Businesses need to stay ahead of an ever-evolving world of tech to remain competitive. In 2023, consulting giant Gartner expects four trends to dominate the tech market
Federated enterprise tech buying
More federated enterprise tech buying, which incorporates more decision makers outside of IT, would mean purchase decisions being based on value scenarios and outcomes rather than just the technology itself. The federated buying model is still immature in many companies, but a 2022 Gartner survey showed that 67% of enterprise-tech decision makers are not in IT.
To take advantage of this trend, tech companies must pivot their go-to-market strategies from technology-based to customer-oriented value scenarios. They must demonstrate the customers’ targeted business outcomes in the context of each of the influencers or buyers in the process. Companies can leverage ideal customer profiles (ICPs) to improve their situational awareness of the customer’s buying approach and maximise the probability of success and high-quality deals. It’s essential to guide less experienced buyers on effective decision-making practices and help companies build maturity in the federated buying environment to build a stronger vendor-client relationship.
These strategies put the product front and centre by providing prospects with some form of a product experience to demonstrate value, before any interaction with sales. By 2025, Gartner expects PLG to be a standard component of go-to-market practices for 90% of SaaS companies (up from 58% today).
The best outcome is fast growth at a cost lower than traditional top-down marketing and sales motions. The 2021 Gartner User Influence on Software Decisions Survey found that more than 50% of free trials/freemiums led to a purchase. However, success is far from assured; it takes more consideration and effort than simply introducing a free version of a product into the market.
To implement PLG, companies must assess whether it’s viable or optimal by evaluating the suitability of the product relative to its intended audience. The product must have highly intuitive user experiences, and onboarding should be easy and fast. Users should quickly recognise/capture value (and weigh that value against cost).
Digital marketplaces are becoming commonplace for tech purchases, as buyers, increasingly non-tech ones, are looking for composable and easily consumable solutions. By 2026, Gartner expects all major cloud platform and enterprise application providers to offer business component marketplaces to enable customers’ composable strategies, differentiating by quality, convenience, and security.
To capitalise on this trend, companies must evaluate the priority of a marketplace channel by sizing the market opportunity, including solution fit and assessing their target buyers’ preferences. They must prepare for a shift in tech buying by non-tech buyers by adjusting their go-to-market strategy to sell through a marketplace that ensures buyers know about their solution’s compatibility with existing infrastructure and that it can be easily integrated. It is also essential to prepare to be part of a marketplace to serve target customers by evaluating the suitability of existing marketplaces or by launching their marketplace.
The fourth trend is the incorporation of more metaverse technology in marketing and CX to build customer engagement. Metaverse technologies are rapidly gaining traction in areas of marketing for creating unique experiences, impactful interactions, and novel engagement. By 2027, a majority of B2C enterprise CMOs will have a dedicated budget for digital humans in metaverse experiences.
To take advantage of this trend, product leaders must evaluate the viability of metaverse technologies and determine how they can integrate them into their marketing and CX strategies. Here are some steps that can be taken:
- Identifying business value: Product leaders should identify the specific business value that metaverse technologies can offer, such as enhancing customer engagement, increasing brand awareness, or improving customer loyalty.
- Defining target audience: Once product leaders have identified the business value, they should define the target audience for their metaverse experiences. They should consider factors such as age, interests, and tech-savviness to ensure that the experiences resonate with the audience.
- Choosing the right platform: There are several platforms available for creating metaverse experiences, such as Second Life, VRChat, and Roblox. Product leaders should choose the platform that aligns with their business goals and target audience.
- Creating a unique user experience: Product leaders should create a unique metaverse experience that stands out from the competition. They should consider incorporating interactive elements, such as games, puzzles, or challenges, to keep customers engaged.
- Metrics to success: Product leaders should measure the success of their metaverse experiences by tracking metrics such as customer engagement, brand awareness, and customer loyalty. They should use these metrics to refine their strategy and improve future experiences.
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