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Leading B2B Trends Defining 2023

Unpacking the Driving Forces Behind Today's Business-to-Business Landscape

Updated: February 9, 2024
b2b trends report 2023

Key Takeaways

  • The use of AI is the key driver behind shifts in the B2B industry in 2023.
  • 68% of B2B business professionals have adopted AI to enhance operational efficiency in 2023.
  • Despite economic uncertainty, 64% of B2B business professionals are confident in their business outlook.
  • Dallas and Austin, TX, are the top two cities B2B businesses are expanding into in 2023.

Harnessing Innovation

Keeping up with industry trends is vital for businesses to navigate and thrive in an ever-evolving business landscape. We surveyed 503 B2B professionals to uncover emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in the B2B industry. Join us as we share valuable insights about industry shifts, including how businesses are leveraging technology to enhance operations, improve marketing, and meet consumer needs.

What’s New

Our study begins with an overview of emerging trends in the B2B industry. Let’s examine how artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing operations.

Trends to enhance operational efficiency

The rapid advancement of technology is transforming the business world, and the use of AI is the key driver behind shifts in the B2B industry in 2023. B2B companies are leveraging AI-powered tools and technologies to unlock opportunities for growth, optimization, and improved customer experiences. According to our survey, an impressive 68% of B2B business professionals embraced AI to enhance operational efficiency in 2023.

The top four B2B industries that adopted AI to enhance operational efficiency this year were as follows:

  • Finance (85%)
  • Health care (77%)
  • Marketing (74%)
  • Technology (71%)

In addition, B2B businesses in technology, marketing, and health care saw the most notable changes in dynamics due to AI adoption, with adoption rates of 70%, 67%, and 66%, respectively. Industries in these B2B markets seem eager to utilize new technologies to meet customer needs, streamline workflows, and reduce overhead costs.

Looking more specifically at types of AI used in the B2B industry, the rise of chatbots was a major shift in 2023 and caught the attention of 45% of respondents. Chatbots, a machine-learning form of AI, can now understand complex questions, provide personalized recommendations, and conduct transactions. Businesses are harnessing this power to improve customer service.

Almost half (48%) of respondents said always-on customer service was one of the fastest-growing consumer expectations. Chatbots have become vital for real-time engagement as businesses strive to meet these expectations and provide 24/7 support. These AI-powered virtual assistants enable businesses to deliver exceptional customer experiences while reducing costs.

B2B Marketing Trends

Within B2B marketing, businesses are capitalizing on AI trends to enhance operational efficiency. Over half (51%) of the marketing teams reported using AI for content creation, enabling them to produce personalized and engaging content. B2B business marketers can use AI content creation for a wide variety of initiatives, including email marketing, podcasts, and webinars.

In addition to content creation, 37% of B2B marketing professionals employed AI for targeting. Using AI to target helps marketers optimize their campaigns and deliver relevant messages to more specific target audiences.

Marketers are also using chatbots for lead generation and customer service. Among the B2B marketers surveyed, 43% said they’re leveraging ChatGPT to improve user experiences and deliver real-time customer support.

Navigating Change

As the pandemic proved, businesses that know how to pivot are the ones that survive. Let’s see how B2B businesses deal with industry changes, including the most common shifts they’ve made in response to emerging trends.

Common pivots due to emerging trends

In the rapidly changing business landscape, 50% of B2B professionals pivoted their operations due to emerging trends. Among those who pivoted, respondents in the following industries led the way:

  • Finance (65%)
  • Marketing (64%)
  • Education (56%)
  • Tech (50%)
  • Health care (48%)

The most common pivot strategies were leveraging AI-powered insights and shifting from in-person interactions to digital channels.

Social Media and Digital Marketing Trends

To ensure marketing strategies are data-driven, an impressive 48% of B2B marketers leveraged AI-powered insights. The same percentage also shifted focus from in-person interactions to digital channels, recognizing the importance of online engagement. Another 39% embraced digital-first go-to-market strategies, prioritizing digital platforms as the primary means of reaching target audiences.

