B2B Wannabes: Most Brands Have A Customer-Centricity Gap, Study Finds

A full 71% of B2B brands admit they have a “customer-centricity gap,” according to B2B Digital Experience Report: A Customer-Centric Pivot In Pivotal Times, a global study by Episerver.

In the healthcare field, that rises to 93% and in the financial services sector it is 85%. The high-tech industry is least likely to have a gap.

A gap occurs when the digital experience offered by a company does not meet the needs and expectations of customers.

Yet 82% of B2B organizations have undergone a digital transformation project. And 37% say their digital experience is what differentiates them as a brand.

Overall, 12% say email is the one marketing channel that helps them reach customers most effectively. 

Email is tied for third with paid search. Paid social media is first, cited by 18%, and websites are second, with 14%.

Among marketers, 30% list paid social as an effective channel, while 16% say the same of paid search, 15% of email and 7% of websites.



In contrast, email is seen as productive by 11% in the IT field and 9% in ecommerce. 

Meanwhile, 60% plan to invest in personalization by 2022 at the latest, to be followed by a web content management system and an ecommerce platform. And 93% say they “know” personalized web content is  

“It is now assumed that any digital engagement will be personalized and often the term is used in a different way,” state Episerver’s Nate Barad. 

Barad explains: “Some teams described it as, ‘A follow-up email with suggested research’, many discussed ‘recommended content in emails’ or ‘recommended product based on previous purchases.’.

With things being what they are, 41% now feel their best option is to sell directly to their customer. In general, 47% have a steadfast relationship with their customers, 9% say it’s strained and 3% non-existent.

Among all the departments, marketing is least likely to have a relationship with clients, with 37% calling them steadfast and with 6% saying they are non-existent. Ecommerce is the most engaged area, with 49% saying they have steadfast relationships and no non-existents. 

The study also determined that:

  • 61% of B2B leaders fear they will be replaced by AI within the next five years. Meanwhile, 82% feel AI will make them better at their jobs in the interim.
  • 52% see Amazon as an opportunity. 
  • 48% have experienced a data breach despite the fact that 91% have taken what they say is every reasonable step to maintain security and compliance.

Episerver surveyed 600 decision makers from the U.S., the UK, Germany, Sweden and Australia in March.  

Next story loading loading..