Commentary

Understanding Buyers A B2B Priority In 2016

According to November 2014 polling by ITSMA, summarized by EMarketer, brand and positioning was the No. 1 marketing responsibility among B2B marketers worldwide, cited by 90%. Lead generation and brand communications followed, tying for second with 85% of respondents each. But, business-to-business marketers expect their responsibilities to be very different in two years.

advertisement

advertisement

Leading B2B Marketing Responsibilities In 2016 (B2B Marketers; % of Respondents)

 

% of Respondents

B2B Marketing

November 2014

November 2016

Brand and positioning

90%

 

Lead generation

85%

73%

Brand communications

85%

 

Thought leadership

82%

74%

Demand generation

82%

 

 

Understanding buyers

 

85%

Marketing technology tools

 

76%

Market and competitor analysis

 

75%

Source: ITSMA “ New Architecture of Marketing Talent, December 2014

Increased focus on personalization and data are driving B2Bs to rethink how they approach their customers and manage all of the information they gather, says the report, and the picture changed greatly when looking two years ahead.

B2B marketers expect understanding buyers, marketing technology tools, and competitor analysis to be the top three marketing responsibilities in two years, items not even on their current list. Brand and positioning, brand communications and demand generation fell off the list, while lead generation dropped to the No. 5 spot.

According to September 2014 polling by LinkedIn and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, just 19% of US senior-level marketers from B2B companies said they had fully integrated customer data across their organizations, the same percentage as those who said they weren’t integrated at all. Meanwhile, 62% said they had somewhat integrated this data. The report concludes that B2B marketers must make big strides when it comes to integrating data in order to understand their customers.

Organizational Marketing Structure Current vs. 2016 (B2B Marketers; % of Respondents)

Structure

November 2014

November 2016

Hub & Spoke

48%

56%

Centralized

34

33

Decentralized

15

9

Other

4

3

Source: ITSMA, December 2014

Shifting priorities and responsibilities will drive restructuring in the coming years, opines the report. The study found that more B2B marketers expected to shift to a hub-and-spoke organizational model, which the firm referred to as the “best of both worlds.” 48% of respondents said they currently used a hub-and-spoke model, and 56% believed they would do so in two years. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who expected to use a decentralized model, dropped below 10%.

To review the ITSMA report, please visit here.

 

Next story loading loading..