As proof of digital-first prioritization, one-quarter of B2B professionals pivoted the focus of their marketing campaigns to social media and influencer marketing. Video marketing is a particularly popular B2B marketing trend, with business accounts featuring everything from product launch videos to influencer endorsement reels. To enhance their social media marketing video content, 1 in 6 B2B professionals incorporated TikTok as a marketing channel, and another 14% had plans to do so.

Professional networking site LinkedIn is another social media platform that has been trending recently. From newsletters to live virtual events, it’s now considered a leader in B2B marketing opportunities, with more content and member engagement than ever before.

Breaking Barriers

Though AI leads the way for positive changes in the B2B industry, many still feel the effects of the pandemic. As the U.S. navigates uncertain economic times, businesses face challenges in their efforts to innovate and grow. What are the biggest issues businesses face in 2023, and how do they plan to overcome them?

B2B industry challenges

Retaining customers emerged as the top concern for B2B businesses, as 47% of respondents said it was their greatest challenge. Acquiring new customers was a close second at 46%, indicating the ongoing struggle for B2B sales and B2B buyers to expand their client base. Adding to this pressure, 44% were concerned about intense competition as businesses fight over market share.

Despite economic uncertainty, most B2B professionals remained optimistic about their business outlook for the next few years. A remarkable 64% of respondents expressed confidence in the future of their businesses, exhibiting resilience and adaptability in the face of changing circumstances. B2B industries that felt most optimistic about their business outlook in the next three years included:

  • Construction (89%)
  • Education (71%)
  • Tech (71%)
  • Retail (68%)
  • Health care (66%)

Looking ahead, 42% of businesses anticipated an increase in their marketing budget next year, leaving room for teams to invest in new B2B marketing strategies. As marketing teams prepare to make purchasing decisions within their expanded budgets, many may focus on digital transformation. The implementation of AI marketing tools and marketing automation can help streamline sales and customer service. B2B brands may also focus on e-commerce in 2023 and prioritize investing in online marketplaces.

Reaching More B2B Customers

Respondents who most expected their marketing budget to increase in the next year were found within the following industries:

  • Health care 53%
  • Technology 46%
  • Retail 46%
  • Finance 44%
  • Marketing 40%

With customer retention, customer acquisition, and intense competition occupying the minds of B2B decision-makers, it’s clear that businesses across multiple industries are actively seeking solutions to navigate obstacles. Yet, the optimism expressed by the majority and their plans to invest in marketing efforts signal a determination to succeed despite challenges.

B2B Content Marketing

B2B content marketing is how businesses increase brand awareness and establish themselves as trusted industry leaders. A high-quality content marketing strategy that implements effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies helps retain and acquire customers.

Embracing Growth

With a better understanding of emerging trends in B2B, let’s shift our focus to the future and discover where and how B2B professionals see the industry growing.

Customer segments

Expansion into new markets and geographic regions will be an upcoming key focus for many B2B companies: 1 in 4 B2B business professionals expressed plans to expand, and 44% of those aimed to explore local expansion within the United States. Regarding U.S. expansion opportunities, the two most popular potential areas for 2023 growth were in the Lone Star State: Dallas and Austin, Texas.

Dallas and Austin host a diverse range of industries, offer robust talent pools, and are strategically located. Dallas, renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and well-established business infrastructure, provides a gateway to the Southwestern region. Austin, known for its vibrant tech scene and innovative ecosystem, offers enticing opportunities for businesses to tap into the burgeoning technology and startup landscape.

Breaking Ground in B2B

The adoption of AI by B2B professionals is revolutionizing industries, fueling operational efficiency, enhancing marketing efforts, and transforming customer interactions. As businesses continue to explore the vast potential of AI and improve functionality, these innovative technologies are expected to drive growth, unlock new opportunities, and reshape traditional business models even further. The journey toward AI-driven success has just begun, and staying at the forefront of these advancements will be crucial for businesses aiming to thrive in the ever-evolving B2B landscape.


For this campaign, we surveyed 503 professionals in the B2B industry. Among them, 60% were men, 39% were women, and 1% identified as non-binary.

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