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Study: What are the biggest shifts hitting the B2B marketing industries?

Marketing plays an increasingly important role in driving growth and innovation for businesses – and currently 62% of chief marketing officers have said that the customer experience has shifted from being sales-owned to marketing-owned.

These were the results from a global study from GroupM’s media agency EssenceMediacom which also revealed that 50% of CMOs plan to expand their marketing teams, and 29% see the most growth in data and technology teams. In fact, 70% of CMOs reported an increased marketing budget in the last three years that has been primarily allocated to data and technology. 

The report attributes marketing as a key area of growth as business-to-business customers expect experiences that are tailored to their needs, with 80% of respondents stressing the growing importance of customer centricity. Respondents have also highly ranked changes in buyer profiles as a reason why the B2B marketing approach has changed as buyers today prefer self-directed research over traditional sales pitches.

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B2B marketers have also shared that there is an increase in customer data and the number of tools and technology to manage this data. Yet, the number one challenge for APAC marketers is understanding buyer needs as only half of respondents state that organisations prioritise sharing audience data.

 

Audience data continues to be under-utilised by companies as less than a quarter use AI to understand, segment and target buyers.

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As marketers need to adapt to a more customer-centric B2B buyer, many feel that they are given limited control over their organisation’s tech infrastructure and perceive that their tech stacks are not fully mature. 

The survey results reveal content development and distribution as a core marketing responsibility, second only to measurement highlighting the need for captivating content across the customer journey. To support this responsibility, marketers are actively leveraging data and technology, with 60% using generative AI for content development. Many also turn to content development agencies, using them as an extension of the marketing team, to ensure a steady flow of content

Despite changes in the role of the CMO and the demands of the B2B industry, the study also found that many companies still rely on outdated B2B marketing approaches that do not align with today’s dynamic market.

The lack of organisational transformation in tandem with that of the industry highlights a need to change the B2B marketing playbook with the experimentation of new tactics and tools to stand out from the crowd.

CMOs must navigate the reality that marketing departments often outpace their organisations, the rising importance of customer-centric experiences and increasingly complex ecosystems for gaining buyer attention, said Kristin Gower, global B2B president, EssenceMediacom.

“To support the CMO in this effort, organisations must rally behind this vision of marketing-driven growth and lean on the CMOs’ expanding remit and cross-functional influence to unlock new unprecedented business outcomes,” Gower added.

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