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The digital age makes B2B buyers behave differently, what’s your strategy?

Perspectives from our roundtable session  

During our exclusive roundtable session about the transformation of B2B Marketing, we discussed how the marriage between Marketing & Sales can be improved (or saved) and how the use of digital means in communication can be leveraged in B2B. In this article we describe the key insights we’ve collected from fellow B2B Marketing & Sales experts during the presentations and roundtable sessions.

Deloitte Roundtable event B2B Marketing in The Garage

Something that was yet again confirmed during our roundtable session is that B2B marketeers are just starting to use digital technology and means. Though the advantages of digital like personalized messaging at scale are clearly seen, the actual adoption is often difficult because knowledge, skills and culture are often missing within organizations.

During our roundtable event, leading B2B marketeers and sales experts from multiple industries presented and discussed the do’s and don’ts in leveraging digital means in B2B Marketing & Sales by answering questions like “Where to start with technology and how to scale?”, “What can B2B Marketing learn from B2C Marketing?" and "How to align Marketing & Sales on key KPIs?".

The key take aways are:

Buyer behavior has changed

Like consumers, B2B buyers behave differently due to their use of digital. 67% of the buyer journey takes place on digital channels. Compared to the year before, 75% of buyers say they use more sources to research and evaluate purchases. 32% agrees they do not only notice targeted ads, but that they positively impacted their view of potential vendors. To take advantage of the changing behavior in the buyers, Marketing & Sales needs to change their actions as well. 

Success requires more than just technology

Multiple stakeholders, long lead cycles and complex digital interactions make B2B marketing complicated. Siloed and traditional organizational structures keep customer journeys disjoint. B2B marketing demands more than just a tech platform to make it work in this complex environment. You need a new mind- and skillset from marketeers, new ways of working with sales and an integrated customer centric approach.

Start small

Adopting a digital savvy B2B marketing practice in your business takes time as you also need to align with other departments. Changing a whole organization is difficult, that is why our presenters advised the audience to start small and build proof. To do this, one should organize a small coalition of the willing consisting out of sales and marketing team members. They should start with connecting digital lead generation created by the marketing department with the follow-up by the sales team. Once this has proven to be successful, IT and the overall management should be involved and design the potential business case to discuss what is needed to do this at scale.

6 question to help you focus

In case you would like to further align your marketing efforts with the changed buyer behavior, you should ask yourself a couple of questions first. The answers will help you focus and judge what is best to start with.

1. Is your business obsessed with the customer?

2. Do you really understand the customer journey?

3. Are your data capabilities up to scratch?

4. Do you have buy-in from stakeholders?

5. Do you know which platform you should use?

6. Does your organization have the capabilities and skills to make marketing automation work?

From the roundtables it became apparent that no matter the industry, B2B marketeers are facing the same challenges and internal headwinds. Be it C-level support, a siloed organization or lack of knowledge for example. Discussing these challenges with industry peers delivered new insights and solutions to each of the attendees. 

More information

If you would like to have more information about this topic, if you have any questions about our roundtable event about the transformation of B2B Marketing or if you would like to discuss your situation in more detail, please feel free to contact Kathleen Peeters via the contact details below. 

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