Outshift Logo


5 min read

Blog thumbnail
Published on 01/12/2024
Last updated on 02/05/2024

Breaking boundaries in B2B marketing: Advancing business outcomes through innovation



Establishing strong connections with customers can be a challenging task in the crowded B2B marketing space. Businesses can have a difficult time differentiating themselves from their competitors.

To confront the challenge head-on, B2B marketers must be willing to go beyond conventional tactics and strategies if they want to distinguish their products and services. But what does this look like?

During the most recent Outshift Marketing team offsite, Leah Ryder, Head of Marketing at Outshift, engaged in a discussion with Cisco alum, Andrew Warden, the CMO of SEMRush, a digital marketing SaaS software company. The conversation inspired B2B marketers to explore innovative methods and creative thinking to achieve better results.

Here are some noteworthy points from the chat that highlight how B2B brands can stand out from the usual norms.

Innovating using Generative AI

As Generative AI integrates with various industries, it’s important to acknowledge the changes it brings to marketing. Teams need to adopt a proactive approach and explore the potential benefits that Gen AI offers to stay ahead of the curve and maximize their marketing efforts.

“If you’re not experimenting with Gen AI now, you’re already behind,” said Warden.

Engaging in experimentation to comprehensively evaluate options is essential, as many Gen AI tools rely heavily on the quality of the input they receive. Finding the right balance between artificial intelligence and human involvement is key. To achieve optimal results, human expertise and judgment are needed to refine workflows and review AI-assisted outputs.

“In our own SEO team for SEMRush, we’ve been experimenting for some time. I think a lot of people are missing out on the fact that Chat GPT or Gen AI can get you 70% there, which is crucial for copywriters and blog editors,” Warden says.

Incorporating Gen AI into marketing tasks and processes is an exciting prospect. However, it’s not a magic bullet or a one-size-fits-all fix. Organizations need to invest time, resources, and training to benefit from Gen AI. The most effective tools and techniques will be different depending on your team’s needs.

Most B2B marketers have only scratched the surface. Based on the results of one survey, a significant proportion of marketers expressed uncertainty regarding the optimal approach to create maximum value from using Gen AI.

Are you interested in exploring additional ways that B2B marketers can take smart risks to achieve their goals? Watch the full talk for even more insights.



Driving results with brand awareness

During their conversation, Ryder and Warden dismantled a popular misconception among B2B marketers that top-of-the-funnel campaigns that focus on brand awareness aren’t effective revenue drivers.

“I don’t ever want to hear anyone say a brand campaign doesn’t create revenue,” Warden says. “If you’re creating traffic, you’re creating revenue. If you can’t track it, that’s your fault. Go fix it. Go set up your own marketing analytics engine.”

Traditionally, B2B marketers have focused on pushing their products or services instead of creating content experiences that their customers can identify with.

Giving the creative team at SEMRush license to break their brand guidelines, Warden and his team created a lifestyle-influenced campaign with tailored messages for their target audiences-- all while keeping their product’s foundational message at the forefront.

A customer-centric focus

Some conventional B2B companies face difficulties when adopting a customer-focused approach. But if B2B marketers truly want to put their customers first, they’ll need a deep understanding of their customers’ unique needs and aspirations.

“I always think of brands at a party, so what are all the facets of your brand at an event and how would you play with those to be a great guest?” Ryder says.

Marketers can enhance the appeal of their product or service by showcasing how it can solve a problem and add value to their customers' lives.

“When it comes down to it, you always have to talk about what you’re going to do to change someone’s life or improve it,” says Warden.

Rather than a laundry list of detailed technical features, it's more effective to focus on a product or service’s values and connect with a customer’s emotions.

“Benefits over features; it’s so tempting to focus on features,” says Ryder. “We misinterpret those as benefits.”


Subscribe card background
Subscribe to
the Shift!

Get emerging insights on emerging technology straight to your inbox.

Unlocking Multi-Cloud Security: Panoptica's Graph-Based Approach

Discover why security teams rely on Panoptica's graph-based technology to navigate and prioritize risks across multi-cloud landscapes, enhancing accuracy and resilience in safeguarding diverse ecosystems.

the Shift
emerging insights
on emerging technology straight to your inbox.

The Shift keeps you at the forefront of cloud native modern applications, application security, generative AI, quantum computing, and other groundbreaking innovations that are shaping the future of technology.

Outshift Background