The pressure is on for business-to-business (B2B) marketers.
Digital transformation means brands must deliver superior customer experiences across a wide range of touchpoints to stay competitive, and rising consumer expectations have made acquiring and retaining new customers that much harder — an especially dangerous development for subscription-based businesses.
Approximately 50% of consumers say CX is more important to them now than it was a year ago, and the same number say they’ll switch to a competitor after being on the receiving end of one negative experience (that number shoots up to 80% for multiple bad experiences).
No wonder nearly half of B2B marketers are turning to customer data platforms (CDP) to navigate today’s marketing landscape. While account-based marketing strategies are designed to help B2B brands deliver more relevant, impactful experiences, they can’t hit business-critical objectives without high-quality data. It’s customer data that fuels successful growth marketing and lead nurturing.
To rise above the competition, meet consumer expectations and achieve ambitious growth goals, B2B brands must ensure they have the customer intelligence they need to put people at the center of their strategies.
The State of B2B Marketing Technology
Almost one-third of B2B marketers plan to increase their marketing budgets over the next year when compared to last year, and you can bet a lot of that spend is going toward marketing technology designed to make customer data more accurate, accessible and actionable.
Data to market to the right prospects and responsive account-based marketing are among the highest priorities, with approximately 25% of marketers saying they plan to invest in these initiatives.
Meanwhile, nearly 50% of B2B marketers have already kicked off their data-driven strategies by putting a CDP in place.
When you consider the challenges inherent in selling to business accounts instead of individuals, it’s easy to see why B2B martech stacks are being prioritized.
Overcoming B2B Marketing Challenges
Almost three-quarters of B2B executives agree expectations for personalized customer experiences have risen sharply. And much of the blame can be laid at the feet of business-to-consumer (B2C) brands, which have left B2B buyers demanding B2C experiences. Obstacles include:
Even the most powerful martech stacks will leave B2B marketers in the dark if their different technologies aren’t talking to each other. Various stakeholders often hold different pieces of the puzzle, with essential customer data split between marketing, sales and service channels instead of compiled in a single, accessible location. This slows marketers down and contributes to subpar customer experiences.
Modern B2B buyers expect brands to anticipate their needs and act accordingly — across channels and in real time. Every member of the buying committee tends to have their own unique preferences, needs and priorities. And despite entering and exit the sales journey independent of interactions with brand representatives, they expect personalized and valuable experiences at each stage of their journey.
B2B marketers want to move beyond the same old campaigns on the same old channels, but they often run into the harsh reality of scalability. Without a platform in place to increase speed to market, brands are left with a lack of innovation, missed opportunities and generic campaigns — all of which make growth marketing unattainable.
B2B buyers typically start their journeys anonymously before revealing their contact information, and often switch between online and offline interactions. Today’s B2B buyers make it difficult for brands to stitch together different signals, create a comprehensive customer profile and map out the full customer journey. This puts B2B marketers at a disadvantage and makes knowing exactly who they’re talking to — and at what stage of the sales cycle — for effective lead nurturing nearly impossible.
Upgrading Your B2B Martech Stack
Based on the numbers, it’s clear B2B brands are increasingly recognizing the value of CDPs. The key is choosing one that supports enterprise-level speed, scalability, flexibility and connectivity.
CDP selection becomes even more important in the face of third-party cookie deprecation, as marketers will lose access to prospects’ browsing behaviors, resulting in less accurate customer profiles and further personalization challenges.
B2B brands require technology that will help them:
- Collect and connect customer data at scale to create a 360-degree view of B2B buyers
- Enrich customer data with vital information, including buyer intent, employee transitions and organizational models
- Create a single source of customer intelligence for cross-team collaboration among marketers, salespeople, account managers, product experts and more
- Engage the right customers at the right time and place via automated real-time customer experience orchestration
Whether the goal is improving account-based marketing, shortening sales cycles, reducing churn or all of the above, it’s imperative that B2B brands invest in a CDP that provides them with access to all the high-value assets they need, empowers users across the organization to self-serve and supports exceptional CX across each and every channel.
Check out our B2B solution sheet to learn how ActionIQ’s customer data platform can help you power superior customer experiences built on all your data.
You can also reach out to us to get specific questions answered.