The latest B2B Digital Trends report is here!

In association with Adobe, Econsultancy has surveyed more than 1,000 professionals working in digital B2B to craft an idea of what the future holds, and where the pack is going.

The before and after

Content marketing is, as ever, on the minds of B2B digital marketers.

However, our research shows a slightly changed picture from the B2B world of last year (and the three before, since Econsultancy began producing B2B Digital Trends reports in 2012) - customer experience is taking on a greater, and substantial, role in the B2B space.

As readers of our past reports will know, B2B trails B2C pretty consistently in focus and market prioritization. In our latest report we discuss some ways to halt this trend, partly by looking to successful B2B marketers to identify winning strategies.

Data

It's not going away. In fact, almost a fifth of marketers believe that the most exciting change of the next five years will be in the direction of data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual.

However, marketers lack confidence in their data analysis abilities.

Majorities of B2B and B2C marketers are either neutral on the question of whether they have the analysts necessary to "make sense of our data," or they out-right disagree:

B2B and B2C respondents replied similarly when asked whether they had a good infrastructure in place to collect the data they need.

Data handling capabilities are a problem

Data handling is an issue that still dogs marketers. Strangely, many still don't believe that using data across online and offline channels will be of special importance in the years to come.

Brands need to catch up to their customers. Mobilize!

It's become a tiresome trope that everything is going "mobile," but it's no less accurate for being a true blue marketing cliche.

Problem is, brands aren't following. What's the hold up?

For starters, brands still aren't prioritizing the move to mobile. and neither are they shy about saying so.

Respondents were asked to rank five key digital marketing areas in order of importance for their organization in 2016. 

Mobile was one of these options. Figure 10 shows the breakdown for organizations and how they responded with regard to mobile.

For 61% of B2B respondents, mobile doesn’t crack the top three priorities for 2016.

As always...

Modern marketing is the story of learning how to sell in the face of changing realities.

The customers' world is changing faster than brands can adapt, and marketers commonly site a shortage of skills as being of the top barrier to optimizing the digital customer experience.

Inside this year's B2B Digital Trends report are a few insights that will help marketers improve brand performance in this area. Click here to check it out.

Arliss Coates

Published 16 November, 2016 by Arliss Coates @ Econsultancy

Arliss is a Research Analyst at Econsultancy.

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Comments (1)

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Peter Altschuler, Creative Director at Wordsworth & Company LLC

These studies astound me. They aggregate information from 20 minutes before yesterday and conclude that the world has changed.

In the mid-'80s, I worked with B2B companies that measured everything across every touch point at every stage of the sales cycle. Digital, of course, wasn't part of the equation, but print ads, direct marketing, PR, broadcast, video (yes, we used video), audio, and the use of collateral (now called content) were all in the mix. The response to each element was tracked, responses from the same prospects were correlated, materials were designed to meet the information needs and expectations of the purchase initiator, researcher, short lister, influencers, recommenders, decision maker, and even the person who signed the check and, based on incremental results, adjustments were made throughout the process.

Corrections, obviously, were not as fast because results took time to gather and evaluate. Yet now B2B firms, including my clients among them, are nearly fixated on personalizing, adapting, and updating messages to meet buyers' requirements. Leads become prospects more quickly, they're better qualified, and they join the Sales process when it's clear they're ready to buy.

So implying that B2B is catching up to B2C is, well... seeing the world in a mirror. B2B's been far more granular for far longer than its consumer cousins.

over 1 year ago

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