances of capturing that lead greatly increase if you use IP detection, which allows you to identify the organizations visiting your site, track these visitors, and follow up with them, even if they don’t submit their contact information while on your site. IP detection exponentially increases your ability to generate leads organically from your site.

Your website supports and drives your growth in many other ways. It acts as a 24/7 salesperson with meticulously crafted marketing messaging. It conveys your differentiation and brand personality. And it can deliver superior customer support.

Behavioral Intelligence

Using behavioral intelligence tools such as heat maps, scroll maps, and click maps can help you identify how users interact with your website. These tools use data to uncover insights into user behavior, allowing you to optimize your site for better performance and improved organic growth. They allow you to see users’ digital body language and uncover previously unknown interests and friction points.

Behavior intelligence tools allow you to go deep into your website and ensure that users have the best possible experience. By understanding where people click, scroll, and engage on your website, you can make changes that will lead to more conversions and a higher organic growth rate.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the best social media platform for B2B organic growth. With over 500 million users, it’s an excellent platform to reach potential customers and engage with your audience.

Focus on posting quality content over quantity. Make sure that your posts are relevant, engaging, and helpful. Share knowledge, insights, advice, and stories to attract target users. Don’t overdo it with self-promotion.

By leveraging LinkedIn, you can build relationships with prospective customers, establish yourself as an authority in the industry, and ultimately drive more organic growth.

Marketing Automation

Automating some of your marketing activities streamlines your processes and frees up more time for you to focus on other B2B growth strategies. Automation can help you save time, money, and resources by automating processes such as email marketing campaigns, lead nurturing activities, and content distribution.

A marketing automation platform allows you to personalize content based on user behavior and interests. You can also schedule the delivery of emails in advance and segment audiences according to their history with your brand.

Communities

Communities are a great way to engage with potential customers. By participating in conversations and providing helpful advice, you can establish yourself as an authority and build relationships with prospective leads. You can also use communities to gain valuable insights into your target audience. You can ask questions, learn more about their needs and preferences, and use that information to create content and campaigns that will engage them more effectively.

Building a presence in online communities (your brand’s and industry-specific communities) is an effective way to drive organic growth and establish relationships with your audience.

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Precision-Engineer: Your Pricing and Profit

Pricing models, such as cost-plus pricing, value-based pricing, and fixed pricing are often a matter of “set it and forget it”. However, that’s leaving a great deal of potential revenue and profit untapped. Instead, be proactive. Look to predictive models.

“In uncertain economic markets,” SAP‘s Ginger Shimp points out, “we need to understand how costs affect our pricing and profits. It’s not enough to look backward to set pricing strategy; we need predictive models and data to capture anticipated purchase behavior, we need to explore price segmentation, and we need to determine the constraints on profit maximization.”

Marketing Funnel Optimization

There are always methods to optimize your marketing funnel more effectively.

Map your customer journey to your marketing funnel and identify each customer touchpoint. Once you’ve identified your customer touchpoints, look for areas where you can improve. You want to create a seamless experience from the initial contact to when they become a loyal customer.

Look for ways to increase conversions, such as optimizing your website, improving user experience, and personalizing content and messaging according to audience interests. Explore behavioral CTAs and A/B testing. By doing so, you will be able to drive more organic growth and boost your bottom line.

80/20 Approach

Another highly effective B2B growth strategy is the 80/20 rule. You can use the rule in several ways to drive greater growth. Applying the 80/20 approach to your marketing helps you to be more efficient with your efforts, deepen your competitive edge, and generate greater marketing ROI.

First, identify the 20% of your marketing efforts that produce the lowest results. Cut those activities from your marketing strategies. Be ruthless. Additionally, determine the 20% of your marketing producing the best results. These are the activities you should double down on.

It’s not enough to look backward to set pricing strategy; we need predictive models and data to capture anticipated purchase behavior.

Ginger Shimp, Global Content Lead, SAP

Amp Up Your Growth Efforts

In 2024, mastering the B2B landscape requires strategic focus and innovative tactics. Harness the potential of out-of-market buyers, optimize digital touchpoints, and employ advanced bidding strategies to drive your business forward. Implementing these complex growth strategies can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. Partner with a B2B digital marketing agency like Stratabeat to elevate your growth efforts and distinguish your brand in the market.

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