Championing Marketing Strategy: Focus on Reaching New Buyers and Enhancing Customer Experience for Two Years

Marketing Strategy

According To Siriusdecisions’ 2017 Global CMO Study, Cmos Must Focus On Reaching New Buyers And Enhancing The Customer Experience To Achieve Quantifiable Outcomes To Bolster Bottom Lines

The year 2017 proved how CMOs are super-charged about achieving real-time marketing goals, moving at the pace of customer and serving the right information at the right time. However, moving at the pace of customer may not be the only thing at the top of a B2B CMO’s mind! Last month, SiriusDecisions released the findings from its 2017 Global CMO Study, revealing that B2B marketing leaders are increasingly focused on attracting new buyers, with the need to address changing buyer behavior and enhance the customer experience as top priorities influencing their marketing strategies.

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A steady and successful digital transformation may still be the top challenge for most marketing leaders, but for new-age B2B CMOs, reaching new buyers and enhancing customer experience would be the top priorities to support their organization’s growth objectives.

Time to Move Away from Over-Rated Data and Analytics

According to the Study, there are critical issues and visible trends that may have the greatest influence on B2B marketing strategies over the next two years. Most marketing leaders emphasize on building the right set of data (real-time and historical) to achieve their marketing goals.

The Global CMO Study reported that only 18% of the respondents feel that insufficient data to measure marketing contributions was the biggest barrier to their success. 16% of the global CMOs felt that their measurements are not tied to the business objectives. So, there is a huge scope for CMOs to make adjustments to their marketing strategies in a short span and support corporate growth objectives.

Over-rated Data and Analytics Hamper Marketing Strategies in Delivering Better Customer Experience

We spoke to Monica Behncke of Sirius Decisions to understand how B2B marketers should use data to improve customer retention and empower users to have better control on post-sale expectations.

Monica Behncke
Monica Behncke, VP and Group Director, Corporate and Executive Marketing Strategies, Sirius Decisions

When asked to rank their top five growth strategies (New Markets, New Buyers, New Offerings, Productivity and Acquisition) in terms of importance to their organization, over the next two years, 18% of the top 300 marketing leaders cited organizational readiness and insufficient data are biggest challenges to delivering better customer experience.

Behncke said, “According to the report, CMOs recognize the importance of data, but for many CMOs this is not an area where they have focused their metrics collection and analysis. Some of the metrics that CMOs will be interested in at the strategy level are: Customer lifetime value, net promoter score, renewal and retention rates and brand awareness. Insights from these metrics, including trends analysis and understanding the ‘why’ behind the results, will inform CMOs’ actions. CMOs that have over-rotated their data and analytics to measure marketing-sourced pipeline are required to correct the balance of effort to understand what is impacting the customer experience.”

Accurate Marketing Attribution Elusive To B2B Marketers

Accurate marketing attribution continues to remain elusive to B2B marketers. Speaking  about how marketers could deliver better customer experience seamlessly along the customer journey, without mastering the art of true attribution, , Monica pointed that the buyer’s journey and the customer lifecycle are related but different experiences, and both require the attention of the CMO. It is not a bad time for B2B marketers to master customer marketing competencies and drive success through high-value enablement technologies.

Most B2B companies still focus on building out products and offerings with lesser effort on delivering better customer experience. In 2017, there has been a shift in how organizations are differentiating themselves through the customer experience, to not only boost engagement with prospects and customers, but also increase retention and brand loyalty.

Monica added, “In the past decade, the buyer’s journey has taken center stage for many CMOs. But, we see a shift in consideration where the customer lifecycle is regaining the attention of CMOs, often driven by business model shifts to recurring revenue models. With limited resources, CMOs need to understand the best possible prescription for each stage of the buyer’s journey and the customer lifecycle.”

Avoid Sub-Optimization of Resources and Conversion Rates to Retain Customers

Monica elucidated that a majority of the best in class companies use data, either historical or research-based, to build their content and program plans. She added that the lack of understanding about what drives demand or satisfies a customer at each stage could likely lead to sub-optimized resource use and conversion rates on the demand side, and struggle to improve retention and renewal on the customer side.

The Future of Customer Communities and B2B Marketplaces

The B2B landscape has evolved into a major collaborative space that allows companies to freely interact and discuss ideas on how to leverage technology for better customer acquisition, engagement, and retention.

CMOs Must Adapt to Customer Ecosystems and Engagement Experiences

In the era of personalization and customer experience management, what would be the relevance of customer communities and B2B marketplaces? According to Monica, the growth of customer communities creates challenges and opportunities to B2B companies.

Monica explained, “With the advent of new channels (e.g. online options, social media), customers are engaging with other customers, prospects and influencers more than ever before, and in perhaps unanticipated ways. Keep in mind that the customer evolution is ongoing, with new points of connectivity being introduced regularly. Best practice companies pay attention to these connection trends to determine how they affect their customer community ecosystems and, more importantly, how they need to adapt their community elements to optimize the engagement experience for the organization and its customers.”

Strategize on Building a Personal Brand and Expand Customer Revenue

Best-in-class companies align community elements to customer and company goals. Monica told us how SiriusDecisions recognizes six primary channels that B2Borganizations can interact with customers and support engagement from within the customer base.

The six channels are—

  • User Groups
  • Online Communities
  • Social Sites
  • Customer Advisory Boards
  • Events
  • Partner Groups

Monica said, “Company goals might include increased customer adoption, expanded customer revenue, improved customer retention, expanded advocacy or the gathering of product direction insights; while customers may seek to derive value from the investment in a product or service, seek insights, network with other clients, influence product direction or building a personal brand.”

The study reveals how CMOs are turning their strategies to drive audience-centric campaigns, built on quantifiable objectives, determined from the right measurement systems that are in place to track impact.

The Power Couple for Marketing Success

The Global CMO Study may not have considered the opinion of the Chief Technology Officers (CTOs). However, Monica clarified that in a largely customer-focused industry, the CMO and the CTO must work together to satisfy highly empowered buyers and customers, maintain information security and effectively leverage technology. Clearly, the CMO-CTO the modern B2B companies leads the cross-disciplinary teams based on shared experiences in both marketing and tech.

Monica addressed how the increase in technology spend falling to the CMO has led to the CTO assuming an advisor role to the CMO in some areas, which makes them more easily accepted as partners than as gatekeepers. With the GDPR deadline round the corner, there is renewed focus on this power-couple of B2B landscape.

The Global CMO Study 2017 urges B2B companies to recognize the value of interdisciplinary thinking and focus on bettering customer experience to reach the target audience group through omnichannel engagement opportunities.

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