For this report, we had a record number of participating organisations – 550 from across the globe. They have shared their plans, challenges and perceptions for all key areas of B2B marketing including strategy, content, ABM, branding, digital channels, sales alignment and budgets.
The theme is ‘Rejuvenating Business’ as we see some optimism in the findings. Why? Three-quarters say they do not expect to be impacted by the pandemic in 2022; there has been a significant increase in those saying they have hit their 2021 objectives; as well there’s some positive projection around marketing budget increases.
challenge is ‘growing and measuring brand awareness’ for the third year in a row
of respondents have a shared Ideal Customer Profile definition between Sales and Marketing, up from 41% last year
Best-in-class marketers are almost 3X more likely to develop personas and customer journey maps
I think as the Australian B2B Marketing and Communications community moves into 2021 we should take significant learnings from 2020 with us. If this study and challenging year has taught CMO’s anything, it is that our success is driven by our ability to align ourselves to the business and position the marketing function as trusted advisors and change agents. For some, this may mean making deliberate changes in the way they approach planning, prioritise efforts, work alongside the sales organisation, and embrace the business and growth objectives of the organisation. Marketing creates the differentiator for any B2B business, but we must stay committed to our objectives and continually demonstrate how we are driving genuine results.
An experienced executive with a diverse background in law, marketing, customer experience and digital transformation. Held CEO, CCO and CMO roles across the world including Australia, Singapore, Europe and USA. An international speaker with industry expertise in data, marketing, technology and CX.
2020 – WOW what a year. If there has ever been a catalyst to change… a global pandemic is certainly it. What we have seen in 2020 has been an extended period of trial of new ways of working, interactions with our customers and interactions internally. Marketers have stepped up and proven that a blend of surprising moments of physical interactions with the digital experience – the Phygital experience – can really make a difference to revenue generation. 2020 for me has been the mass trial of the Phygital experience and we must all learn from this and embrace the learnings and be ready to adapt again as it has yet to be seen what, if anything will fundamentally change in our lives longer term.
Brand for the second year has grown in importance and if you are not investing in the brand and the core values then you are missing out. The need for brand basics in the B2B space has never been stronger. Interestingly the divide between sales and marketing continues to be a challenge so I think that the biggest challenge for a B2B marketer will be – how do you improve the communication and brand journey internally? The two big 2021 questions for me are: 1) What is your internal nurture program? and 2) How are you building your brand internally and externally?
Thanks to the pandemic we are all moving rapidly to a digital world, where business, especially business-to-business activity, happens wherever people are. Businesses who did not have their digital platform acts together were especially vulnerable during 2020. They struggled to facilitate online commerce efficiently and with ease. Their vision, leadership, data, people, process and system silos and deficiencies were exposed by the transparent front door that is their web presence.
Critically, today’s B2B customers know what good looks like thanks to their own personal commerce experiences with the leading B2C brands. In 2021 all B2B players, must fast forward their digitisation ambitions with their marketers playing decisive roles.
Today, no matter what industry you are in, it’s not enough to simply promote your brand and make, market and sell a product or service. You need a digital community marketplace. An integrated, self-service, collaboration environment (web + commerce + marketing automation + CRM + analytics and ERP) where you customers interact, buy (ideally, subscribe), share, engage and learn from one another.
In this transformational climate, now, more than ever, we marketers must step up and lead. Marketers have to exercise genuine customer-focused influence and advocacy both horizontally and vertically across their organisations.