Business to Business in the Digital Age: How Technologies are Transforming B2B Marketing

Digitalisation and the importance of the internet have been a topical discussion in the B2B business for more than a decade.  Despite its rapid pace of change, the industry shows no signs of slowing down.  Marketing in particular has proven its ability to embrace the impact of digitalisation, namely utilising technology to change business performance. As a consequence, data and metrics have become essential cogs to the marketing machinery: CTR, CPA, CPM, CAC, LTV – you name it! 



However, the most significant future changes will occur in the way in which increasingly larger B2B solutions and products are sold and purchased. At Valve, we have witnessed significant growth in the digital leaps taken by the sales and marketing organisations of heavy industrial products. For instance, solutions like maritime cranes and network technologies are increasingly being marketed and sold through virtual environments (i.e., the metaverse).

Recent technological developments have helped to create digital environments much faster than before. For example, if we want to serve the needs of a forest machinery manufacturer, we can design impressive virtual spaces and worlds where we can visualise and gamify the environment, allowing the customer to test the machine's features as if they were personally operating the equipment.

In the future, the digital and physical worlds will increasingly interact, enrich each respective environment. Here's an example of a joint project Valve did with Elisa and Nokia for Nokia Arena:



What do emerging technologies mean for B2B marketing?

B2B purchasing processes increasingly begin and end online (Winterberry Group, 2023). The amount of face-to-face meetings has decreased, and even business travel is now seen as a last resort. Moreover, a larger part of the purchasing process and decision-makers is beyond the reach of sales. Nevertheless, impersonal online automated communications will not replace physical encounters. Instead, we are more likely to see sales and purchasing processes evolve into hybrid processes that combine digital and physical elements. Here's an example implementation of work done for Nokia for the industry's largest event, the Mobile World Congress: 


Companies must balance between two things in marketing and sales. While organisations strive for increasing efficiency and economies of scale in customer acquisition, they also want to creatively leverage customer understanding and data to enhance the relevance of content and encounters. Despite the onslaught of tactical growth marketing, the importance of brand building has become more pronounced. We live in a time when trust is being tested. The crave for responsible and reliable brands has grown. 

A brand is no longer just a logo or a company name. It's an experience that the company offers to its customers. This is particularly important in B2B marketing, where buying transactions are often complex and long-lasting. Buyers expect companies to address customer needs throughout every stage of the customer experience. In the future, the ownership of customer experience and its development will be the result of the combination of commercial functions within companies' sales and marketing functions. Individually, sales, marketing, or even customer service or product development cannot be in charge of customer experience alone. 

PS. We organized an event where we delved into these topics in even more detail with the assistance of top industry professionals. You can watch the event recording below!


Markus Valtonen

Client Director, Growth Marketing Strategist