How Are B2B Marketers Rethinking the Customer Journey?

By Kimberlee Morrison 

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The influence of social media continues to drive big changes in the customer journey and marketing funnel. Some of the main changes such as the use of multiple devices by customers and the desire for always on customer service have created challenges for marketers. A report from Linkedin examines similar changes in the B2B market and provides suggestions to improve your business.

The report focuses on the changes in relationships between buyers, salespeople, and marketers. The survey included more than 6,000 participants globally, and gives insight into the buying process, and changes that need to happen in both social and marketing content.

Since vendors have focused more on customer service in recent years, buyers have rewarded this presence with increased faith. LinkedIn found that 28 percent of buyers polled rate their relationships with vendors as very good, and 56 percent rate them as good. What’s more, when assessed over time, only three percent of respondents believe their relationships with vendors are in decline.

While 52 percent of buyers rank trust as the reason for stronger relationships, 45 percent believe it’s due to responsive communication. Conversely, 30 percent believed that a lack of responsiveness is the primary cause for a declining relationship. Naturally, all sectors should value quick response times, since poor responsiveness could cost you business and your reputation.

An issue that persists in the B2B space, according to the report, is a poorly optimized content strategy. Salespeople and marketers seem to have a different perspective than buyers in terms of what kind of content is most useful, and really, the buyers are precisely the people your content strategy should target. 35 percent of buyers wanted product info, features, and functions, and 31 percent wanted demos, all while marketers wanted to offer case studies.

This speaks to a lack of alignment between marketing and sales departments. 38 percent of respondents said marketing doesn’t generate enough leads, and which may be ultimately be the result of disparate outlooks between teams. For example, only 28 percent of sales teams nurture leads through multiple channels compared to 45 percent of marketers.

For more tips and insight, view the full report.

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