B2B marketing has evolved dramatically in recent years with CMOs taking a leaf out of their B2C counterparts’ playbook by spending more heavily in brand, data and digital to drive business growth.
According to Gartner digital marketing is now the mainstream with B2B marketing decision makers adopting more digitally-led business models by investing in techniques that blend physical and digital customer experience, as well as exploring digital commerce opportunities.
What is also clear is an enhanced and differentiated customer experience (CX) is now a central driver for revenue growth in B2B, with companies realising it’s a business mandate to focus on improving the entire experience for each individual customer at every engagement point - regardless of device or channel.
Marketing, of course, has a key role to play. New research from Forrester and Heidrick & Struggles, which surveyed CMOs globally, shows they are beginning to take complete ownership of CX - two-thirds now have responsibility for it.
To deliver truly personalized experiences an organisation needs to intelligently fuse activities like social media marketing and search to drive quality B2B leads through a joined-up digital experience.
The top four intelligence requirements are:
- “Empathetic Intelligence” – It’s all about the customers, on their terms and in their voice. Making your brand story relevant to the customer is key, which explains the recent surge in B2B content marketing budgets, which, according to Pulsepoint, are predicted to double again in 2017
- "Predictive Intelligence" – The ability to understand and anticipate desire and intent, using tools to harness insights available in your data to create personas that align with stages of the customer journey rather than personas that reduce the target to a one-dimensional statue
- “Emotional Intelligence” – Implement analytics to consider the quality of the customers’ experiences, thereby marrying ‘emotional’ insights to more traditional customer satisfaction and advocacy metrics
- “Collective Intelligence” – Possibly the most important requirement because successful CX depends on all areas of the company – marketing, sales, finance, product, operations, IT – having a voice and a role in making it happen.
Investing in CX can take a real corporate mind shift in a sector which has traditionally lagged behind its B2C counterpart.
For many it may simply remain an ambition, but at Positive we see that some organisations are starting to head down this path as they begin to understand that improving the customer experience is intrinsically tied to growing revenue, a view echoed in a recent Forrester Report.
We emphasize the importance of CX to our B2B marketing clients and encourage them to place it at the core of their businesses.
We work strategically and collaboratively with clients, helping them to re-architecture their business models so that they can implement CX programmes that deliver against their brand promises.
It’s an approach that’s enabled us to design and deliver corporate websites for the likes of Fugro, TheCityUK, Mars Drinks and Eaton, consult on and implement digital transformation strategies for the likes of PHS Group and Western Power Distribution, and develop a new product platform (and their first ever brand) for PwC.
If you want a view on how you could implement a CX strategy for your business please connect to find out more.