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.
At a recent MarTech conference, I gave some presentations on consumer privacy, stressing that it’s becoming more obvious with every new regulation that privacy as an add-on or afterthought won’t work. While attendance was less than I had hoped, those who came left the sessions committed to achieving “privacy by design” and armed with the tools they needed to get it done.
What I’d like to ask the rest of the conference attendees is….where the heck were you?
Did you attend some easy-peasy session full of confirmation bias, so that you could get a pat on the head that you’re doing everything right?
Did you attend a session on fascinating technology that your company is light years away from being ready to use?
Did you attend a session that would help you make small improvements in an area where you’re already doing pretty well, like SEO?
Or did you attend a session led by the person you hope will be your next boss?
I get it. Believe me, I attend these conferences all the time. There are more interesting sessions than you can possibly attend, all while trying to connect with your colleagues across the industry. And conferences are often a fun getaway from your ordinary routine. So while I may have been poking a little fun, I realize there’s no way to hit everything.
So why would you choose sessions that would make your life (temporarily) harder? Your current practices are rolling along just fine (so far!), and you see no reason to rock the boat. And you really, really aren’t excited about doing anything that would limit your use of data, because that would inhibit your ability to engage customers. And THAT could affect your bonus. Who would voluntarily do anything that might negatively impact their own bank accounts?
It’s time to face reality, folks. Data privacy and security requirements are not going away. The days of unlimited use of big data are over. And you can either face that now, or face it later when your company is fined or sued for misuse of consumer data. Or when customers rebel and rake your company over the coals on social media.
It’s better to create privacy policies yourself rather than to have them imposed on you.
You’re going to have to address privacy whether you want to or not. And, since marketers depend on consumer data more than other departments, I’d rather be the one leading the charge, so I could design privacy policies the way I wanted them. Even if your organization’s leaders decide that IT or legal should take the lead, you should still be an integral part of the process, educating everyone on how marketing uses data and on how any proposed changes will affect your ability to do your job.
Are you up to the challenge?
Are you ready to admit that you can’t keep burying your head in the sand on privacy issues? And that you’ll be a whole lot better off if you spearhead (or enthusiastically participate in) the effort yourself so you can design policies that work for you and for your customers?
If so, let’s move on to the good news!
Developing privacy policies has some real benefits
Hopefully, I’ve got your attention now. So let’s move away from the challenges so I can tell you about the benefits of having robust privacy policies:
You won’t have to be constantly asking permission before launching campaigns. Your privacy policies will lay out what you have to do and what you can’t do, and, between those guardrails, you can be as creative as you want.
You won’t have to waste time waiting for approvals. Without privacy policies in place, getting permission for a campaign really means permission to get started. Many marketers still have to get approval for each piece of content.
You won’t necessarily see a negative financial impact. In fact, interactions with your customers will be more effective, because you’ll be engaging people who have chosen to receive your messages.
You’ll experience less friction with other functional areas because your roles will be clearly established in advance.
You’ll establish yourself as someone who has your company’s best interest in mind, isn’t afraid of challenging the status quo, and is willing to take on the hard work of spearheading change.
Through the work of creating privacy policies, you’ll make valuable contacts in other departments, like IT, Procurement, and Legal.
You’ll establish yourself as a leader within your own Marketing department, setting yourself up for rapid career advancement.
For those of you brave and proactive enough to get off your backsides, developing your organization’s privacy policies is your chance to be a superhero. Just like death and taxes, the coming privacy regulations are unavoidable, so stop trying. Learn what you need to know (I’ve provided some resources below), and get to work on privacy policies before someone else does it for you!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.
About The Author
Kristina is a digital policy innovator. For over two decades, she has worked with some of the most high-profile companies in the world and has helped them see policies as opportunities to free the organization from uncertainty, risk and internal confusion. Kristina has a BA in international studies and an MBA in international business from the Dominican University of California and is certified as both a change management practitioner (APMG International) and a project management professional (Project Management Institute). Her book, The Power of Digital Policy, was published in 2019.