B2B Marketing: Buyer Understanding to Become Top Priority
The report entitled The New Architecture of Marketing Talent, recently released by ITSMA, included some interesting findings of a survey of B2B marketers worldwide. Perhaps the most interesting and somewhat surprising takeaway to come out of the survey is the fact that a whopping 85 percent of B2B marketers predict that understanding buyers will be their leading marketing responsibility in 2016. The surprising aspect of this statistic is that many of us would have assumed that buyer insight and understanding is already a critical necessity, and a top responsibility for all marketers.
Instead, the marketers surveyed cited brand and positioning as their top responsibility currently, followed by lead generation and brand communications.
While data and survey findings can always be interpreted in different ways, there are several things that we think you can take from this finding. First, there has been a trend over the past few years to focus on high-tech tools and technology solutions to make many marketing processes more efficient and automatic. That sometimes comes at the expense of a personal touch, meaning the human contact is lost to some extent. Making it a priority to focus on the buyer’s wants, needs and motivations represents a return to a more personalized experience.
Second, this could also indicate an acknowledgement by other units of the operation that marketing is often the best resource for analyzing the needs and thought process of prospects and customers. With other departments increasingly relying on marketing to provide this insight, B2B marketers will need to devote more of their time and effort into focusing on the buyer and understanding what makes them tick.
Whatever the reason, we think this is a move in the right direction. Focusing on a buyer-guided approach is something that ultimately benefits everyone involved.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.