Customer engagement proving a challenge for B2B marketers

29 Apr 2016

  • Analytics
  • New thinking
  • Search Marketing

Connecting with customers is proving a considerable challenge for many B2B marketing professionals, according to research by Squiz, a digital transformation agency.

In a survey of B2B marketers, the majority of respondents said it was "very important" to engage with customers, but two in five (41 per cent) were finding it difficult to do so.

The study suggested that one of the key issues preventing marketing departments from making meaningful connections with potential clients is a lack of support and investment from the highest levels of the business.

Around one in seven professionals (14 per cent) said they had experienced difficulties gaining C-suite backing, with many putting this down to an inability to demonstrate return on investment.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of B2B marketers had struggled to gain the budget they needed to launch customer experience initiatives, reports Fresh Business Thinking.

The report highlighted a number of other problems that could be hindering client engagement, including a lack of sufficient planning and measurement.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of marketing professionals had no clear goals or key performance indicators in place to measure the customer experience, while just 35 per cent invested in marketing technology.

Three in four respondents (74 per cent) thought they were responsible for managing the customer experience, but less than half (46 per cent) thought other people in their organisation would agree.

Stephen Morgan, co-founder of Squiz, said: "Our research suggests that most B2B marketers understand the importance of adopting a customer-centric approach, but are struggling to put this into practice due to a lack of budget and C-level buy-in, and confusion over who is responsible for the customer experience within B2B brands.

"To rectify this, a growing number of businesses have appointed a chief customer officer to lead initiatives to improve the customer experience."

Mr Morgan went on to stress that firms don't need to hire a chief customer officer, if senior marketers are willing and able to "step up to the plate and take ownership of the customer experience".

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