Customer Strategy & Marketing
The wealth of information available from online sources has given customers more power. Buyers perform more than two-thirds of their decision-making research online before they even contact a vendor. A company’s digital footprint now serves as its showroom and helps determine whether it makes it to the shortlist of vendors long before it even knows that a customer is in the market.
Digital disruption is picking up steam across B2B markets, and we expect to see the following changes:
- Marketing and sales functions that operate in silos will fall behind those that integrate. We will see more sales and marketing organizations led by a single chief commercial officer.
- The role of the generalist continues to diminish as companies employ fewer sales representatives overall and emphasize those with far greater domain expertise and higher productivity (and cost).
- Business marketers will operate similar to consumer marketers, with continuous, near-real-time management of the pipeline.
- Traditional customer segmentation will be replaced by highly personalized “segments of one” enabled by advanced data analytics.
Companies across industries have grounded their marketing in original content that speaks directly to customers’ pressing needs and priorities. Creating and sustaining a brand presence has become more complicated as buyers can access expert reviews, user ratings and detailed data that companies offer. When a utility publishes a point of view on the implications of deregulation on customers or a software firm publishes on how the evolution of the cloud will affect healthcare delivery, they stake out a position as thoughtful, empathetic partners who understand the context in which their customers operate. Such content goes beyond feature-laden sales brochures to help customers make smarter decisions.