Digital Transformation is here to stay. Companies must transform and face the challenges of a new digital era, or be left behind.
This week Econsultancy released their B2B Digital Transformation: Leading brands share their insights report, which explores the challenges B2B companies face when implementing digital transformation initiatives.
The study was conducted via interviews with senior executives working for B2B companies and agencies including Arkadin Cloud Communications, Work with Agility, Atos, British Gas, IBM, Fuji Xerox, Ogilvy APAC, OppenheimerFunds, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Salesforce, Slater and Gordon Lawyers and Velocity Partners. Data provided by the 2,400 B2B respondents from Econsultancy’s 2017 Digital Trends in B2B survey supplements the report findings.
Here are the key takeaways and recommendations found throughout the report.
Digital has redesigned how B2B companies buy and market their services. Up to two-thirds of the customer’s journey to point of purchase is conducted online. It also occurs before any kind of interaction with sales representatives. With this information in mind, interviewees highlighted the need to put online first by focusing more on digital marketing channels.
Rising expectations from customers and prospects are also pushing digital transformation forward as B2B buyers increasingly expect the same levels of service they receive as consumers. Therefore the need to create journey-based experiences is growing.
Key Takeaway: The emphasis must be on digital first.
Create Compelling Content
Over 75% of B2B purchases today, including small business customers, have limited interaction with salespeople. Buyers rely on digital resources such as videos, online reviews, social media, and blog articles. Half of all customers now expect a brand’s website to be a helpful channel.
Key Takeaway: You need compelling content to engage and retain clients.
Drive Cultural Change
Cultural issues are a top barrier to change. Interviewees emphasised that a comprehensive strategy is a necessity for various components of the customer experience to successfully come together. There is a need to create an organisational structure that supports digital transformation and a culture that encourages change.
A key takeaway: It is not a single team’s or person’s job to carry out digital strategies, but everyone’s responsibility. A company’s culture needs to support new ways of working and greater collaboration.
Bringing Together Sales and Marketing
An increased focus on collaboration between sales and marketing allows companies to more closely address their clients’ needs through the full customer lifecycle and provide the best customer experience possible.
An increased importance of the customer experience is redefining traditional marketing roles. Businesses that are transforming successfully consider marketing as a strategic partner.
The most successful organisations have established ongoing meetings and metrics with marketing and sales that look at the whole customer experience. Technology has helped facilitate higher quality leads and relevant conversations.
Key Takeaway: There is a need for greater alignment and collaboration between marketing and sales
Using Digital Transformation to Connect
Digital transformation is not only redefining how businesses connect with their customers, it’s redefining business models, the way companies deliver value and how they make money. Digital is the future, and B2B organisations need to embrace digital transformation or risk becoming irrelevant.
Read the full report here.