The Six Ingredients for Supercharging B2B CX

New Global Study Reveals How Current Events Influence the B2B Buying Process

Merkle B2B, part of Merkle, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, has released a new global study that reveals how the last 12 months have shaped B2B buyer preferences and brand experiences.

“A year ago today, the world was in a very different place,” said Michael McLaren, Global CEO of Merkle B2B. “Recent events have accelerated the need for organizations to adapt and grow to survive. To better understand these shifts and improve the B2B buying process, our annual research provides B2B marketers with the guidance needed to ensure their experiences fulfill consumers’ rising expectations.”

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Conducted by B2B International, Merkle B2B’s insights group, the comparative study provides an in-depth look at the effects of pandemic-driven change for B2B organizations and revisits the four B2B Superpowers established in last year’s report: Reliability, Understanding, Enrichment, and Pre-Eminence.

Through interviews with 3,505 buyers of B2B products and services spanning over 6,000 recent B2B purchase experiences, B2B International asked buyers to retrace their steps along the way to identify which key factors mattered most at each stage of the decision-making process. While the four Superpowers remain, their core ingredients have shifted in importance.

This new research report, “The New Shape of Superpowered B2B Customer Experiences,” explores the six newly elevated ingredients, enabling marketers to create personally relevant customer experiences across the entire journey and influence a B2B buyer’s decision with the right information, clarity, and benefits. It then dissects the differences in brand performance within these six essential ingredients across several audience groups, including industry verticals, regions, and generations.

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Simon Calvert, Chief Strategy Officer, Merkle B2B, UK said, “Through this research we found that brands that deliver fully across the six newly important ingredients are 80% more likely to see increased spend from their customers in future. We also found that the gap between this year’s winning and losing B2B brand has narrowed significantly. So, it is now even more important than ever to understand the blend of ingredients that make the difference between success and failure.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • The customer experience gap is closing between leading and lagging brands with performance scores narrowing by 51% since 2020.
  • While six of the ingredients that make up the Superpowers have elevated in importance, three have lessened in importance, and nine remain as important as ever.
  • Buyer expectations of speed and agility have increased rapidly: 44% of decision makers now agree that “it takes far too long to make a purchase from most of our B2B suppliers,” up significantly from just 28% in 2020.
  • It is vital brands have a progressive approach, with 67% of B2B buyers agreeing that “it is increasingly important that the B2B brands we work with offer both positive social and business value.”

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