Modern Marketing’s Next 5 Challenges in B2B
Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience this week in Las Vegas brought together all sorts of modern marketers to exchange insights and ideas on topics ranging from marketing automation to content marketing to big data. It was a jam-packed three days of immersive technology sessions and networking festivities galore, including a keynote with James Franco and concert with OneRepublic.
Just looking around the sponsor expo area, it’s clear that marketing technology is not only driving the role of marketing to greater heights within organizations, but it is the force that is moving businesses forward.
Yet, regardless of whether your marketing goals are aligned to B2B or B2C purchase decisions, there are universal challenges among marketers. These challenges, widely discussed at the Modern Marketing Experience, will continue to push marketers to devise innovative strategies and tactics, ultimately leading to stellar customer experiences.
Here are five of some of the most talked about challenges:
1. Bridging the gap between Wall Street / Main Street / your team
All B2B marketers struggle to stay relevant to a variety of audiences, including prospects, customers, internal teams, and board members. This challenge to remain relevant is even greater considering how connected these audiences are through mobile devices and social media. This increase in connectivity is creating an information gap between what audiences pays attention to and what messaging marketing delivers to those audiences. Marketers are now tasked with finding new ways of inserting themselves into the social and mobile conversations.
2. Adapting to meet changes in buyer expectations
The modern buyer is heavily influenced by personalized and on-demand services and solutions. B2B marketers must continue to test and expand those experience types for their buyers across the customer journey. Companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon are leading the way in customer experiences, and marketers who fail to innovate in similar ways will lose relevancy.
3. Avoiding technology pitfalls
With the abundance of marketing technologies available, it is unsurprising that one of marketing technology’s greatest challenges is itself. It’s not enough to simply invest in new technologies. To get the most out of these investments, marketers also have to ensure that they are mapping the data that is being passed between systems. Lack of vision between technology integrations can lead to data silos, losing marketing valuable time and insights in the process.
4. Driving growth while managing technology
Marketers need to keep their eyes on the prize. Much like wanting the latest and greatest iPhone, it’s natural to want the next up-and-coming solution to your marketing challenges. The question is, will investing in a new technology improve your marketing efforts or present a productivity bottleneck? For as much value as marketing technology provides to the bottom line, it also requires resources to implement and maintain those systems. It’s a balancing act for marketers: to be successful, they must be driving growth while managing the technologies at the same time.
5. Getting technology to better serve your real mission
All marketers should want one thing: a stellar customer experience. The definition of stellar can change based on buyers’ needs, but it has the same implication for any marketing technology: If the adoption of a technology takes away from the customer experience, the adoption process around the technology must be challenged and improved before it is rolled out to customers and prospects.
Time and time again, companies like Zappos.com, Apple, and Dropbox are winning and retaining business with streamlined, technology-driven experiences. Because B2B companies operate with a much smaller customer and prospect base, each touchpoint becomes exponentially more valuable. Segmentation, personalization, automation, and a little bit of human-to-human interaction goes a long way towards improving the experience.
Let’s continue the conversation! Share your thoughts and takeaways from the Modern Marketing Experience by tweeting us @BrightTALK.