It’s no secret that marketing strategies are shifting to integrate significant changes in technology and customer behavior. So how does your B2B organizations measure up in terms of alignment stats? How are you changing the workflow of internal teams to strengthen customer engagement numbers? What are you doing to craft a one-team mentality and establish a seamless—and sustainable—workflow?
How are you changing the workflow of internal teams to strengthen customer engagement numbers?
All B2B organizations need to be open to retooling the marketing department—including how it integrates with other departments—and finding ways to focus on the customer experience.
In fact, according to “The Rise of the Marketer: Driving Engagement, Experience and Revenue” by the Economist Intelligence Unit, “More than 80% of marketing executives surveyed say they need to restructure marketing to better support the business—29% believe the need is urgent.”
During the last few years, organizations have focused on driving engagement and revenue while learning how to integrate the customer experience on the fly. This has forced the dysfunctional aspects of internal alignment into the limelight, especially when it comes to collaboration between teams and how they support a successful buyer’s journey as a whole.
Now is the time to check your organization’s alignment stats to get an operational baseline. Only then can you ditch clunky internal processes to find tools and systems that help the sales funnel run like a well-oiled machine and enable customer engagement to soar.
Here are seven stats from this report on internal alignment that will change how you work and offer your customers exactly what they need, every step of the way.
1. “Over the next three to five years, 75% of marketers say they will be responsible for the end-to-end experience over a customer’s lifetime.”
What was once a sales-specific task is slowly morphing into a marketing courtship that’s personalized for each customer relationship.
Keeping a customer is much more lucrative than consistently landing new ones, so considerable energy and effort will go into ensuring that the customer experience is fulfilling in every way.
There’s also an increasing need to turn complex services into cross-channel and cross-product offerings, making the entire shopping process simpler and more holistic for the customer. Now that takes some serious internal alignment to pull off!
2. The new required top skills for marketing employees include (in order): marketing operations and technology/digital engagement, strategy and planning, demand generation, data analysis and customer experience, and engagement and creative skills.
As competition heats up, marketers need employees with a breadth of knowledge that spans to every aspect of a business. While specialized skills are appreciated, diverse skills are required for the individual—and organization—to stand out.
3. Within the next three to five years, 80% of companies will classify marketing as a revenue driver rather than a cost center, as specific efforts (e.g., emails, downloads, shares) are directly tied to an overall increase in engagement and leads.
These small, consistent, concentrated efforts each have an impact on the bottom line, and require an orchestrated effort from all teams within an organization to deliver them successfully.
With the customer at the center of the sales funnel, each team needs to be in alignment on key campaigns, marketing efforts, and sales goals in order to successfully support customers no matter what their path to purchase.
In essence, all arms of a company become an integrated aspect of the marketing hub.
4. “81% of marketers say they will use data to better connect with customers.”
Digital and data are new long-term dance partners. Together, they will help paint the value picture and drive investment dollars for B2B organizations of all sizes.
Technology will be the main gateway used to engage customers in conversations, build customer advocacy, and inspire trust.
The data collected from every aspect of customer interaction will also help build a better buyer’s journey and create a more cohesive story for the customer.
5. “More than 63% of marketers polled say engagement is manifested in customer renewals, retention, and repeat purchases.”
As the buyer’s journey becomes increasingly personalized, it’s essential for marketers to really dive into buyer personas and track what’s working. Delivering a seamless experience at every part of the buyer’s journey requires strong internal alignment among teams.
6. “37% of companies will increase technology investment in social marketing, with 30% shifting to digital marketing and engagement overall.”
Now that technology is essential to the purchase process, companies are being more strategic about their tech investments.
Big organizations are putting more money into automation, analytics, and creative content, while small ones are focusing on website personalization and social and email marketing. Despite the specific goals, B2B organizations need tools to align key information among internal teams and streamline workflows.
Cloud-based systems are also quickly becoming a key part of marketing ecosystem, as most companies increasingly rely on multiple systems to manage all the aspects of marketing and customer engagement.
7. By 2020, mobile messaging and The Internet of Things will dominate the marketing space.
There’s no such thing as “prime marketing times” anymore. Real-time, personalized mobile messaging—in addition to the vast number of things customers can buy with the click of a button—is quickly making overall message timing a thing of the past.
Nowadays, successful marketing really comes down to knowing your customer, approaching them in a personalized way, and crafting a sales pipeline that’s simple and supports highly specialized needs.
Hopefully some of these alignment stats can help you review and rethink your current marketing efforts, and find a way to help all the teams within your B2B organization build stronger customer engagement at every level in 2016.