You’re probably tired of hearing that B2B marketing is changing. Which is fine. Except it really is. So here’s our view of the 10 biggest B2B Marketing challenges.
Are you ready?
CHALLENGE 1. NOT HAVING A MAP.
In the face of media fragmentation, channel diversification and the reduced effectiveness of traditional marketing activity, many organisations are unsure of the best way to achieve tough marketing objectives. They’re on a journey, but there’s no map. Without a clear vision or strategy, the same patterns are repeated in the hope that things might turn out better. So the same batch ‘n’ blast email programme is wheeled out in the hope that open rates improve. They don’t, of course. No common purpose means reduced marketing productivity, efficiency, performance and value.
CHALLENGE 2. I’M OVER HERE, YOU’RE OVER THERE.
Channel diversification leads to stuff happening in siloes, again without a common goal. SEO, SEM, website, social media and online media, if they’re not connected, then how can your communications be connected? The whole being greater than the sum of its parts and all that?
CHALLENGE 3. WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE TO PUT YOUR MONEY?
With more teams covering a wider range of activity and the ever-present need for value, resource prioritisation is critical. Without a strategy to work towards, and with patchy reporting, how do you know where your squeezed resources will be best placed?
CHALLENGE 4. MARKETING AND SALES ALIGNMENT.
Over half (60%) of businesses highlight increased lead generation as their biggest challenge. Integration between sales and marketing is better today, but not perfect by any means, with under half (40%) of B2B companies believing that their current marketing activity meets the needs of sales.
CHALLENGE 5. BUSINESS DRIVEN BY THE BUYER.
Buyers are 67% through their journey to purchase before interacting with suppliers, and almost half (43%) of organisations see this lengthening further. Gartner Research report that by 2020 over 85% of the decision will be made without human interaction. So how exactly do you win the sale without any personal contact?
CHALLENGE 6. CONTENT UNMANAGEMENT.
As the importance of content marketing grows, maintaining the quality and consistency of output across materials and markets becomes a key hurdle to overcome. Without a co-ordinated and common approach, messaging becomes confusing and diluted.
CHALLENGE 7. BIG DATA, SMALL UPTAKE.
In the era of big data, many businesses are still struggling with data management and usage. Over a third of companies put this down to not having the right systems and tools in place including CRM, marketing automation and web analytics. As a result, organisations are missing a trick in terms of putting out personalised, customised and triggered communications to prospects.
CHALLENGE 8. DIFFERENT IS THE DECIDER.
With buyers taking longer to decide, the importance of continually standing out and elevating their company over competitors is vital. For B2B marketers, branding is seen as a key way to achieve this. However, 60% are not fully satisfied with their current efforts to differentiate on brand. There’s also confusion about which marketing channels actually help to drive brand awareness to enhance differentiation.
CHALLENGE 9. PINPOINTING THE RIGHT PEOPLE.
For the best chance of success, marketers need to attract, reach and engage all stakeholders in buying decisions. These are complex relationships with over four in five (81%) of B2B purchases involving multiple decision-makers. Getting the right messages to the right people at the right time becomes a major issue.
CHALLENGE 10. SOS ROI.
Getting a demonstrable return on marketing spending is a must in any business, but still a major challenge, with only 42% of companies able to measure activity throughout the entire sales funnel. It doesn’t have to be this way.