Customer experience (CX) has become an increased focus for marketers across industries, but many B2B marketers feel as though they need to catch-up to their consumer-facing counterparts to deliver better experiences.

Nearly 90% of B2B marketers think their organizations need to be as focused on customer experience as their B2C counterparts, according to a Dun & Bradstreet report (download required). And while 38% of B2B marketers believe they outpace their competitors when it comes to creating and delivering customer experiences, nearly a quarter indicated they feel as they are lagging behind.

If marketers from both B2B and B2C organizations are so focused on delivering personalized, omnichannel experiences, why do so many B2B brands struggle with CX? According to those surveyed, over one-third cited the inability to use the data and tools they already have in place as their biggest CX challenge. The inability to identify customer touchpoints and lack of insight into the customer journey were also notable challenges.

Why we should care

For B2B marketers who are committed to improving customer experiences, establishing data governance will play a critical role in their marketing strategies for the coming year. Among the long list of data governance challenges, most marketers are familiar with siloed data and dealing with incomplete customer data. According to the study, emerging technologies such as customer data platforms (CDPs) and data management platforms (DMPs) are being increasingly used by both B2B and B2C marketers to manage the firehose of data they are generating. Ultimately, B2B brands don’t need more data, they need to make sense of the data they already have, the study concludes.

“Unlike B2C, in B2B there is not a single buyer, so having a full customer picture of both the individual and the account is critical to deliver on the promise of personalization,” said Lauren Bakewell, chief product officer, sales and marketing solutions at Dun & Bradstreet. “Without the ability to centralize the many aspects of customer and prospect data, it is very difficult to see customers holistically at both an account and individual level and deliver a personalized and consistent customer experience to each. Simply put, informed and personalized omnichannel experiences mean more sales, stronger loyalty and greater long-term customer value.”

More on the news

  • 84% of marketers say their teams will be putting more focus on data in the next year.
  • Measurement and analytics came in as a top priority for nearly 70% of respondents.
  • Account-based marketing (ABM) continues to be a critical approach for B2B marketers to use data as a competitive advantage.
  • The 255 survey respondents were all B2B marketers with a job title of manager or above.

About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.