FOSTER CITY, California – (BUSINESS WIRE) – In the wake of COVID-19, B2B companies are redoubling their shopper experience strategies to fuel growth in a digital market, according to a recent survey of marketers conducted by Folloze in collaboration with the Demand Gen Report. Overnight, the pandemic raised the bar, alerting B2B companies to the need to deliver the same digitally-rich personalized experiences – the hallmarks of B2C brands like Starbucks, Airbnb, and Uber – or perish. The study found that marketers expect to play a leading role as the digital architect of personalized buyer journeys. At the same time, respondents felt unable to fulfill their mandate, suggesting the need for a more agile operating model led by frontline marketing teams.
“One of the most exciting trends we saw in the survey was the continued evolution of the role of marketing and the continued convergence of marketing and sales at critical points of interaction with buyers,” said Andrew Gaffney, editorial director for Demand Gen Report. “The data really underscores the emergence of a ‘frontline marketer’ who no longer just leads leads over the fence, but actively works with SDRs and account teams to train members of the buying interest and enable buying at all stages, independently of whether a buyer wants it. ” for self-navigation or needs support with adapted and relevant content. ”
The COVID-19 Catalyst That Changed Marketing Forever
COVID-19 accelerated digital sales and turned long-held beliefs about the need for face-to-face meetings and traditional go-to-market requests. The Folloze-Demand Gen Report Research reflected these buyer-centric trends and uncovered four key issues:
1. B2B companies are finally taking a page out of the B2C playbook to fuel growth: In a post-pandemic market, creating connected, contextual and personalized digital experiences is at the core of growth. With the aim of replicating the success of their B2C marketing peers, 99% of respondents unanimously cited the importance of personalized content, messaging, and journeys to attract today’s digital-first buyers.
2. Marketing is the only organization that can lead the digital-first mandate: The survey found that 50 percent of marketers believe that a digital-first marketplace will create hybrid GTM models that improve the marketing function. In this model, marketing, with the support of the direct sales team, becomes the architect of digital experiences along the entire buyer journey.
3. The “frontline marketer” emerges from an extended mandate: When asked about the three most important execution challenges in connection with buyer loyalty, respondents named the provision of a consistent experience (63%), the involvement of today’s digital first buyer ( 57%). and providing large-scale personalization (49%).
With their new digital-first mandate, marketers need to develop strong executives in building end-to-end buyer journeys. The study found that only 25 percent of respondents believed they could successfully drive growth – on a large scale – at any stage of the buyer journey.
A digital first GTM model puts customer-oriented – or frontline – on-site marketing teams in the spotlight. These “frontline marketers” know what their buyers want and how to deliver engaging experiences that build trust and relationships. However, successfully executing throughout the buyer’s journey and delivering a predictable pipeline requires a fundamentally new operating model that removes organizational silos and supports frontline marketing teams with agile tools and data-driven best practices.
4. Sales Becomes a Quality Channel: In a digital-first environment where buyers are familiar with digital self-service and discovery, the sales team becomes one of many channels marketers use throughout the B2B buyer journey. In the survey, a third of respondents said the biggest challenge their sales colleagues face is orchestrating digital campaigns that involve the sales team at different stages of the customer lifecycle.
“Marketers have a unique opportunity to build the next generation of digital growth engines,” said Randy Brasche, Vice President of Marketing at Folloze. “At the same time, marketers know that they cannot fulfill this strategic mission with the old-school tools and analogue go-to-market models of the past. The results of our B2B buyer research with the Demand Gen Report underscore the need for marketing to fundamentally rethink their teams and empower frontline marketers who know what their buyers want. ”
To download a copy of the Demand Gen Report and Folloze’s research and recommendations, go to https://www.folloze.com/b2bstudy
About the survey
The Demand Gen Report surveyed 104 B2B marketing executives and professionals in April 2021. Respondents range from managers (20%), directors (32%), vice presidents (16%) and C-levels (26%). Respondents work in a variety of industries including business services / consulting (21%), software / technology (18%), manufacturing (10%) and financial services (9%). Their businesses are just as diverse, with annual sales ranging from under $ 100 million (43%) to over $ 10 billion (13%).
Folloze is building the leading B2B buyer experience platform. Marketing and sales teams rely on Folloze to quickly and easily deliver engaging, personalized, and data-driven experiences across the entire customer journey. Top B2B brands like Autodesk, RingCentral, Cisco, and ServiceNow use Folloze to create immersive digital experiences that help attract and retain more customers and fuel long-term growth. To learn more, visit https://www.folloze.com/.
About the demand generation report
The Demand Gen Report is a targeted online publication that uncovers strategies and solutions that will help companies better align their sales and marketing organizations and ultimately drive growth. A key part of the publication’s editorial coverage is focused on the sales and marketing automation tools that enable companies to better measure and manage their multi-channel demand generation efforts.