Delia Associates study details four key areas for growth and profitability
While the country continues its reopening and recovery, increases in consumer spending, stock market values and the labor market are sparking an economic boom with significant growth opportunities for B2B organizations. With the post-pandemic reset providing context, Delia Associates, a leading B2B Branding and Digital Marketing firm, commissioned the study entitled “Insights & Opportunities: Breaking Down the Role of the B2B Sales & Marketing Executive” to better understand the new business environment and what lies ahead.
This data, detailed in a new report published by Delia Associates, is based on an independently conducted survey of senior sales and marketing leaders in April 2021. Respondents were surveyed on priorities in four key growth areas: leadership, marketing, branding and sales. Participants represented a wide variety of B2B industries, company size, longevity and geographic location.
Despite the pandemic and initial fears of a prolonged economic slowdown, an overwhelming 57 percent of companies updated their brand in 2020 or were in the process of doing so. “Forward-thinking companies recognize the pandemic as an opportunity to retool their brand in anticipation of future growth,” notes Ed Delia, President of Delia Associates. “To achieve growth in a boom, you must be ready to accept growth, and that requires having a brand that is properly positioned and deployed to tap into this potential.”
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Also, among the findings detailed in Insights & Opportunities: Breaking Down the Role of the B2B Sales & Marketing Executive:
Leadership: Sales and marketing heads were primarily hired into the company in this role and were new to leading this function. They generally believe they are doing a good job leading, with only one-third citing the need for leadership skills to excel in their positions. But significant opportunities to improve their skills relative to guiding their teams were noted.
Branding: More than half of respondents refreshed their brand since the pandemic’s start. Another half recognize branding and marketing as equals in supporting company sales and growth initiatives, while 47 percent report that customers pay a premium for their company’s products and/or services based on brand image and reputation.
Marketing: Marketing is considered the top function for sales success; metrics include new lead generation, ROI and positive reviews. Among sales, marketing and branding, 40 percent of the budget should be allocated to marketing, which is largely executed through digital marketing tools and channels.
Sales: An overwhelming majority recognizes the role of brand in supporting sales. More than one-third cited sales as the most essential skill needed for success, second to marketing. Approximately one-third of the total sales and marketing budget is typically allocated to sales in line with desired budget allocations, slightly behind marketing (42%).
The survey results highlight several competitive opportunities for B2B organizations. While most B2B leaders cite marketing as critical for sales success, some fail to implement the comprehensive branding initiatives needed to support these efforts. Conversely, marketing efforts backed by robust branding initiatives build recognition, strengthen loyalty and increase positive sentimentality. Successful leaders recognize how leadership, marketing, branding and sales function together, creating a symbiotic relationship that strengthens market position, fuels the sales pipeline and sparks B2B company growth.
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